Originally Posted by Soojooko
Thing is, Brazil is the best place in the world to play soccer when growing up. It's played *everywhere*. You have everything you need in Brazil to become an elite football player, even if you are born to a family with no money and you have a poor education.
But when it comes to MMA, you simply can not get by without some wrestling. And learning this particular skill is bordering on impossible for a poor kid growing up in Brazil. For some of these TUF kids, training with Chael is an opportunity to learn shit they may never have access to again.
Sorry to disagree on both paragraphs.
The first one is just not true, specially the bold part, and we have already a few documentaries stating how difficult it is to get a spot on a lower than low soccer team and actually making a salary for yourself alone. I understand this is not the general idea international community has, but it is what it is.
It is considered a real lottery to get a job in a small team, where talent will certainly help, but without luck and the right people to guide you, you won't be able to pay for your own expenses and normally will have to have a second job or give up your dream for good. A Cinderella story has this connotation of reaching success throughout all odds and adversities, which are countless in Brazil.
For the second paragraph, you can certainly count a good Jiu Jitsu base to be not less than equivalent to the "some wrestling" required you mentioned. Yes, it is important to learn wrestling when heading toward the big dogs in MMA, but in US, wrestling is part of school/college curriculum, in Brazil, not really, and during a TUF time span, Chael won`t be able teach more than tips to his team. Therefore, the old and good BJJ will have to do it for the grappling aspect.
A good BJJ base plus striking is match for wrestling + striking, not less. Remember most elite wrestlers use their wrestling skills to maintain the fight standing when facing an elite BJJ fighter, so their striking will be the differential in that case.