“I personally think that the very best skill for MMA is wrestling, I think that’s the number one base to come from because those guys just flat out dictate where the fight takes place. You know, a great wrestler, you get a guy in there like a Koscheck or like GSP you know they can just dictate what s— happens.”
“If they decide to take you to the ground, you’re going to the ground. You’re going to have to learn how to fight off your back and it’s not your strong suit. Even if you train for six hard weeks working guys off your back, the bottom line is for 10 years you’ve been training in stand-up and you’ve been training in your top game and you really haven’t put that much time into working off your back and you know six months is not going to fix you for GSP. He’s going to pass your s—, he’s going to mount you, he’s going to beat you up, he’s going to take you down the next round and do it it all over again, so I think it’s the important skill, in my opinion.”
“it’s just the way it is so what these guys have to do is you have two options: one, you got to get really good at wrestling yourself which is what Georges did, you know when Georges first started fighting… had good submission skills but then somewhere along the line in his career he became the most successful wrestler in Mixed Martial Arts, you know I mean it’s really just the hard work that he put up there in Canada working with all those Russian guys up there, there’s some really high-level Russian wrestlers that he was working with and I talked to Randy Couture about it and he said yeah, those guys that Georges is training with he goes ‘when I found out who those guys were I knew that’s why he was getting better, those guys are animals.’ So I mean he just put in all that time and I think it’s just a huge part of MMA.
“If you don’t have a killer guard, if you’re not some Aoki character and now you look at Aoki versus Gilbert Melendez, he wasn’t able to do anything either, you know, the ability to be the guy who dictates where the fight takes place is so huge. And then these wrestlers become really good strikers like these Ryan Bader type characters who are you know real strong wrestlers but now all of a sudden they’re blasting dudes on their feet and it’s up to them whether or not you stand up. They’re going to be the ones deciding because you’re not going to take them down and if you do take them down he’s going to bounce right back up to his feet and if he wants to take you down, he’s going to take you down, so it’s such a huge, huge advantage.”
“When your wrestling’s not so good, you get the s— beat out of you… He (Demian Maia ) was getting lit up and that’s the problem with not having good takedowns, not being a good wrestler. Demian Maia is in an awkward situation because he’s much more successful once the fight becomes a grappling match but his best aspect is not being able to take guys down. His best aspect is being able to you know his ability to impose himself once the fight is already on the ground, so he’s in this terrible limbo where he can’t get a hold of Anderson and standing up with him is just suicidal so he was just getting lit up and he can’t grab the guy, you know that’s what happen when you have mediocre wrestling.”
Rogan: The very best skill for MMA is wrestling