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Technically MMA: Intro + TUF 6 Finale Thoughts

Posted 12-09-2007 at 12:37 PM by

Hey all,

With the awesome new blog feature, and peeps posting blogs of all kinds, I decided that I wanted to start a little something of my own. I wanted it to be original, and something I wouldn't get bored of, so I came up with this.

Basically, I am going to discuss the finer, more technical aspects of MMA in my blog. I am no Randy Couture, but I know quite a bit about the economic and physical aspects of MMA, regarding the amateur and professional scene. I decide not to post all of my thoughts, opinions and knowledge in the forums, as people will probably don't take me seriously. Whatever. If you are reading this, you obviously trust what I am telling you, and will enjoy my style of blogging.

If there is an event coming up, I will post my predictions, as well as some of the possible technical outcomes. And after the fights, I will break them down, sort of like this blog. If I am caught in the middle, I will post some fun "special" blogs, to spread some wisdom.

Here it goes:

Technically MMA: TUF 6 Finale Thoughts

Alrighty. From what I saw of the TUF Finale last night, there was no dull fight on the whole card. From the slugging war of Troy vs. Richie, to Arroyo technically manhandling John, to the amazing comeback of Roger Huerta, there is a lot to be discussed.

Richie Hightower vs. Troy Mandaloniz

While most enjoyed this fight for the exciting display of slugging ability and the extremely fast pace, I enjoyed it for a completely different reason; Richie was knocked out by jab. Now let me get this straight with some of you guys that don't know the technical aspect of this. A jab is in no way thrown to be a knockout punch. Never. It is used primarily to set up combinations, create distance, or as a defensive punch. It is very, very rare for someone to be knocked out by a jab. It would be like a hockey player skating head on to a goalie, and literally passing the puck to the goalie, and scoring a goal. Jabs aren't knock out punches.

Then why did Richie get knocked out? No, it is not because he has a weak chin, it was probably because he was already rocked and very vulnerable. Troy had already connected with a flush knee and several other damaging shots throughout the fight, and Richie just needed to be hit to go down.

What else contributed to this? Well, watching the fight with a group of boxing fans, they were all calling Richie a bum and a can for getting knocked out by a jab. What they don't understand is that with 4 ounce gloves, even a jab can sting you quite nicely. Speaking from experience, if you get hit in an MMA fight with a sharp, crisp well timed jab, you well certainly be feeling the effects. Furthermore, Richie has no control of his feet, and sort of walked into the punch. It is sort of like the Melvin Guillard vs. Joe Stevenson fight. Joe rocked Melvin with the first punch he threw; a jab. Was it because Melvin's chin was weak, or Joe was an exceptionally hard striker? Perhaps. But the main reason was because Guillard had missed a series of wild punches, and was caught leaning.

I guess by looking at all those contributing factors, it is a bit more believable. Still, a good win for Troy and a fun fight.

Matt Arroyo vs. John Kolosci

Next up, we got Matt Arroyo vs. John Kolosci. Let me say, Matt worked a JJ clinic on John, throughout the fight. From tight guillotines, triangles, to the slick cage walk armbar, Arroyo's submission game looked impressive.

Something I wanted to comment on, was when Matt had an arm in guillotine, and Joe Rogan mentioned how it was hard to finish from that position. In case you couldn't put it together, it meant that John had an arm in between the choke, limiting the tightness of the submission. While Joe is right, it is harder to finish a guillotine with an arm dangling in their, it is not impossible. Once again to refer to Joe Stevenson's destruction of Melvin Guillard, Joe Daddy subbed Melvin, when Melvin still had an arm in there. Furthermore, when the defender has an arm in, it is usually just dangling there. They do not have much control and depending on how there arm in caught in, it can leave them exposed for a good BJJ guy to transition to a triangle, or perhaps even an arm bar. I don't think we have seen that inside the octagon yet, but I have seen that at a BJJ tournament, and trust me, it is one slick transition.

