Too Hot Too Cold just Right

What we have gathered from watching the experiment in the UFC’s 185 division is a lesson on someone that’s hit the Goldilocks zone and someone that’s just missed it. This is clear when you look at Robert Whittaker and Yoel Romero. Robert is a guy we can say is in the Goldilocks zone his training and skill with experience has hit a level where he is a concern for everyone in the division and you have to ask who can beat him. Yoel is not the opposite case but rather a case of it maybe too late.
Yoels international competition experience and experience on the mats and in grappling in general have made him a problem everywhere, Yoels striking or rather finding a style for his age and build was the hard part. The Cuban striking scientist in Florida have figured it out and you see the development from the Machida fight to now, the culmination of that development was seen in the Rockhold fight where Yoel used that Archie Moore style using his biceps to catch, selective strikes, and explosive parrys. The issue seems to be Yoel has just figured this out while he’s on the precipice of his body no longer being able to compete in the way he would like. When you juxtapose the two the skill can be seen as equal while the differences are seen in experience and the body’s abilities to function at the highest level for 5×5 in the UFC as well as the training leading up to said bout. It’s a recurring joke on JRE but father time is undefeated, Yoel is father times toughest fight in MMA history but the long the fight goes the more definitive the lose will be for Yoel. You can only accommodate loss of function be it for whatever reason from cardio, flexibility, etc for so long in MMA before the next young lion figures out there next year that experience can’t overcome. Does this mean Yoel should hang it up because he can’t beat Robert… obviously not (he said with a chuckle) it’s more so a look at the bouts on paper with a deep introspective look at the fighters involved.

I had a conversation with Brendan Dorman (from YouTube and Obviously Fight Talk) that along with Yoel seeming to just narrowly miss the mark he on a longevity standpoint is showing what the human capacity is, by that I mean he’s got fused discs in his neck and a lifetime of international highest level wrestling competition in the madhouse of Cuba. Yoel is a pioneer in that way, sometimes we needed to be reminded that the exception is obtainable but the price maybe a shorter window for success. When your window is post peak years of your physical capacity being an exception to the rule is a good thing to have but the skill and style has been built. So I say that to say I would love to see a guy like Woodley in his later years adopt this style, and we see him implementing it now. So that’s my take on Yoel and Roberts lessons to the world, if you need me I’ll be in my office writing and listening to the Powercast.

Yoels international competition experience and experience on the mats and in grappling in general have made him a problem everywhere, Yoels striking or rather finding a style for his age and build was the hard part. The Cuban striking scientist in Florida have figured it out and you see the development from the Machida fight to now, the culmination of that development was seen in the Rockhold fight where Yoel used that Archie Moore style using his biceps to catch, selective strikes, and explosive parrys. The issue seems to be Yoel has just figured this out while he’s on the precipice of his body no longer being able to compete in the way he would like. When you juxtapose the two the skill can be seen as equal while the differences are seen in experience and the body’s abilities to function at the highest level for 5×5 in the UFC as well as the training leading up to said bout. It’s a recurring joke on JRE but father time is undefeated, Yoel is father times toughest fight in MMA history but the long the fight goes the more definitive the lose will be for Yoel. You can only accommodate loss of function be it for whatever reason from cardio, flexibility, etc for so long in MMA before the next young lion figures out there next year that experience can’t overcome. Does this mean Yoel should hang it up because he can’t beat Robert… obviously not (he said with a chuckle) it’s more so a look at the bouts on paper with a deep introspective look at the fighters involved.

I had a conversation with Brendan Dorman (from YouTube and Obviously Fight Talk) that along with Yoel seeming to just narrowly miss the mark he on a longevity standpoint is showing what the human capacity is, by that I mean he’s got fused discs in his neck and a lifetime of international highest level wrestling competition in the madhouse of Cuba. Yoel is a pioneer in that way, sometimes we needed to be reminded that the exception is obtainable but the price maybe a shorter window for success. When your window is post peak years of your physical capacity being an exception to the rule is a good thing to have but the skill and style has been built. So I say that to say I would love to see a guy like Woodley in his later years adopt this style, and we see him implementing it now. So that’s my take on Yoel and Roberts lessons to the world, if you need me I’ll be in my office writing and listening to the Powercast.

