UFC on Versus 3: Striking Breakdown

Photo by Ken Pishna via MMA Weekly

I'm not as regular about doing these pieces as I wish I was, but I still do enjoy looking at some of the striking from shows and breaking down what went right (and in many cases, what went wrong). The UFC on Versus 3 event featured some really interesting striking moments both to the good and the bad. While Diego Sanchez vs. Martin Kampmann had enough to break down for three articles I'm going to focus on other fights instead.

In the Thiago Tavares vs. Shane Roller fight we saw the somewhat lacking striking of Roller actually earn him a knockout win. The KO was all a matter of a failure of Tavares' footwork. As Roller comes forward flicking light jabs, Tavares moves straight backward. While Roller moves slightly to his left he isn't moving enough to completely shut Thiago from doing the appropriate thing and circling while stepping outside Roller's power. By moving in reverse he remains completely open to the right hand of Roller.

Gif of this KO as well as more after the jump.


Gifs by BE member Grappo

Here's a gif of the Roller/Tavares KO:


Again, those left hands from Roller really had nothing on them. It's simply Shane's forward momentum that makes Tavares react, and react incorrectly. Aside from trying to step to his right (Roller's left) the other option for Tavares would have been to step forward and tie Roller up. Really, anything other than moving straight back would have been the right call here.

Next up is the Mark Munoz knockout of CB Dollaway. This one requires less explanation but here is a gif showing the punch that led to the stoppage from two angles:


First the straight on angle shows Munoz using pretty outstanding technique for MMA. As Dollaway's lead hook is being thrown, Munoz steps in and throws a hard right straight while also using simple head movement to duck under. The right hand is the straighter punch and as such arrives first while the head movement reduces the risk of eating a big punch in return.

From the overhead angle you can see the difference in distance each punch has to travel. Straight line = faster. CB's punch isn't even horribly looping compared to a lot of what you see in MMA, it's just that Munoz throws his with quick reflexes and with speed and power. With Dollaway's left hand leaving his chin exposed it's just a matter of if Munoz hits the mark or not. And he absolutely does.

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