The only fight I really watched at UFC 173 was the Barao versus Dillishaw fight. Both of these fighters are extremely talented and have a lot of experience; I was definitely excited to see this match. Wow, I was impressed how Dillishaw defeated Barao.
The fight got me really excited because it made me recall a lot of great techniques and tactics I have either taught my students, or have observed being taught by my peers.
Fake It. The first thing I loved was how Dillishaw really faked and feinted with his head movement and level changes. It is really hard to hit a moving target, and most people make the mistake of waiting for the punch, then slipping the punch. But I think it is always better to be moving your head, sort of like proactively slipping, instead of reacting to the punch, and then slipping. Dillishaw also did a great job of faking the level change, making Barao think that he was going for the takedown. The one other thing that Dillishaw did well with the fakes, was to act on them. If you fake, you should quickly and decisively act on it.
Boxing Straight Blast The Boxing Straight Blast got really popular with an old Vitor Belfort and Vanderlei Silva fight.
From this point on, quite a few MMA fighters would use this to either knock out their opponent, or run them into the cage for an easier takedown. I learned of a modified Boxing Straight Blast from some of my peers like Burton Richardson, Marc Denny and Matt Thornton. The main difference with this modified Boxing Straight Blast, is the Filipino footwork; essentially angling.
In this quick video with Kombat Arts Boxing coach, Sean Fulgencio, I cover the basic essence of the modified Boxing Straight Blast.
Switch It Up Another great thing that Dillishaw did was occasionally switching stance. This takes quite a bit of training and confidence to pull this off. But if you are good at this, you will definitely reap the rewards. And will definitely confuse your opponent. Check out coach Duane Ludwig as he shows a simple combo involving switching the stance.
Kick to the Head! There were a couple of times were it looked like Dillishaw was going for a left body hook. But at the last second, it turned out to be a right kick to the head. It may take a bit of flexibility, some timing and an appreciation of range to pull this off…but anything is possible with perfect practice. Here is a video of Robin Black training this kick under the watchful eyes of Mark Hominick.
And there you have it! A great fight! I love watching fights were I can also learn. I hope you find my observations insightful, and please let me know what you learned from this fight.Thxs! Kru Joey de Los Reyes