Posts Tagged ‘GSP’

Takedowns in MMA

Posted: April 20, 2013 in Articles
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A takedown is the technique of getting your opponent off balance and taking them to the ground, generally landing on top. This is most often done by taking their legs out from under them after driving in like a football tackle. This is known as “shooting”.

Other takedowns include body locks and leg trips. These are also used frequently but you are most likely going to see a fighter “shoot” for the takedown rather then attempt a leg trip.

GSP’s takedowns are nothing unique. They are very explosive but they are still just a takedown. GSP focuses on making his opponents off balance before attempting the takedowns. He baits them into thinking they are having a striking contest and he shoots in. A good example of this is when he fought Thiago Alves. GSP threw an out of range jab so Alves would lean back to avoid it and he capitalized on Alves off balance position and drove in for a successful takedown.

Jon Jones is an entirely different animal. He uses a lot of clinch takedowns, throws and leg trips. Having the size,strength and technique advantage helps too. He dislocated Hamills shoulder with a leg trip, and a good one at that. Hamill flipped near upside down, landing on and dislocating his shoulder. This of course led to Jones illegal elbows and his only loss.

Judo is not a big part in MMA because it doesnt translate well into it. A few have failed to stay at the top using this art. The one person who has been continuously successful with Judo is Ronda Rousey. Ronda uses hip throws and leg trips to get her opponents to the mat and then its the same old story. Rousey doesn’t have much in the way of striking offense or defense, so her judo has been the deciding factor in every fight.

Josh Thomson uses a leg trip that I never see coming. Since it is successful most of the time, I guess his opponents don’t either. He used it most recently in the later rounds of Melendez 3 and is successful, it also secures the round for him.

Scoring takedowns in MMA is a controversial subject that always seems to end in argument. Some say if you can put your opponent on his back and nullify him, you deserve the round. Others say holding is not winning.

Cain Velasquez is known for his relentless takedowns and ground-and-pound. Never a dull fight, he doesn’t give his opponent a second to breathe. Wrestlers such as Ben Askren, Jon Fitch and occasionally GSP are hated due to their “blanket” style, keeping the opponent warm until the buzzer sounds. They have had fighters so gassed by Round 3 yet refuse to go for the sub. It is fighters like these that cause the arguments. They will be losing the battle on the feet,drag the opponent down and keep them there for the majority of the round. When the opponent finally gets back up, they go for an immediate takedown.

I can only imagine the hardship for the judges. I’ve always wondered what their criteria is for takedowns.

Many fighters complain about the decisions. “I guess a couple BS takedowns go a long way!” In the end, this is the fight game and if you have something that works..use it.

MMA INVASION

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Georges St Pierre VS Nick Diaz

“Stockton Motherf***er!”. The king of talking crap and the Stockton Slap,Nick Diaz. Rarely does a fighter coming off a loss get the opportunity to fight for the title, but when the iron is still hot you should probably strike.

Sporting a record of 26-8,Nick Diaz brawls like no other. He uses his famous Diaz boxing to get the job done,mixing in pot shots with the weak to surprise his opponent. In 2009, Frank Shamrock criticized Diaz boxing from the pre-fight interviews to the body shot that dropped him to the mat.  If you ask him about it today, he’ll praise the style.

The Stockton Native has no fear or common sense, Relentlessly attacking Paul Daley in a 2011 Strikeforce bout  turned boxing match. Diaz punched his way to a TKO after getting dropped earlier in the round. Fighters with the high level ground game that Diaz possesses would NEVER stand with Daley. I guess recklessness prevails sometimes.

Nick Diaz has had trouble with wrestlers in the past. He lost 3 in a row in 2006 to Sanchez,Riggs and Sherk. Nick also lost a split to Karo Parisyan  in ’04. Since his rise to fame in Strikeforce, he has never signed to fight a single wrestler. 5 strikers followed by his UFC re-debut against BJ Penn and a loss to Carlos Condit. Condit was also his first well rounded striker in years and he couldn’t mount much of an offense in 25 minutes seeing as Carlos didn’t stand in front of him. GSP will be the first wrestler he fought since ’06 against Sean Sherk

Georges St. Pierre, The current and most dominant Welterweight Champion ever seen in the UFC. Once fighting like a man possessed, with 14 fights and 10 early finishes, Matt Serra‘s come-from-behind upset victory changed him. After beating Serra in the rematch by TKO, he went on to have 6 of his next 7 fights go to the judges. He was so afraid to risk anything anymore that he traded in his arsenal for a lunging jab and a gymnastics class.

