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Old 07-21-2010, 03:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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MMA Reach Discussion

Hey guys, I just wanted some opinions on the way reach is measured in MMA and you can even throw boxing into the equation (where it's used more effectively for the most part).

Now, I know that reach is measured as wingspan (not sure if it includes fingertips or a fist, think it's fingertips which is less accurate, but not my point), and that the 'real' reach is half the wingspan from end of arm to the body's midpoint.

This is the distance needed to hit someone in the face (nose really), or midpoint of their body if they're sideways as I understand. Now, I was having a discussion with a friend, as I believe that although two fighters may have the same reach, the one with longer arms (and a narrower torso) has the advantage from a defensive standpoint over the more Brock Lesnar built guy with shorter arms and very broad shoulders.

I think it's 'easier' to hit a Brock bodytype than it would be to hit a Jon Bones Jones bodytype (let's forget there's a 3.5 inch reach advantage for Bones in this case. Just bodytype taken into account). I think the point from the shoulder/armpit to the body's midpoint is easier to get to for the opponent (whether it be 10 inches or 15 inches) than if that same 10-15 inches was part arm/part shoulder to mid-point.

Does this make sense?

In other words even though they're the same distance apart, long arms are a better indicator of effective reach than someone with t-rex arms like Sherk and a huge torso. At least in the example of being on the defensive. You can wave your arms around and pull a Nick/Nate Diaz and not get hit as much as if you were a Sean Sherk doing the same thing, regardless of how broad his shoulders are, as the distance (for the purpose of my post) is the same from fingertips to midpoint, but the effectiveness of their reaches is far different.

Can someone please explain to me if I'm wrong? I realize from an offensive standpoint, you twist your body into your punch, but I think using half the wingspan is far more accurate for measuring reach than the full wingspan as no fighter actually extends their dominant arm behind them as a target to be hit. Yet, 'part' of it is still used. Most fighters hold their dominant fist just at the back of their neck area, above their dominant pectoral - I'd guess maybe adding 6-10 inches of reach to the 'midpoint' number.

For Bones Jones this would be 84.5/2 = 42.25+ my estimate of 6-10 inches.


Even so, I have indicated why I think there are different types of reach, and wonder when 'leg reach' will be incorporated into MMA if ever.

In closing, I will ask if anyone has an example of a fight they've seen where two fighters had the same reach, but one obviously had far longer arms and one had the broader shoulders?

I'd like to see long arms dominate this fight from that standpoint to prove my friend wrong :P

Last edited by boatoar : 07-21-2010 at 03:41 AM.
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