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shieldofpistis

GSP and NCAA All Americans

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I like the question.

Koscheck was a Division I champion at 174 pounds in his junior year and was an All-American all four years at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.  Koscheck struggled to take down GSP in a fighting environment.  GSP wasn't JB-good on offensive take downs and he would have to mat wrestle within folkstyle rules.  GSP would lock his hands and do all sorts of silly novice stuff.  GSP would have a significant technique debt that he would not overcome to qualify for the NCAAs.

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1 hour ago, jross said:

I like the question.

Koscheck was a Division I champion at 174 pounds in his junior year and was an All-American all four years at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.  Koscheck struggled to take down GSP in a fighting environment.  GSP wasn't JB-good on offensive take downs and he would have to mat wrestle within folkstyle rules.  GSP would lock his hands and do all sorts of silly novice stuff.  GSP would have a significant technique debt that he would not overcome to qualify for the NCAAs.

I agree with you that if you just take the GSP from the Koscheck fight and put him in the NCAA tournament, he probably wouldn't AA.  I should have asked a better question.  If you take GSP at his prime, and if he focused on wrestling (he trained with the Canadian Olympic team- what if he actually trained under Sanderson at Penn St) how would GSP have done with his athleticism, determination, work ethic, and heart?  He also fought Hendricks.  I forget who had the takedown edge in that fight.  

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He would get crushed in neutral.  I remember people saying he was good enough to be on Canada's Olympic team and he went and did wrestling only with the Canadian national team and got hammered mostly, from what I remember there were about 5 guys on their ladder who was much better than him, and no offense to Canada, but their wrestling isn't that strong. Most of their successful wrestlers came from someplace else, like Russia, USA, Nigeria, etc.  Wrestling in MMA is a lot different than folkstyle or freestyle.  

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41 minutes ago, TripNSweep said:

He would get crushed in neutral.  I remember people saying he was good enough to be on Canada's Olympic team and he went and did wrestling only with the Canadian national team and got hammered mostly, from what I remember there were about 5 guys on their ladder who was much better than him, and no offense to Canada, but their wrestling isn't that strong. Most of their successful wrestlers came from someplace else, like Russia, USA, Nigeria, etc.  Wrestling in MMA is a lot different than folkstyle or freestyle.  

Something that is very misunderstood. He was very good at MMA-specific wrestling. He had great timing of his opponent's punches with a small level change to a double or single. However, he's able to do this because his opponent's are in an upright fighting stance, not a traditional defensive stance with a good understanding of positioning. Guys that he beat in mma like Koscheck or Hendricks would roll right through him in folkstyle. Look at the different success levels some guys have between folkstyle and freestyle. The difference in MMA is 100x more than that. It's just really different.

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10 minutes ago, uncle bernard said:

Something that is very misunderstood. He was very good at MMA-specific wrestling. He had great timing of his opponent's punches with a small level change to a double or single. However, he's able to do this because his opponent's are in an upright fighting stance, not a traditional defensive stance with a good understanding of positioning. Guys that he beat in mma like Koscheck or Hendricks would roll right through him in folkstyle. Look at the different success levels some guys have between folkstyle and freestyle. The difference in MMA is 100x more than that. It's just really different.

The level change window is a lot bigger in MMA.  If you're wrestling in folkstyle or freestyle you need to have a really good level change and be able to get low to snap off that shot.  In MMA you don't need as dramatic a level change because of what you said, the upright stance. In MMA people don't have that same defensive posture since they can punch, kick and knee if you get close to your leg.  In actual wrestling you can't do that so you have to use your head, hands, etc.  In MMA if you brought your head down like in wrestling you'd get kicked or kneed in the face. If you can gap somebody in MMA and get to a high single and push them into the cage, you're probably going to finish.  In wrestling there's no cage, so you can scramble, twist, and do all kinds of other things.  In my first MMA fight I had 4 takedowns, and only 1 of them was from space, the rest were from pushing into the cage and getting to the legs/body very easily. It also helped that my opponent was a BJJ guy with awful takedown defense. 

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2 hours ago, shieldofpistis said:

I agree with you that if you just take the GSP from the Koscheck fight and put him in the NCAA tournament, he probably wouldn't AA.  I should have asked a better question.  If you take GSP at his prime, and if he focused on wrestling (he trained with the Canadian Olympic team- what if he actually trained under Sanderson at Penn St) how would GSP have done with his athleticism, determination, work ethic, and heart?  He also fought Hendricks.  I forget who had the takedown edge in that fight.  

Yes, if he practiced 20 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, for anywhere from 5-10+ years.  Not everyone requires 10,000 hours and other sports translate... but that time investment is real.