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Find what’s useful

 

Expanded thoughts lead to nonsense and brilliant innovation, take a look at Pat and Rose. They literally as a couple live the thesis of MMA, it’s a Musashi, Bruce Lee, etc quote. Utilize what is useful and set aside the nonsense. You see this in the way Rose lives her life she gets rid of the crazy nonsense with Joanna she just didn’t entertain her stuff, she is still doing that now. Pat discussed this idea on the JRE and from looking at the video the proof is there. The drill focuses just from my eye as a coach on getting full extension, accuracy, and recovery from the shots thrown. Full extension on accurate punches is more difficult than it seems because the eyes and body have to react as one so tracking the target and then rotating through said target, but the target is traveling at a rate of speed making throwing with the full body behind the strike were the bulk of training is happening. Now recovery is not based on cardio it’s the recovery of the limb thrown back to the guard and while tracking the next target. I’m sure Pat is looking for these things off the top but he more than likely has other looks he gauging like speed on lateral foot work to and from as well as off angle.

Will this help in the fight, thats a bad question whether it helps in this fight is odd this will help in all fights. I through this drill into the spectrum of on the line between sport specific and developing pure athleticism. Rose is a explosive athlete with breakneck cardio, her athletic ability is damn near tied with her skill level. She is the closest to Mighty Mouse in that regard, it’s uncanny. Now will this help in the JJ rematch, yes because the most basic punches hit Joanna and forced her back, those being 123. The jab opened her up or rather showed Rose the needle hole in which to throw the 2 which cracked her and the straights logically opened the way for the lead 3 its know different from middleweight Roy Jones or young Mayweather in boxing thank Trevor Wittman for that added sauce. With better accuracy Rose should be able to deliver everyone of these shots with more power because tracking Joanna body is simple comparison to a tennis ball. Big object of mass moving at lesser rate of speed is easier locate. I think this is one of those drills that will be copied at every camp moving forward.

Humanities Forge

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Humanities forge is Martial Arts, that may or may not be an esoteric statement to some, however, that idea is still challenged by a large majority of people sighting that idea as toxic and masculine. To that I say, Mackenzie Dern and Holly Holm, like Frankie Edgar and heart you can find people as centred and kind but you will not find anyone kinder. Let us just nip this now, martial arts are not in themselves masculine or feminine it’s a study in optimizing your human existence. Much like Rogans quote about martial arts being the vehicle for developing your human potential which is very true. What I’m expressing is the journey that martial arts buts you on is one in which you can do nothing more difficult over your lifetime other than war or fighting fires. The physical part is where the masculine gets injected by people just looking from the outside, why because that is all surface. Martial Arts in itself is a full body exercise that has been tried and tested forever and with steady results. You’re forging your body now that sound crude but its very artistic, a Katana is a beautiful piece of metal work as well as the deadliest eastern blade type of all time. The path is the path and its non-discriminant on background nor gender or self-identification. Why state that well because the martial arts path or teaching is simple these things work and you can test it and figure that out fast does keeping your hands up in the pocket work well test it with your hands down and get hit in the face experiment done. There is a built-in immediate testing phase in martial arts. A punch, kick, choke, and endurance only gets better with work and there is no distinction other than speed and power when comparing in gender and from there within weight and height (ie Cyborg and Rose or Mighty Mouse and Francis).

 

Now, what’s the forging process that’s the simple process that is very difficult double negative I know, it’s a simple process that beginners make difficult, why? The forging begins when you walk in the door for the first time, then the heat starts under increased stress that is actually minimal but seen as very intense when compared to how easy regular life is today. The stressor is the shock you system gets put in on those initial first days. However after you tough it out a couple of times it gets very easy and you wonder why you were complaining only 2 days ago. Next is the levels at which you progress things get more detailed and the learning builds and builds like anything else. The impurities are constantly getting burned off and reformed when new tactics and understanding of techniques are introduced and built on. The blade or armour etc is never really finished it’s constantly being worked on the smelting and forming will eventually be done but the polishing and sharpening are never done. The journey is for perfection which bleeds over into how you live your life outside of martial arts. Knowing that you will always be the farthest thing from perfect is the endless wheel we run on because you dream and reach high and if you come up short you still lept.  

Uppercut or Starter’s Pistol?