His wrestling is his main weapon these days. Georges‘ wrestling technique is so far above the competition that after the takedown is secured, you can guarantee yourself a couple minutes to grab something from the kitchen. His takedowns are nothing special though, it’s all in his delivery, making you think you’re in a striking match and then shooting on you. Diaz will not have a chance against GSP. Though he plays it safe nowadays, his arsenal of; lunging jabs, superman punches and spinning kicks, should pass the Diaz boxing test. If not, His wrestling will be more than enough to nullify Nick for a unanimous decision. This will be the best beat down GSP has ever given. Let’s just hope Nick Diaz doesn’t fail the Pre-fight drug test and shows up for the fight. This will prove he doesn’t belong in the title picture at WW.

My Prediction : GSP takes this by unanimous decision. GSP WON A UNI DEC

Johny Hendricks VS Carlos Condit

Carlos Condit‘s striking GREATLY improved since his UFC debut. He began putting more power behind his punches, knocking out Dan Hardy and Dong Hyun Kim in back to back wins early in the first round. He gave Georges St Pierre one of the toughest fights of his career in his last outing, won a Fight of the Night award for his performance, kept the best wrestler in the UFC away from side control and even knocked him down with a well placed head kick in the third.

Fear the beard! Johny Hendricks is the definition of one punch power. Known for knocking out Martin Kampmann and Jon Fitch in a combined 58 seconds. His only loss is a unanimous decision to Rick Story that showed holes in his wrestling game. Many thought he deserved a shot at GSP after those 58 seconds in the cage but it never came around. Instead, Johny has another obstacle in his path, Carlos Condit.

My Prediction : Carlos Condit takes this either by KO or a 1 sided unanimous decision. HENDRICKS WON A CONTROVERSIAL DECISION AFTER BEING OUTSTRUCK

Jake Ellenberger VS Nate Marquardt

Jake entered the UFC on a low note, losing a split decision to Carlos Condit. He rebounded by knocking out 4 of his next 6 opponents, including the never before finished Jake Shields, and developed a name for himself as a power puncher. Ellenberger goes for the knockout with every single punch he throws. This could be the reason he can’t make it to round 3. He recently suffered a knockout loss at the hands of Martin Kampmann. After a succesful left hook knockdown followed by a barrage of punches, Ellenberger found himself on the receiving end of a guillotine choke attempt that lasted most of the round. Out of gas in round 2, Jake‘s punches didn’t do as much damage. He may have bloodied Kampmann but eventually succumbed to some knees from the thai clinch ending this main event. He rebounded by redeeming one of his losses, beating Jay Heiron by unanimous decision.

Nate Marquardt is 2-2 in his last 4 fights, getting badly beat by Saffiedine and losing a close decison to Yushin Okami. He regained the spotlight with his win against Tyrone Woodley, acquiring the Strikeforce Welterweight Title. He was cut from the UFC for “failing medical requirements” and also popped for nandrolone in his original debut. Though Nate has issues with defending a strong wrestlers takedown, he has the tools to pull this off if he plays it safe, weathering the early storm and taking it into the later rounds. We will have to see if he passes the pre and post fight tests.

My Prediction : Jake Ellenberger finishes this with a TKO before Round 3 ELLENBERGER KO’D MARQUARDT EARLY IN THE 1ST ROUND

MMA INVASION

Im going to grade the divisions by how well rounded the fighters are. We’ll start with the Heavyweight division and work our way down from there.

Top 10 Heavyweights

1. Junior Dos Santos 2.Cain Velasquez 3.Alistair Overeem 4.Daniel Cormier 5.Frank Mir 6.Shane Carwin 7.Stephan Struve 8.Josh Barnett 9.Fabricio Werdum 10.Antonio Silva

6 out of 10 are primary grapplers with Velasquez,Cormier,Mir,Barnett,Werdum and Silva

3 out of 10 are primarily strikers with Dos Santos,Overeem and Carwin.

