Ideas on the Jiu Jitsu Arm Chair Quarterback
Another Conor McGregor Khabib Nurmagodov Article - Commentary a Jiu Jitsuero Should Avoid.
So the dust has cleared on the Khabib Conor fight. The night was entertaining and historic for many reasons. Yet, this is not an article breaking down techniques, discussing the state of MMA or pointing fingers on who was really to blame for the post fight mayhem. I wanted to spend a few minutes on something that should be fundamental but still needs to be addressed.
I was reading an article on the fight. In the comments section, someone left the following criticism of Conor. “His Jiu Jitsu is terrible. There were several opportunities for him to shrimp or go for a submissions and he did not do it. He is a hack brown belt.” In no way do I think being an armchair quarter back is common in the Jiu Jitsu community. However, I did want to address this Uncle Rico.
First, Khabib is not the yard stick that most of us want to evaluate our grappling against. Saying a brown belt did poorly with him is in no means indictment of the brown belt. It would be analogous to saying since a brown belt did poorly against Keenan Cornelius or Gordon Ryan, he should not be a brown belt. There are many, many levels to grappling. Just because a brown belt cannot compete against world class talent does not mean he should not be a brown belt.
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Second, Jiu Jitsu and MMA are two radically different sports. Certainly, someone without a submission skill set is lost in modern MMA. However, strikes radically change the equation. There have been myriads of examples of reputable black belts tapping out to grapplers of a much lower caliber because the submission was first set up with strikes. By no means am I equating Conor’s grappling ability to that of Khabib’s. What I am saying is that because something worked or did not work in a Jiu Jitsu match is not incontrovertible proof that it would work in MMA. This is the similar fashion that not everything from GI will translate to NOGI, but on a much grander scale.
Last, there are many in the Jiu Jitsu community who are qualified to provide commentary on the grappling of McGregor. However, most of them do not do it for free in the comments section of a blog or social media post. For the rest of us who haven’t fought professional on a large stage or competed in grappling on a high level, these types of comments are analogous to a guy who has not gotten off the couch in 20 years giving Tom Brady advice on football.
At the end of the day, I don’t know the level of Conor McGregor’s Jiu Jitsu. He trains with Gunner Nelson, so I would imagine it is reputable. But who really knows?
By and large, the majority in Jiu Jitu is a group of exceptional people. However, lets always be wary of the “Uncle Ricos” or unqualified arm chair quarterbacks and gently keep them in check.