An article I wrote for FightLockdown.com about shots to the body being underused in MMA. I love body shots.
Check it out, vote on the poll and, as always, feedback from the BloodyElbow community is welcome.
Too often in MMA we see what should be a fun striking battle recede into something resembling an awkward sparring match. With each fighter so keen to land that knockout blow to their opponent’s chin, we are left with what seems like an endless stream of punches clipping forearms and shoulders, tiring both the fighters physically and spectators mentally, with little to no practical impact. This is the unfortunate consequence of head hunting in MMA. Where the more a fighter chooses to throw only head shots in hope of a highlight reel knockout, the smaller the chance of a finish actually becomes.
I wrote previously about Julio César Chávez, and the Mexican legend is a perfect example of how important working the body is to your striking game. Chávez made his name by punishing his opponents’ mid sections, making use of body shots to end fights directly as well as indirectly. Watching Chávez in his prime shows how body shots tire and wear down opponents, how they open up defences and make head shots easier to land, and, if landed correctly, how they finish fights. For the most part, however, punches to the body are just not used in MMA. Why?
One of the main counterpoints made when discussing body shots, is that the risk of leaving yourself open when throwing them is too great. With the threat of being taken down or having an opponent clinch with you, and the smaller 4oz gloves increasing the risk of a knockout, fighters are better off focusing solely on head shots and leg kicks, as many do. These risks are legitimate, but they can be reduced through intelligent game planning, good technique and basic boxing smarts.
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