4 out of 10 are well rounded with Dos Santos, Velasquez,Cormier,Werdum. All 4 have good striking and a way to stay safe. Santos keeps it standing with takedown defense and the other 3 have very good graplling to fall back on if the fight isnt going their way.

Top 10 Light Heavyweights

1.Jon Jones 2. Dan Henderson 3.Lyoto Machida 4.Shogun Rua 5.Rashad Evans 6.Alexander Gustafsson 7.Phil Davis 8.Ryan Bader 9.Glover Teixeira 10.Rampage Jackson

4 out of 10 are primarily grapplers with Jones,Evans,Davis and Bader

6 out of 10 are primarily strikers with Henderson,Machida,Shogun,Gustafsson,Teixeira and Jackson

5 out of 10 are well rounded with Jones,Evans,Teixeira,Machida and Henderson. Anyone of these 5 can switch it up to best their opponent.

Top 10 Middleweights

1.Anderson Silva 2.Chael Sonnen 3.Chris Weidman 4.Yushin Okami 5. Vitor Belfort 6.Michael Bisping 7.Mark Munoz 8.Alan Belcher 9.Brian Stann 10.Tim Boetsch

6 are primarily strikers with Silva,Belfort,Bisping,Stann,Boetsch and Belcher

4 are primarily grapplers with Sonnen,Weidman,Okami,Munoz

3 are well rounded with Silva,Bisping and Weidman

Top 10 Welterweights

1.Georges St. Pierre 2.Johnny Hendricks 3.Rory Macdonald 4.Carlos Condit 5.Nick Diaz 6.Jon Fitch 7.Jake Ellenberger 8.Josh Koscheck 9.Martin Kampmann 10.Thiago Alves

6 are primarily strikers with Hendricks,Condit,Diaz,Kampmann,Alves and Ellenberger

2 are primarily grapplers with Koscheck and Fitch

5 are well rounded with GSP,Macdonald,Condit,Kampmann and Hendricks. All of them like to keep it standing but could take the fight to the ground if they so wished.

Top 10 Lightweights

1.Ben Henderson 2.Frankie Edgar 3.Nate Diaz 4.Jim Miller 5.Gray Maynard 6.Clay Guida 7.Donald Cerrone 8.Anthony Pettis 9.Joe Lauzon 10.Melvin Guillard

3 are primarily strikers with Diaz,Pettis and Guillard

4 are primarily grapplers with Miller,Guida,Maynard and Lauzon

3 are well rounded with Edgar,Henderson and Cerrone. Edgar and Henderson mix everything very well and Cerrone has such an excellent Jiu Jitsu game that he throws everything with %100 power without the fear of being taken down.

I have placed any fighters who have recently changed weight divisions in their long term class.

Results

HW Dos Santos, Velasquez,Cormier and Werdum. The HW division is far behind the rest of the UFC talent wise. Mostly relying on either punching power or the takedown.

LHW Jones,Evans,Teixeira,Machida and Henderson The LHW division is very diverse. Any 10 top fighter has a good chance at beating the other on any given day. You’ve got a solid group that has both punching power and a great grappling base to boot.

MW Silva,Bisping and Weidman.These 3 all have great striking and grappling but…there’s only 3. Also, neither have fought Silva.

WW GSP,Macdonald,Condit,Kampmann,Ellenberger and Hendricks. This is another great group with diverse striking,punching power and grappling. The welterweight rankings always change because everyone is so closely matched in the top 10.

LW Edgar,Henderson and Cerrone. Edgar has beaten everyone except Henderson with his quick mix of strikes and takedowns. Henderson has beat everyone who stood in his path since the UFC debut. Has beaten Edgar twice and Cerrone 3 times. These 3 seem to stand above the division.

I’d say that the Light Heavyweight and Welterweight Divisions tie for most depth with Lightweight a close 2nd. Heavyweight and Middleweight seem to lack any well rounded fighters that also have a chin. I guess GSP and Jon Jones have their hands full.

MMA INVASION