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GSP didn't just have a double. He had a really good single too.  His style ended up being a takedown a ground and pound it which is ironic since he is a karate guy I think. But he mostly used wrestling in the cage.  I dont' think the cage helped in the majority of his takedowns like Jon Jones took DC down- I think the timing.  And the sentiment that your posture is different in a fight than a wrestling match makes a lot of sense.  

 

Do you think if GSP focused on just wrestling he would defeat Jon Fitch?

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11 hours ago, shieldofpistis said:

GSP didn't just have a double. He had a really good single too.  His style ended up being a takedown a ground and pound it which is ironic since he is a karate guy I think. But he mostly used wrestling in the cage.  I dont' think the cage helped in the majority of his takedowns like Jon Jones took DC down- I think the timing.  And the sentiment that your posture is different in a fight than a wrestling match makes a lot of sense.  

 

Do you think if GSP focused on just wrestling he would defeat Jon Fitch?

I think your question has been answered and the answer is no. Jon Fitch would beat GSP in folkstyle wrestling because folkstyle wrestling is a completely different sport. 

If your question is whether GSP could have been a great wrestler if he focused on it as his main sport early on, then yeah he could have been great. He's a great athlete. He has all the tools to be successful in wrestling, so if he started in middle school and focused, he could have been good. However, you could say this about most professional athletes, so it doesn't make him special. The question essentially becomes "Hey, if I take this elite athlete and train him in wrestling for years, could he become a good wrestler?" Uh, duh.

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3 hours ago, uncle bernard said:

I think your question has been answered and the answer is no. Jon Fitch would beat GSP in folkstyle wrestling because folkstyle wrestling is a completely different sport. 

If your question is whether GSP could have been a great wrestler if he focused on it as his main sport early on, then yeah he could have been great. He's a great athlete. He has all the tools to be successful in wrestling, so if he started in middle school and focused, he could have been good. However, you could say this about most professional athletes, so it doesn't make him special. The question essentially becomes "Hey, if I take this elite athlete and train him in wrestling for years, could he become a good wrestler?" Uh, duh.

I agree with 90% of what you say.  The 10% that I am not sure about is the toughness component.  Boxing, mma, and wrestling take a degree of toughness other sports don't. Over the last 10 years Lebron has been the best athlete.  He automatically would not have been great wrestler or mixed martial artists. How good is Lebron's chin? How well would he react with his head forced to the mat with someone cranking on his arm?

 

I'm not saying this to be contrary. Just bringing up a point for you to think about. 

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There was a video of GSP v. Otto Olsen (NCAA runner-up?)  in a nogi grappling tournament that I saw a few years back where I remember Olsen could not take down GSP.  submission grappling rules are different than folkstyle, but a lot of GSP's advantages over wrestlers in MMA go away because there is no striking

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if Gsp decided to dedicate his life to wrestling instead of mma he would have ended up an elite wrestler no question. A lot of wrestlers that trained with him over the years were impressed by his wrestling ability with such little training. Regardless of how good Canada’s wrestling team is the guy was good enough to be able to practice with after 1 or 2 years of wrestling. A lot of us on this board wrestled for 10 15 years and still 95 percent of us  wouldn’t be able to hang with any national team members nevermind while still being a relative novice in the sport. I’m confident that if gsp had set out to win a world medal in wrestling instead of a ufc belt he could be a world medalist right now 

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7 hours ago, Jim L said:

There was a video of GSP v. Otto Olsen (NCAA runner-up?)  in a nogi grappling tournament that I saw a few years back where I remember Olsen could not take down GSP.  submission grappling rules are different than folkstyle, but a lot of GSP's advantages over wrestlers in MMA go away because there is no striking

Olson was a stud.  Took 2nd in 1999 for the Wolverines.  At ADCC GSP had two takedowns in this match @:55 & @5:46.  Nothing technical in terms of set ups but you can just see his raw athletic ability &  high grappling IQ.  No doubt if GSP grew up wrestling and committed to it full time he could've been an all time great. 

  

Edited by portajohn

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GSP was asked about his wrestling recently on Gordon Ryan's new show on FloGrappling. He states pretty clearly what others on this thread have mentioned, which is that some of the techniques are similar but the environment is so different that MMA wrestling is entirely different than other style of wrestling. Adding striking to the mix completely negates any advantage a wrestler would have if he never trained MMA. That part of this interview (included with your FloWrestling subscription!) starts at the 38:18 mark. 

The whole show is great (in my totally unbiased opinion). Once GSP starts going on about dinosaurs, watch out! 

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