Why Isn’t Wing Chun in the UFC?

“I’m going to show the world why the Rangers belong in the Octagon.”
Greg Stott, a former Airborne Ranger, prior to getting knocked out in 18 seconds.

“When the UFC was formed in 1993 there was one simple purpose: Determine which form of martial art was the most effective in a real fight.” Matt Saccaro in The Bleacher Report

If Wing Chun is so great, why isn’t somebody kicking ass with it in the UFC?

#1  In order for an art to be “represented” in the UFC, you have to have a gifted young athlete start in your style and then get the UFC bug.

This hasn’t happened with every art.  Where are the Escrima UFC fighters?  They have an empty hand system (just like Wing Chun has a weapons system).  How about Krav Maga?  I’m sure there are many styles that have yet to get a representative.

What needs to happen for Wing Chun to make a splash in the UFC is that some strong genetically gifted guy or girl has to find a talented Sifu with a simple, direct, efficient approach and then the student will need to go Wing Chun crazy, the way Ronda Rousey went Judo crazy and Lyoto Machida went Karate crazy.

Then they need to start studying the other ranges.

Wing Chun’s specialty is the close-medium-range – this is Wing Chun’s bread and butter fighting distance.   If we go to the ground, if we are pushed off into kicking distance, we have tools but we are at a disadvantage against someone who is a specialist in those ranges.  In our training, we try to get into and stay in our favored range, where we have an advantage.

This is why Sifu Gary Lam added Muay Thai training to his version of Wing Chun – he gave us some more long range tools (and some conditioning drills).

Our Wing Chun crazy kid has to learn BJJ or wrestling to fight in the UFC.  They have to have a ground game, period.  Some people try to say Wing Chun has a ground game, but it doesn’t.  Boxing doesn’t and Wing Chun doesn’t.

Our imaginary Wing Chun UFC fighter have to get really good at takedown defense and also at at least surviving the ground, while also training thousands of hours in their Wing Chun repertoire.   Then they have to spar with fighters from other systems: MMA fighters, Thai boxers, following UFC rules, to find the holes and gaps in their game.

This is what is takes to fight professionally in the UFC.

Does this mean that Wing Chun is not a good street art – hell no!

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