The guard on death row
Mired in the black hole that was MMA in the 1990s, there were doubts -- some from people with serious financial interests in the sport -- that grappling would ever be tolerated on a grand scale. Punching with tiny gloves is easily understood and respected; a man wrapping his legs around another man's torso can meet with some resistance, for reasons ranging from homophobia to absolute boredom. Once fighters learned to avoid the traps of the closed guard, those situations turned into stalemates.
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