Monday, August 4, 2008

Top 4 Most Underutilized MMA Moves

4. Sticking with Side Control- Side mount or half guard is often given up for the more dominant position of full mount. I've seen it many times, but in transition to full mount or even after they achieve full mount the fighter is often swept or gives up an easy backdoor escape. This is especially relevant when your opponent is bigger than you. Even after the smaller fighter gets the full mount he is easily bucked off by the bigger opponent. Side control, although not as dominant, can allow more control and a fighter still has many options to finish the fight. Many fights I've felt could've been ended by sticking with side control, but is lost after they are reversed in the process of going for the full mount.

Top 3 Fighters who Utilize Side Control
1. Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
2. Randy Couture
3. Fedor Emelianenko

Top 3 Fight Examples
1. Quinton Jackson vs Mikhail Illoukhine- Pride 26
2. Randy Couture vs Chuck Liddell 1- UFC 43
3. Randy Couture vs Tito Ortiz- UFC 44

3. Body Attacks from Top Position- When a fighter has worked ridiculously hard to get a takedown it seems they automatically become headhunters. Of course the fighter on bottom works equally as hard to protect his face, often leaving him open for body attacks. Too few fighters, I believe, take advantage of this and continue to attack the head through their opponents hands and arm defense, instead of going for a wide open body punch. This is something, just like in number 4, that Quinton Jackson does better than any other fighter. Forcing Chuck Liddell's corer to throw in the towel in their first fight after numerous ground body blows is a prime example.

Top 3 Fighters who Utilize Ground Body Attacks
1. Quinton Jackson
2. Georges St. Pierre
3. Mark Coleman(Early Years)

Top 3 Fight Examples
1. Quinton Jackson vs Chuck Liddell 1- Pride Final Conflict 2003
2. Georges St. Pierre vs Matt Serra 2- UFC 83
3. Mark Coleman vs Akira Shoji- Pride 2000 Grand Prix

2. Offensive Front Kicks- The front kick or rear push kick, is often utilized as a defensive maneuver, but fighters who can use it as an offensive weapon get the most out of it. Often billed in MMA as a "jab" to keep your opponent away, the front kick can be used to cause some serious damage instead. Two or three good front kicks to the body can be devastating to an opponent both physically and mentally.

Top 3 Fighters who Utilize Front Kicks
1. Semmy Schilt
2. Cung Le
3. Tim Boetsch

Top 3 Fight Examples
1. Semmy Schilt vs Pete Williams- UFC 31
2. Tim Boestch vs David Heath- UFC 81
3. Cung Le vs Tony Fryklund- EliteXC: Shamrock vs Baroni

1. Low Kicks- Ever since I started watching mixed martial arts, I've always thought that the low kick was way too underrated and underutilized. I remember watching Pride in the early days and hearing long time announcer Bas Rutten get extremely frustrated when a fighter would land some nice low kicks and then for some reason stop not throw anymore the rest of the fight. Of course Bas used the low kick in his career more often and more effectively than maybe any other fighter in history. The low kick has even been a measuring stick to see if someone is tough enough for MMA in local gyms, as stated in an ESPN the Magazine article on the Militech camp awhile ago. Just recently at UFC 86, Forrest Griffin was crowned the new UFC light heavyweight champion because of some well-placed low kicks on then champ Quinton Jackson that changed the whole flow of the fight. Bottom line, low kicks hurt, alot.

Top 3 Fighters who Utilize Low Kicks
1. Mirko Crocop
2. Thiago Alves
3. Ricardo Arona

Top 3 Fight Examples
1. Mirko Crocop vs Hidehiko Yoshida- Pride Critical Countdown Absolute
2. Bas Rutten vs Ruben Villareal- WFA: King of the Streets
3. Pedro Rizzo vs Randy Couture 1- UFC 31


tylr said...

Matt Hughes VS Carlos Newton is the first fight where I saw someone use side-control the way I think it should be used.

Matt Hughes used to destroy with side-control.

Domination Californication said...


They get no love.

Anonymous said...

The way he traps the nearside arm between his legs opens the opponent up for striking and submissions. This is probably not utilised enough in MMA.

Anonymous said...

The only thing on this list that i agree with is the body attacks to a grounded opponent. low kicks are used by alot of people, and people that don't use them probably just aren't comfortable kicking. side mount is also getting used pretty often, especially with the popularity of that crucifix position we saw cain valasquez beat Jake o'brien with. and as a trained fighter with professional bouts i can speak with authority on the matter of offensive front kicks; they're a bad idea and leave you very off balance. if you have the kicking prowess of cung le of the length of schilt then you may be able to pull it off occasionally, but for the majority of fighters it's underused very much on purpose. P.S. i love this site. i waste so much time here watching fights and reading articles; thanks for giving all of us fight junkies a home.

Anonymous said...

When discussing front kicks, you forgot to mention Amir Sadollah. His fights were the first time I saw them used regularly and successfully. I found it surprising because I had seen them used so rarely before that...I'd always assumed fighters were told not to throw them, although I don't know why.

ian said...

For effective use of front kicks i'd like to recommend the recent Melendez vs. Thompson fight. Awesome display of a variety of front kicks (even some to the face!).

Anonymous said...

Front kicks are definitely underutilized, but probably for a good reason. Like what the other guy said, it can leave you off balance and vulnerable to attack. Also, basically, you're giving the guy your leg.

Anonymous said...

i think the most under utilized move is the foot stomp. liben uses it and it successful. i have seen other fighter use it but not very often, this is a devistating move in the clinch. flatten the tires and they cant go anywhere

Anonymous said...

obvously you probably dont train in much of the aspects of striking.

to realize. front kicks requre flexblity. and

for FRONT-kicks.

the measurement has to be perfect.

to short of distance= bascally a knee.

to long= easy take down.

Bart said...

Bas used the thrust kick quite a bit - I'm surprised you didn't put him on that list.

As for what the other guys said, yeah the front kick is tricky BUT... it's value comes from the fact that it's a linear strike instead of circular/horizontal like the Muay Thai kicks.

Like others said, it's underutilized on purpose.