Re: MMA as catalyst for change in Aikido?
Kevin, I agree with that elaboration.
They are your "foot in the door" that allows you to deal with the immediacy of the confrontation and to gain control of it. Once in control, you're in a better position to pull out more refined movement if it is called for in the particular situation.
I've yet to see someone who can consistently (i.e. through tactical skill, not luck) finesse an initial move requiring fine motor skills in the beginning of a confrontation.