Point-fighting standout Tedrick Macklin analyzes MMA transition, says there’s merit to stigma: ‘You have to be realistic’

Tedrick Macklin grew up a point-fighter, but that doesn’t mean he wholly disagrees with some of the criticism of the fighting style.

A rising prospect on the Texas regional scene, Macklin (3-0) has trucked every opponent thrown his way over the course of his short professional career. But his combat sports competition started long before MMA.

A taekwondo black belt, Macklin began in the discipline at age 6. He won a state title and eventually competed internationally for the International Sport Karate Association (ISKA) in continuous point-fighting.

That’s his background, his foundation, his roots – and Macklin doesn’t mind the “point-fighter” tag. At the same time, he understands the criticism. He’s not a discipline homer. Sometimes, he admitted, aspects don’t work in MMA.

“There are things that you do at the average level of point-fighting that’ll get you hurt in MMA. That’s what I truly do believe,” Macklin recently told MMA Junkie. “The people who have been doing it as long as I have, the lifelong martial artists and the big names like Stephen Thompson and Raymond Daniels and Michael Page, they’ve been doing it their whole lives. Their understanding of distance management is elite.

“If you sleep on them like, ‘They’re trying to just pitter-patter and whatnot,’ and you sleep on their distance, it’s a good way to be put to sleep. I think there’s really a place for it in MMA who really dedicate their time to the right moves that translate well.”

Some point-fighters over-rely on what works in a single discipline and don’t acknowledge what won’t work in a sport with takedowns and clinches. Macklin doesn’t think he’ll fall into that trap, because his venture into MMA stemmed from an acknowledgment he wasn’t competing in a full discipline.

“I started watching Anderson Silva, GSP, Jon Jones, and there was something beautiful about it,” Macklin said. “There was something so exciting and real about it. What I was doing was fun, but MMA was so real.”

Since 2016, Macklin has competed in MMA. His transition hasn’t been perfect, but who’s is? One of the big surprises for him during his development is how point-fighting knowledge has translated to unrelated disciplines like wrestling.

“Martial arts, to me, is relative,” Macklin said. “I don’t believe there is anything wrong with point-fighting but you have to be realistic with the type of opponent you’re fighting or the type of style you’re fighting and what you can use. I think point-fighting is also good, even from a wrestling perspective. I’ve had a lot of people tell me my wrestling (isn’t bad). A lot of people are surprised I didn’t wrestle in high school or at a collegiate level. What they don’t understand that was really easy transition to wrestling was my understanding of distance management and blitzing and shooting kind of translated really well.”

Macklin, 26, returns to action Sunday at Fury FC 70 in Edinburg, Texas against Brexton Everett (1-3). After two opponent dropouts, Macklin is just excited to get back in there and take one step closer to locking in a long-term contract with a major promotion.

“I’m open to any good organization if they see the value in me first,” Macklin said. “Let’s play it by ear. I want to go smash these Fury FC lightweights and show they’re good but I’m better. I think there’s a lot to me that people still haven’t seen. I honestly feel I’m the most dangerous upcoming prospect in that aspect.”

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie