Lay And Pray
August 31, 2011
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I just noticed that some people have been going on Twitter and telling Daniel Cormier that wrestlers like Jon Fitch win by virtue of “lay and pray.”
Count me as among the few who really like Fitch, and I think what he does is far from “lay and pray.” That goes double for Cormier, who only has six stoppage wins among his eight total fights.
I won’t pretend to claim that I’ve been “following the sport since UFC 1” but I have watched my fair share of old UFC and PRIDE fights, and I like to think that I have a somewhat decent historical perspective. There used to be quite a few fights, before a lot of fighters were really cross-trained well at all, in which a wrestler would fight a non-wrestler. This wrestler would proceed to take his opponent down… and hold him there. And keep holding. And maybe throw a few arm punches to the ribs. And hope it was enough to win a decision.
Keep in mind that PRIDE started giving out yellow cards for stalling for a reason (besides serving as what Zach Arnold calls the “Yakuza vacation fund”). The whole idea behind “lay and pray” was that a wrestler would, quite literally, “lay” on top of his opponent, do very little, and “pray” that he would win a decision based essentially on holding top control for 20 or more minutes. This didn’t happen with only obscure fighters either, guys like Mark Kerr had some really awful fights by doing this.
So, when a fighter like Jon Fitch, who is seriously active with strikes and attempted guard passes for the entirety of a UFC fight, or Daniel Cormier, who has only gone to decision twice in the first place, is called a “lay and pray” fighter, it truly is laughable. These guys are the farthest thing from a “lay and pray” fighter.