Phil Davis on Vinny Magalhaes: Wrestling is stronger than Jiu-Jitsu


Before his upcoming light-heavyweight bout at UFC 159 against Vinny Magalhaes, “Mr. Wonderful” Phil Davis, had some choice words in regards to his wrestling. Not intimidated by the superior grappling skill of Magalhaes, Phil claimed:

“Vinny’s jiu-jitsu doesn’t concern me at all because he’s bound by the laws of jiu-jitsu……I love jiu-jitsu. Jiu-jitsu is cool. It’s fun. But some of the rules in jiu-jitsu, I break. I do the exact wrong thing, and it works for me because I follow the rules of wrestling, and with wrestling, it’s a little bit stronger of an art form.”

The NCAA Division I national champion wrestler has an overall MMA record of 10-1, with 6-1 being his record in the UFC and will be facing Magalhaes who dons a record of 10-5 going 1-2 in the UFC. They are scheduled to fight at UFC 159 which will be held on April 27th at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.

  • False.

    Wrestling vs. BJJ = BJJ will win most times if competitors are similarly skilled.
    Wrestling WITH BJJ vs. BJJ = Probably in the favour of the former.

    The question is in the match-up is, seeing as Phil Davis is an outstanding wrestler and has great jits, is Vinny skilled enough in BJJ to be better than both of those things put together?

    I'm really excited for this fight, one of the best and highest level grappling match-ups there has been in the UFC over the past few years.

    • Yeah, you just have to go back to Gracie vs Shamrock where the wrestler was twice the specimen of the BJJ guy and realize that Wrestling by itself is virtually useless against all other martial arts. But Wrestling accompanied by any other martial art makes a considerable foe indeed. If it was wrestler built like Shamrock or a BJJ guy built like Shamrock it would be a limbless wrestler at the end of 1 round.

      • Shamrock wasn't just a wrestling guy. He was a roided up (probably still is), submission grappler under the tutelage of some great guys in Japan.

        Coleman, Kerr, Randleman, and Frye entered MMA with virtually no other martial art background then wrestling. They did pretty good.

        • Yes but they were specimens way above their foes physically and they used rabbit punches which is not wrestling to get their wins. Yes Shamrock was capable of good subs especially on the ankle, but he was still exposed as a good wrestler vs a good BJJ guy with half the muscle.

          • I will add the had mighty rabbit punches, but anyone half as ripped as they were could beat them and they never won a single match with wrestling alone that I can remember. many have been won with BJJ alone.

          • They were specimens way above their foes physically because of that wrestling background. They didn't just win with rabbit punches. They won with ground and pound, and head butts too.

            "Yes Shamrock was capable of good subs especially on the ankle, but he was still exposed as a good wrestler vs a good BJJ guy with half the muscle."

            That's what I'm saying is wrong. He was exposed as not as good of a submission grappler. He wrestled a bit in HS, but his real fight training was catch wrestling and getting really strong. He wasn't just a "good wrestler". He was a shoot fighter.

          • I agree with that.

    • D

      Unless you're just using your wrestling to avoid the ground game altogether…which is what I would expect Davis to do. He will be the faster, more explosive guy, he has the reach advantage and a good jab. He will outpoint Magalhaes on the feet and win a fairly easy, although uneventful decision.

  • Hmmmm…let's ask Damien Maia and Jon Fitch.

    • or maia and sonnen, silva and henderson. i think pure BJJ can beat pure wrestling but fighters these days are so much more well rounded all the wrestlers have to learn BJJ to avoid being submitted and the same to the jui jitsui guys

    • Or Matt Hughes and Ricardo Almeida.

      • Bendo vs. Diaz is a good example of a good wrestler with good BJJ vs. a guy great at BJJ but no wrestling

      • Or Henderson vs. Newton..

      • Or Matt Hughes and Dennis Hallman

        • Dennis Hallman was a 4 time state champion, and moved on to grappling from that. That would be more of an example of two wrestlers who moved over into submission grappling with one taking to it more (at least earlier in their careers).

  • I am fully aware of the differences of wrestling and JJ/BJJ. However I also see them as two chords of the same song, and don't see the point in arguing which is better or worse as ultimately they are about controlling your opponent albeit with JJ offering more chances of progressing to a finish but wrestling used with JJ effectively makes them part of the same art form in MMA.

  • Vinny is a monster on the ground, to be sure. However, his stand-up and his cardio, are or can be, suspect. I think all things considered, I'd pick Davis for the win.

    Should be a good match, either way.

  • Wrestling>BJJ all day, every day, even on Sundays.

    Get two fighters who are equally skilled in both, and the wrestler wins more times than he doesn't. It's science.

    Hell, Judo>BJJ when it is used as it was intended to be.

    Am I biased? You're goddamn right I'm biased. Wrestling>everything else

    • In what sport? Wrestling? Oh yeah, then you're right.

      • In MMA or grappling also.

        • @EH

          if wrestling is so dominant then why aren't we seeing amateur wrestlers or international wrestlers go to ADCC or something where they can make decent money?
          They used to back in the day but now the submission grappling level is too high

          • Good points.

            The pull of MMA, and the urge to attain a world medal in wrestling is too strong. Either one is going to contain no real time to study submission grappling on the scale of BJJ or Judo to compete in that as a specific discipline.

            Just look at the best guys from this years NCAA's (small sampling as the international scene is just as good in wrestling): Ed Ruth, Kyle dake, David Taylor, Logan Stieber, Quentin Wright, Dustin Kilgore, and Jesse Delgado. Each has said they will be trying out for spots in the Olympics for at least the next 4 years. That means they will nothing but wrestling for that amount of time.

            When that's over MMA is up, and although BJJ has very different aspects to wrestling, striking is the discipline to next throw yourself into to become as well rounded as possible.

            A lot of these guys aren't going for submission wins on the International scale because they realize getting really good at submission grappling isn't an automatic indication of success in MMA (which most of the wrestlers who learn submission grappling are competing in).

      • Great job again on the posts, too.

        • Thanks man…you are making difficult to argue with you. Great job on yours as well.

  • We will see….

  • Either Vinny gets the sub or this is probably another boring phil davis lay and pray win…

    • Another? Davis normally works for the sub pretty hard. Doubt he gets it against Vinny though.

  • Well we all know that BJJ beats Wrestling in a style vs style fight a 100% of the time but I do agree that wrestlers with decent BJJ often beats BJJ with decent wrestling. I am guessing that is Phil's point here.

  • Does anyone remeber BJJ fighter called Damian Maia? The guy who fucked wrestler Jon Fitch? Srsly does any one here do sports before commentating about what style better?

    • Maia- Multiple time champion in the Mundials, ADCC's, and other prestigious BJJ events.

      Fitch- Career record under .500 in his NCAA matches.

      You're not exactly comparing apples to apples here.

      I don't really do sports anymore, but I have in the past.

      • How you can compare this things? BJJ is not sport about submission, its sport about ground positions, how to pass the guard, how to hold side control, how to get a mount, so whenever in mma goes to the ground its all bjj… Wrestling does not teach you about guard passes, side control and mount. There are wrestlers who won olympics but never had execute a takedown in their life. So how you can even compare this things? The fact is you can't go into mma without bjj basics at all..

        • Stop calling things facts that are completely inaccurate.

          Please do some research about wrestling because you obviously no very little about it. Basically, everything you just said was complete bu llsh it.