Does Sambo suck? An answer to Chael Sonnen.
In today's video I'll be addressing what Chael Sonnen said about Sambo, and he said that it sucks. So, does it really suck?
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Well first of all I love Chel Sonnen’s channel and he has a ton great content which I suggest you check out but, I don't really agree with the with him on this one. And second of all I am not even sure that he means what he says because he used to say a lot of crazy things when he competed in order to sell his fights, so I'm not sure if he's doing the same thing right now in order to get views on his channel. Either way, it was fun watching him and listening to him.
So, does it (Sambo) really suck?
The short answer is - no it does not suck.
I do think that wrestling especially freestyle wrestling and folkstyle wrestling is better for a MMA than Judo or Sambo. And why am I mentioning Judo here? I'm mentioning it because Judo and Sambo are very similar. He also mentioned that there are not a lot of Sambo players in the UFC and I will address that later. I will first address why I don't think Sambo sucks what is Sambo’s influence in MMA.
The best fighter of all times Fedor Emelianenko was a Samba player and a Judo player as well. Judo and Sambo are wrestling - jacket wrestling. You can call it Sambo or Judo but in its essence it’s wrestling. Its wrestling with the jacket.
There are significant differences with when you wrestle with the gi and without the gi but also there is a lot of overlap. A lot of techniques exist both in wrestling and in Judo and Sambo - the same techniques. Like uchi mata, foot sweeps, suplexes and so on.. So it's a type of wrestling and you cannot really deny the effectiveness of it.
In the street, and I know we’re not talking about the street, we're talking about MMA, but still in the streets I think it's even more applicable because there you're not walking half naked, you're walking with your clothes on.
As far as MMA is concerned, Sambo has had an influence in MMA, especially with leglocks and armbars.
Armbars you say? What do you mean? Don’t they come from Brazilian Jiu Jitsu?
Yes and no. Let me explain.
One of the best exponents of the armbar ever was Ronda Rousey. And you might say what you will about Ronda Rousey - she's washed out, she will never fight again, and what not but there's no denying to me that she has one of the best if not the best armbar in all of MMA including men, and I'm not the first one to say that. She learnt the armbar from her mother, and the armbar made its way to Judo by way of Sambo.
What do I mean?
Armbars existed in Judo even before Sambo. But it was the Samba players that came into Judo that really made them effective and made them popular in Judo.
In the 60s when Judo became an Olympic sport, Soviet Union started paying more attention to it, and Sambo players started competing in Judo because Sambo and Judo are very similar.
They brought their own techniques, their own ways to prepare the armbar and they started armbaring almost everybody. A British world champion from 1981. - Neil Adams, was one of the best guys ever in Judo to do an armbar, and he learnt it from a Soviet Guy (Alexander Yastkevich) So this is how the straight armbar (juji gatame) made it’s way to Judo. Even though it existed in Judo, Sambo players made it more effective and they had setups that were better.
So some of the ways to set up the armbar came from Sambo.
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Sambo is a versatile sport because it has large amount of techniques in standing position as well as on the ground. Why can't you throw an opponent who's equal or stronger opponent? There are two main reasons. First - you're setting up and doing the throw wrong, and the second you're predictable and everyone knows your moves. In both cases your technique is flawed and something has to be changed. All progressive MMA fighters are incorporating sambo submissions. It's easily explainable due to limited time on the ground ( 2-5 seconds to catch and another minute to complete ). Sambists research the fastest and most effective ways to finish for years. Why does everyone want to finish fast? It's an opportunity to finish in style and preserve your energy. I know the taste of quick finishes like no other. 25 years in sambo, 13 World Championships in which i earned 2 golds, 4 silvers, 1 bronze and most importantly 90% of my victories happened before regulation time expired. I spent 20000 hours
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