Photo: Lucas Noonan/Bellator MMA

Goiti Yamauchi Channels Bruce Lee For Win at Bellator 284

“Be water my friend.” -Bruce Lee

Goiti Yamauchi defeated Neiman Gracie in the main event of Bellator 284. The two submission artists decided to forego the grappling and trade blows to determine who the better overall fighter was. Yamauchi in the post-fight media scrum said strategy and planning went out the window and channeled Bruce Lee’s “be water” philosophy as the fight went on.

“I don’t believe in strategies,” Yamauchi said when talking about how the knock-out finish came. “I believe in adapting. Just like Bruce Lee said being like water you gotta adapt for all kinds of situations because, I know my training camp, I know what I what I’m gonna do but I don’t know what he’s going to do.  Neiman, he’s a hell of a fighter. he’s a hell of a grappler.”

It was not surprising to see Yamauchi and Gracie test their striking against one another. While both men are seasoned grapplers, in mixed martial arts competition there are many ways to win and it was obvious in round one that they were looking to see who had better striking. Gracie has shown improvement in his striking when he picked up a TKO victory at UFC 266 against Mark Lemminger but it was not better than Yamauchi’s at Bellator 284.

Yamauchi added, “His last couple of fights, he was just a striker. So, you have to be ready to deal with all kinds of situations. I couldn’t see what he wanted to do because I know he was coming in with a strategy. But, like I said I’m a great believer in it’s all about me and what I want to do, not so much about my opponent.”

The phrase “jack of all trades and master none,” is often thrown around amongst the martial arts community when it comes to MMA. It is usually used to knock the fast-growing sport but Bruce Lee’s “be water” philosophy about adapting actually encompasses the full quote, which is:

“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”

It’s pretty much what MMA is all about and Yamauchi is proof that the best style, is the one that adapts to what’s happening.

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