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The progression of MMA is here and now after this weekend but my viewpoint on it is a tad bit different than the average fan. Frankie is not done he needs a break while evaluating his options be it at 145lbs and 135lbs (his natural weight class folks lol). So with Brians win this past weekend as well as the wins from Mackenzie Dern, Sean O’Malley, Ketlen Vieira, and Cody Stamann. However, this night of fights wasn’t that crazy for the new generation this is more a smaller snowball effect, from Cody beating Dom but then losing to TJ Max beating Aldo twice Conor at 155 with Tony and Khabib. There are countless other examples from early in 2016 to now, case in point Israel Adesanya who has the most potential to be the new generations GOAT.  Now my thoughts on the new wave taking over are two sides of the same coin, they have a long way to go still skill wise and dominance wise because of recent wins from the old guard and the lack of new blood in certain divisions. Champs like Rose, Mouse, TJ, Woodley, DC, Whitaker, and Stipe are dominant fighters from the tail end of that MMA exploding generation of 2008 to present.

 

The WEC, Strikeforce, and Bodog fighters that got absorbed by the UFC extended the generational timeline for the early 2000 generation of fighters because they were really one group in the same. This is more so the beginning of the measurable data versus a gut feeling about the progress, why because the data is now seen in 155 lbs, 145 lbs, and at 135 lbs. Lower weight classes are usually where we see the trends coming from, the lower the weight class the more skill and faster turnaround of skills which intern speeds up evolution. The more dramatic injection that we can look at is on the woman’s side of the game with Cyborg finally being recognized as well as the intro of Mackenzie Dern and “Thug” Rose coming full circle this is more so the new generation take over with Cris being the outlier like a GSP. At the end of the day, this metric can only be measured with wins and losses which are a contest of milliseconds and centimetres generally. Lastly to bring it full circle once the Frankie Edgar versus BJ Penn domination of a 5 round fight happens or the TJ versus Barao performance happens in more than just two weight classes I can say with no reservations about declaring the new generation a mainstay.

 

-Later folks  

The Art of the Parry

our Something that Luke Thomas spoke about during his post-fight analysis of the Yoel Romero Luke Rockhold bout, the parry. The parry is the ability to deflect and smother strikes with your body to reduce damage from say a severe strike to a minor knick here and there. The limbs that typically parry strikes are the arms mainly the bicep and palms. Biceps are not big in combat arts for power typically, at a certain point size in arms hits a diminishing return think bodybuilders punching it looks like they would be powerful but speed is power, not size. The ability to meet that equilibrium is important to be able to parry. Once the equality between the arm size and speed to react and counter still will lead you to actually start deflecting shots.

Starting with the Old man special the cross guard block, yes a block first to understand the parry you have to learn to take shots on the arm without freaking out. So cross arm technique one arm across the top guarding from your nose down exposing the top of the eyes and forehead. Cross the lead arm across leading side of the chest down to your rear lower body.  

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Next, we move to a parry counter 2, 3, or 6 which leads to the Dutchie and your basic kickboxing combinations. Now we start the parry understanding to parry initially is just to smother a punch which jams the opponent up for a split second which gives you an opening. Here is the parry counter of the lines of the cross guard, once you feel the shot usually a straight punch to at the beginning with because the hook is another layer that comes with comfort and time. Once you feel the touch you have to recognize the feet there’s an adage in fighting that once you through a punch you’re out of position so it’s about who gets there first. Now the parry elongates that period your opponent will be out of position for in which time you land your counter.
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Now we get into the strict parry starting with the cross arm parry. As the name implies you cross your lead arm underneath the rear arm, either circle out while separating your arms while you move to dissipate any power. Observe Yoels movements below to understand the body mechanics because of Yoels size it’s easy to learn from him because he’s not moving as fast as Mouse nor is he as small as Mouse making him a great example.

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Lastly, the most flashy parry is the open arm parry where you are more or less catching the punch and turning the hands outward to deflect punches. Then you have the ability to deflect and parry shots off your forearm due to the speed in which you can react with your hands to advantage is a more speedy recovery. The downside is the open nature of the arm as you can see Luke slipped through the guard even though Yoel was aware of the shots coming. Now, this is a highly advanced practice that needs to be trained on pads and understood before it can be applied into practice. Don’t be the mark in the gym trying to do this in sparring on the first-day work through it on pads study video to really gain an understanding because what I’m providing is a cursory idea of the movements.

