Striking or Grappling

Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

The question everyone seams to ask is which is more effective? Striking or grappling? In my opinion there really is no definitive answer. It all relies on the practitioners and how well they execute their game plan. Who has the best timing with the best cardio is what truly matters if both aspects of the striker versus grappler skill levels are equally matched. A perfect example of that type of match-up recently took place in Las Vegas on March 2, 2019 at UFC 235. Ruthless Robbie Lawler, a striker and former UFC champion, took on the newest addition to the UFC roster, former Olympic wrestler Mr. Funky Ben Askren. The fight would end in a controversial win by Funky Ben Askren. However in the beginning of the fight, Askren was slammed on his head, and took several clean, but brutal shots, while laying on his face with his hand trapped behind his back. Askren’s face was busted open with blood pouring from his face. Askren, showed he’s as tough as they come, somehow managed to get back on his feet, and eventually get himself into a position which allowed him to put Lawler into a bulldog choke. While Askren was holding the choke, Lawler’s hand dropped in a manner which led the referee to believe he was out. When the referee pulled Lawler’s hand, Lawler gave a very subtle, but obvious thumbs up; however the referee still stopped the fight. Apparently the legendary Herb Dean didn’t see the thumb and thought Lawler was out. Lawler immediately protested the stoppage and appeared fully conscience. Lawler claimed he wasn’t out at all and he did seam pretty in tune with what was going on. A definitive finish due to a choke without the guy tapping would result in Lawler sleeping on the canvas. Bad call by the ref in my opinion but it was a wise decision due to the lazy body language of Lawler. In this particular case of the striker versus grappler, the grappler wins.