Thursday, May 29, 2014

Outside the Octagon: Is the Dominance of Brazil over in the UFC?

Brazil has been dominating the UFC for years. This has been from the very beginning of UFC back when Royce Gracie use to beat fighters double his size. There have been points when over half of the UFC champions have been from Brazil. Now Jose Aldo is the lone remaining champion.  I believe there are two main factors that have led to the recent spur of American champions, growing popularity of the UFC and the evolution of the sport as a whole.

The popularity of the UFC continues to grow every year. MMA gyms are opening up all over the country because fans want to be just like their favorite fighters. This growth in the United States is leading to kids starting martial arts at a younger age. In countries like Brazil and Japan, it is very common for most children to be enrolled in martial arts at a young age. Now that this is happening in the United States, generations of fighters are now starting younger and have more experience by the time they turn pro than the older American fighters did.

The evolution of MMA is the other reason American fighters have been able to flourish. Fighters can no longer only have one martial arts discipline and be able to win fights. They truly need to be mixed martial artists. Americans have better access to martial arts gyms which allows them the time and opportunity to become fully rounded fighters.  

I am not sure how long this American dominance is going to last. The next title fight for middleweight champion Chris Weidman is against Brazilian Lyoto Machida who will be looking to restart the Brazilian dominance that Anderson Silva had over that division.  Fabricio Werdum will also get his chance at the heavyweight title against Cain Velasquez. 2014 has not been a good year for the country of Brazil in the UFC but maybe these two fighters will be able to change that.  

 Greg Monforte is a Drexel University Sport Management pre-junior from South Jersey.  Currently he works at Not Just Pizza in Sicklerville, NJ and Daddis Fight Camps in Philadelphia where he has social media and marketing responsibilities.  Greg is also the SMTSU Director of Marketing & Outreach.  Follow Greg on Twitter @Greg_Monforte.
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