Another thing I wanted to mention was the moment when Matt had the loose triangle, and John attempted to powerbomb his way out of it. This is a popular means of getting out of the triangle nowadays, especially after the Jackson-Bomb on poor Ricardo Arona. Wrestlers that I roll with will try this a lot, but then they realize that if you try and slam out of a triangle that is even a little bit tight, there is a good chance that you will just be making it tighter. Not everyone has the strength of Quinton Jackson, to hoist someone that high, and drop them with so much force. A good example of this I can give you is in the fight between Tim Sylvia and Frank Mir. Sylvia tried to drop Frank on his head to break out of the arm bar, but rather made it even tighter and got his arm shattered for his efforts.

In finishing the fight with that beautiful arm bar, Matt showed the experience of a veteran, knowing his cage presence and pushing off the cage to gain leverage and to switch to the submission. Fighting in a cage, and rolling on the mats are very different, and for someone with only 3 fights, Matt really impressed me with that beautiful submission win.

Dan Barrera vs. Ben Saunders

In this real fun rematch, Ben Saunders showed that technique is greater then strength, power and drive, as he out worked Dan in all aspects of the game, winning a through UD.

Ben really, really impressed me last night. He showed brilliant skills in all parts of the fight. His striking, namely his kicks were very effective, and really scored him some needed points in the closer parts of the fight. His take down defense was really sharp, and he utilized his larger presence and limbs to successfully sprawl, and then work to take Dan's back numerous times in the fight. On top of this, his guard was one of the best defensive guards I have seen in the octagon.

Let's start out with the kicks. Ben's corner instructed their fighter to throw kicks, as they knew his long limbs would make it easy to connect with the much more stocky opponent. At one point, Ben actually landed a foot kick, as Dan sort of moved away from the strike. Kicks are a great way for a bigger/longer fighter to do damage in the stand up aspect and frustrate their opponent and also for a smaller man to break down the bigger man or create some distance. Pedro Rizzo exemplified the latter to brilliance in his career. Ben's kicks were a deciding factor in this fight, as they arguably stole him round 2, and helped him dominate the final round en route to victory.

The final thing I wanted to comment on was Ben's great ground work. He followed on with the pattern of using his size to his advantage, as he executed the rubber guard nicely defensively, and offensively, setting up submissions. On top of this, his use of the body triangle or "anaconda" as Joe Rogan put it, was very slick. Once again, his tallness allowed him to control Dan from the back with this tactic, and it is a move I'd love to see others use more effectively in MMA.


Video of the Week:

Every week/blog, I will leave readers with a video or two to reflect on what I discussed. Here are this week's videos.

Sorry for the crap quality, but this was the only streaming one I could find. I referred to this fight twice in my blog. It will show you Melvin getting rocked by a jab, and being subbed with an arm in guillotine. Suckly enough, they don't have a good slow mo of the jab rockage, but it is the first punch he lands. Watch as he catches Melvin after some wild swinging and how Melvin goes backwards. And this fight shows perfectly the arm in guillotine to triangle transition I was talking about. Well at least if you are a BJJ guy, you can see the opening.

Bob Sapp vs. Nog. I know, it is Bob Sapp, but this a great fight that shows how JJ can overwhelm shear power. And it is funny too.


Hope you enjoyed the blog. Feedback would be great.

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    kds13's Avatar
    Great blog, BP. Hightower getting KO'd with the jab had me stunned. I watched the replay and just couldn't believe it. He walked into it a little, but it was obvious he was rocked already.

    And on the arm in guillotine transition to a triangle, I just went to a BJJ comp. in Tulsa with my instructor and he pulled that off to win his first match. For anyone who hasn't seen it....its freakin slick.
    Posted 12-09-2007 at 02:47 PM by kds13 kds13 is offline
    Damone's Avatar
    Nice review, brownpimp, and I also laughed at Richie being whomped.

    Arroyo could be something with the proper training. His ground game is solid, but his stand-up needs work. He'd be in deep shit if he faced guys with great TD defense. But yeah, that sub was swank.
    Posted 12-10-2007 at 06:51 PM by Damone Damone is offline
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