FanPost

MMA THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Diaz Boxing-Timing and Accuracy Trump Power

Last Night’s UFC 141 provided its fair share of dominant victories, but the show was arguably stolen by the boxing clinic that Nate Diaz put Donald Cerrone through for 3 rounds, handing The Cowboy the most one-sided defeat of his career and shattering the Compubox record for strikes landed in a 3 round fight. Diaz fans new and old were treated to the most impressive performance of the young lightweight’s career, but I would imagine viewers unfamiliar with the lanky Stocktonian were likely all asking the same question: Why doesn’t this guy throw his punches harder? And why is the guy he’s fighting so badly hurt by strikes that appear to be thrown at 50% power? Of course, long time viewers of Nate and his older brother Nick (current Welterweight #1 contender) are familiar with the insight that seems to have shaped the unorthodox yet highly effective Diaz striking style: that a punch (or combination) that sacrifices raw power for greater accuracy and timing can be as effective if not more effective than a blow thrown full force but less well landed....



Remember Anderson Silva’s backpedaling jab KO of Forrest Griffin? Or Chuck Liddell’s right cross KO of Randy Couture? How about when Matt Hughes’ dropped Ricardo Almeida with a short left hook in the first round before submitting him? What do all of these strikes have in common? Natalie Portman could hit that hard. What she probably could not do (despite having some mean ballet skills) is land a blow like that perfectly on the chin with timing that robs one’s opponent of the ability to react defensively, which is precisely what made those strikes so damaging.


Nick Diaz has perfected this art and science, which is why he holds TKO victories over some of the sport’s most fearsome strikers. Its what allowed him to stop Paul Daley in the first round and to drop Robbie Lawler face first to the mat with a short lead hook thrown with about one tenth of the muscle of any blow Lawler unleashed during their 2 round war. Now younger brother Nate has painted his own masterpiece of precision and patience, hopefully the first of many.


However, the biggest winner in the emerging awareness of this trend is the sport of mixed martial arts itself. Last night’s display of pugilism is a testament to the effectiveness of sound boxing technique and that punching smart can often be far more deadly than punching hard. It serves as a blueprint (one of many, of course) for fellow mixed martial artists, elevating their awareness of what good striking is all about and inspiring yet another step in the evolution of the constantly growing sport of MMA.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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