What is the best body type for fighting?
No two people are a like and in a sport such as mixed martial arts where all you have is what you were put onto this earth with those differences can make or break the fight. Some people are naturally bigger or stronger than others while some are smaller but more agile. In mixed martial arts one needs to be able to recognize where they can use their body type to their own advantage to come out on top.
There are three main body types that one can fall into, ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph. An ectomorph has a narrower body, short torso, longer arms and legs, and longer thinner muscles. Mesomorphs have a broad chest and shoulders with solid muscle mass. Lastly an endomorph has softer muscle with rounded features and generally more fat storage.
An ectomorph can be classified as the smaller quicker men of the fighting world. Although they lack large muscles and the strength of other body types they can make up for it with their reach and/or speed and agility. A fighter like Anderson Silva can use his reach and agility to stand up with anyone that foolishly tries to compete with his striking ability. However the trade off is that usually the smaller muscle mass relates to hindered grappling performance.
The poster-boy for this body type should be Manny Pacquiao. He is a boxer and not an MMA fighter but regardless his case should be made. Even though he is clearly smaller than his opponents his speed and unrelenting striking can keep almost anybody at bay as seen below.
A mesomorph is the typical athletic body type that one thinks of for someone such as a linebacker, built like a brick s**t house. Their broad chest and shoulders provide a great anchor for their bulkier muscles. Their striking capability lacks overall agility and speed but that doesn’t mean that their strikes cant be fast and brutal. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson would fall into this category and he is known for his power and knockout capabilities in the ring.
In the grappling game this body type generally has the advantage over the other body types as well. Since they generally have shorter bulkier muscles they have more control over their appendages when working the ground game.
An endomorph is not the body type that one normally expects to be an athlete or a MMA fighter. However, linemen in football take advantage of this body type and in recent times one fighter in particular, Roy “Big Country” Nelson, has taken full advantage of this body type when fighting in the octagon. The bulk associated with this body type can be tossed around and used to add power to compensate for lack of speed. Another advantage is that the extra fat generally stored by this body type proved a layer of protection and could easily get in the way of attacks in grappling.
So Which is Best?
In short no one body type can be listed as the best for fighting in MMA. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. The best fighter knows what his body is capable of and how to use that to his advantage over the other fighter, who if he is any good will be using his own body type to his advantage. He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior -Confucius.