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-Later Folks

Beast vs Super Samo

Hunt versus Lewis 

 

 

Hunt the K-1 Champion high-level ever-improving takedown defence, versus Derrick Lewis who’s a legendary heavyweight Boxing trainer Larry Holms with an ever improving fluid striking game and improved cardio. Name of the game is a striking war this fight on the mat won’t happen I think, Hunts kickboxing experience and flowing in and out of striking styles. This bout could end fast or it could be a very interesting long fight.

Breaking it down Derrick needs to stay on Hunt and look for his shots behind the jab, no dipping down vertically because that’s how you catch a 6 from Hunt. The 1 and 2ares where he is safe because of the height and the power factor he creates being bigger. If Frank gets into a slugfest it is ill-advised and rarely works out for the person going to war with Hunt the man’s got steel in his chin. On the ground,  if Derrick wins he has very good wrestling defence subbing Hunt is not really a factor.  It’s pretty much a given that if Hunt lands its lights out for Derrick and if Derrick lands it could be lights out as well.

For Hunt to win he needs to use that striking, the K-1 stamp is something only 2 other UFC fighters have ironically they both are heavyweights…go figure can use. Marks 6, 5, 4, 3, and 2 are atomic bombs that are pro boxer sharp he hides them behind devastating leg kicks and switches leg kicks and that wonderous footwork. Hunt rolls shots like Duran and Archie Moore from the shoulder and off the neck roll and chin roll. If he leg kicks Derrick be sure to watch the punch he sets up off that kick. Front leg kick followed by a 2 or 3 rear leg kick followed by a shovel 4 or straight 2 then cold stiffness is usually followed. Hunt if he can tag up Derrick, may want to pressure him with footwork and get to the outside shoulder against the cage and dropping an 5 or 6 ends the bout like his classic walk-offs have usually ended. Staying off the mats for any extended time is paramount, Hunts a purple belt so I’m not super worried about him there.

Okay, I’m rolling with my man Marky Mark Super Samoan Hunt, I’m K-1 loyal and love the new Hunt with his weight loss and commitment to AKA Thailand where he can tighten up his striking with the OGs in Thailand like he did for those K-1 shows. I think this is the biggest test for Derrick Lewis. That’s my take I know the UFC are trying to push Derrick with a high profile test while having Hunt play gatekeeper.

 

Run That Back

Amanda Nunes vs Valentina Shevchenko

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Well the rematch at 135 is gonna be intense because both women are high-level fighters everywhere unlike where the division use to be like all things progression. Each of these women’s striking is up there, Valentina obviously has the edge with a  Muay Thai championship and all beating Joanna. Not to be ignored is Amanda’s boxing power and IQ when it comes to the mid-range, her ability to throw all sorts of kicks is also an important element to her game. Amanda’s striking is like Conors flash to draw the eyes and then plant a canon on the chin. The difference between her and Conor is a laterally evasive movement which she doesn’t really show a lot and the very nice leg kicks that Conor doesn’t use excluding the Nate fight. Now on the mats, Amanda has that edge and I’ll explain why gassing out was an issue in the last fight but it’s not because Vals got this crazy gas tank either. Both are close in talent level and ability it’s just Amanda’s pressure and power give her the edge and gave her the edge in the first fight.

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Amanda’s power is a real concern at 135 she hits hard like hard….Metro Boomin hard. Now her gas tank isn’t the issue like people are suggesting, in the last fight, she had Val hurt and was teeing off on her for a full round so yeah she might have been a little tired after that kind of adrenaline dump like that. Now if that were to happen again and you give Val that 3rd round I’m almost positive she would have been recovered for the 5th round and it would have looked a lot like the 1st and 2nd rounds, mainly because she wasn’t hit with as much devastation as she hit Val with, Val mainly controlled her from the top. The game plan for Amanda is similar to the first fight. Amanda I believe should feint in vs the bull rush like Holly, because you will get checked, leg kick leg kicks leg kicks and redirection with hooks before dropping straights….pretty standard stuff. Val is totally different get Amanda to respect your power speed and the wrestling so in the 1st round make her respect the shot then the speed and power so she doubles back when she enters to strike then pick apart from range before doing any spinning attacks or shooting for real. Lastly, Val should stay off the cage, I think, unlike Holly whose power is in those legs, Amanda will punch and kicks with heavy power so be advised get off the cage fast quick and in a hurry.

 

-Interesting rematch for sure