Last nights fight between Junior Dos Santos and Cain Velasquez was great but also really showed why we do certain things in the Dauntless MMA Curriculum.
First let me say that Cain faught a very smart fight. When the fight started Junior really rocked him with a lead hook that was devastating, but then Cain recovered and pressed the action to the cage and I do mean PRESSED. Cain went right into his strong suit Wrestling, first trying low shoots that were countered by Junior and then to more of a Greco Roman High Clinch pressing Junior into the cage.
Cain’s high clinch was excellent and active. He was trying takedowns and got one. His high clinch was always threatening and required Junior to actively counter, for which Junior did pretty well several times to the point where he even created space and distance from Cain.
Here however is where Junior failed to capitalize. Whenever he broke the clinch he did not move out in a circle (AWAY FROM THE CAGE) to bring the action back to the center but instead he just stood there right next to the cage making it easy for Cain to again clinch him and drive him right back into it.
Cain is certainly to be complimented for the way he would Wrestle Junior into the Cage and do his best to Strike Junior first whenever they broke apart. Then even when Cain was nailing Junior with big shots he still would come back to the High Clinch nullifying any chance for Junior to counter punch. This was very smart and if left unanswered by proper technique would lead to Junior’s destruction which is ultimately did.
So WHAT WAS THE ANSWER FOR JUNIOR, well #1 on very tight High Clinches Junior needed what we have developed at Dauntless and call “ANTI-WRESTLING”. A system of base, clinch counters and neck manipulations that would have indeed stopped Cain. WHY? Because he was giving the energy for them.
In the Clinch Junior primarily tried to deal with Cain around the arms and the times where he was able to break the clinch came mostly from him pushing up on Cain’s chin to drive him back. Now at Dauntless of course we have been through this, but what Junior did not have was our Unique Neck Manipulations. He did not understand that the Neck is the rudder to the spine and if you know how to use the Neck properly you can make that pressing clinch of Cain’s a disaster for him.
The 2nd Thing Junior needed was to “Stick & Move”!! When he created space from the clinch Junior needed to MOVE away from Cain and Cage out to the Middle, Much like Alexander Gustafson did against Jon Jones (VERY EFFECTIVE)!!
Junior primarily is a Counter Puncher, he likes to make people miss and then Hit them back. Well this requires “Boxing Range” and cannot be done with someone pressing you against the cage. By failing to move out away from the cage when he had numerous chances Junior really did not give his main asset a chance.
There were times when Junior and Cain got into it against the Cage where Junior exercised what can only be called EXCELLENT HEAD MOVEMENT against Cains strikes but he did not always get the chance to follow up with strikes of his own. Sometimes he did but with the cage behind him he had no where to move to keep the Boxing Space between them to increase his ability to through his usually devastating counter punches.
Knowing this too Cain Velasquez would immediately go back to his High Clinch against Junior whenever he finished a volley of punches. He was aware of Juniors talent in counter punching and he did not stay in that range. A very smart fight.
As I said earlier though Juniors major deficits against that strategy were in not having any Anti-Wrestling to use Neck Manipulations to destroy the High Clinch of Cain and when he did manage to create space not moving out back to the center to keep it.
If there was a 3rd thing to say about Junior Dos Santos’s performance it would also have to be the lack of enough Jabbing. Jabbing is so very important, particularly when you fight more skilled people to set up the big power shots. After all you may need several power shots and the way that you wi a boxing fight is to be able to hit the guy more and more WITHOUT having him hit you back.
Proper Jabbing would have enabled Junior once he was in the center to set up the bigger punches and also make it harder for Cain to move in an Clinch him. Yet when Cain was in the Center he primarily stayed there and tried to just slip Cain and hit him back with a power overhand or hook.
Great if you are in a straight boxing match but not so good if you are in an MMA match. WHY? Because Cain could get CLOSER. Without a Jab Cain could get more closer and then shoot in or clinch before Junior could get off a good shot.
Watch the fight and you will see all I have said here and if Junior Dos Santos ever reads this JUNIOR COME TO DAUNTLESS MAN I WANT TO TEACH YOU MY ANTI-WRESTLING!! I am telling you works man, WORKS!!