Jon Fitch’s comments at UFC 109 stating that “the closed Guard is dead,” has certainly got people talking in the last few days, and a number of other fighters have also now weighed in with their opinion on the matter.
Firstly Joe Lauzon had the following to say on Reddit after reading our report on Fitch’s comments.
“Closed guard is dead. He is right,” he agreed. “The fence changes everything. The closed guard revolves around creating angles by moving your hips. When you can stuff someones head into the cage, they can’t create the same kind of angles that are possible on a wide open mat.
AND… the days of catching guys sleeping are over. Wrestlers used to fall victim to submissions because they weren’t well versed in them. That is no longer the case.”
One of the people Fitch mentioned as being immune to this rule, Shinya Aoki, has also now responded in agreement to what the welterweight fighter said.
(Translation): “oh, yes, Yes,i agree! Absolutely Yes!! For a long time the closed guard means present my loss by Decision to opponent. If I am in closed position, I have to recover quickly.
Pressure of sweep & submission…..but it is prologue of stand. How can I stand again from guard? It is the united technique of submission, sweep,and stand…..We need ground technique to stand again. Do you know it?……….Sorry I can not explain it perfectly,,,it….I want to say “MMA IS MMA. “MMA is not “striking + Ground”…so , it is called as MMA!!”
Not everyone is in agreement with Fitch however. His own AKA team-mate Cain Velasquez for instance still sees merit in the technique.
“I wouldn’t say that because everybody has that chance to submit people, and this game has grown so big that (you have to be) good in every area of MMA,” Velasquez told reporters at a teleconference for UFC 110.
Of course Velasquez’s upcoming opponent, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira is perhaps the most dangerous Brazilian Jiu Jitsu fighter in the heavyweight division, and is well versed in the closed guard. He may well have a use for it against the dominating wrestler, a fact that Velasquez is well aware of.
“I believe everyone’s dangerous, especially Nogueira on the ground,” he stated.