Jean-Claude Van Damme could actually be onto something with his UFC fighter criticism
Jean-Claude Van Damme may have made a valid point about the standard of kicking in the UFC.
When we clocked the "Muscles from Brussels" weighing in his opinion on MMA, our initial thought was probably the same as everyone else - we may have another Steven Seagal on our hands.
However, rather than try to claim he invented a kick that has been around for millennia, JCVD was critical of the kicking game of the majority of UFC fighters. And you know what, he could be right.
In an interview with TMZ, the Bloodsport and Kickboxer star claimed standard of kicking in the world's largest MMA promotion is "a mess". He believes that the art of kicking hasn't been getting the focus and attention it deserves, but he expects this to be rectified in the near future.
"They are missing, they are out of balance. Thank god they have good jiu-jitsu."
"And some guys have good eyes to kick in the right position when the guy is off balance, but to lift your leg, and arm your leg like a fist ... you think people are good fighter right now in the UFC, wait five years."
Van Damme cited legendary kickboxer Bill Wallace as someone whose techniques UFC fighters should be adopting. Wallace finished his career undefeated in 23 professional bouts and was praised for his ability to disguise kicks so that opponents were unable to predict whether they were going to land up top or to the body.
"Wait five years when the (kicks) are coming in. When people have (kicks) like in the old times, like Bill Wallace - google Bill Wallace. Those guys were amazing, but it took years."
This is a fair comparison to make, especially when you look at the impressive run fifth degree Kempo Karate black belt Stephen Thompson has gone on in the welterweight division.
Thompson has gone on the rampage, winning seven of his eight fights in the UFC, falling short only to the incredibly tough Matt Brown in his sophomore appearance inside the Octagon.
One of the keys to Thompson's success has been his kicking game. His ability to start high kicks and body kicks from the exact same position has been bamboozling the 170 lb's elite, as former champion Johnny Hendricks found out in UFC Fight Night 82's main event.
However, as the great Jack Slack pointed out, this is not revolutionary by any means. Wallace implement similar techniques while he was dominating the kickboxing world.
So perhaps Van Damme is right. Maybe the best way to progress is to look back through history and adopt what has worked so well in the past.