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"How Not to Punch" by Jason Lambert (Part 2)

If you turn up your volume really loud when watching Jason Lambert fight Luis Cane you can hear the following:


So I've done the "How Not to Punch" articles twice before and this is the second time that I've had to do one for Lambert.

Lambert is a strong guy and he is a very good wrestler. But he seems to be in love with throwing big punches. He throws shots with his chin up in the air and seems to never think about how he is going to deflect shots coming in return.

Hands, arms, elbows, shoulders...those are your protection. If what you are doing is not going to allow your chin to hide behind one of those then DON'T DO IT! When you see a fighter like Wanderlei Silva throwing those running punches at someone he usually already has them hurt and backing up. When your opponent is backing up his power is generally a bit sapped, and when you have them hurt they aren't thinking about punchin in return. Jason was not in a situation like that, Cane was fresh and is by far the more dangerous striker in that fight.

I think what Lambert wanted to do was throw a barage of shots that allowed him to close the distance so he could use his wrestling. What isn't stressed in MMA nearly enough is a solid jab. If Lambert wanted to close distance he could have simply started pumping the jab. The gameplan for closing the distance in that situation can be as simple as: jab, step right, jab, right hand, step right, jab and follow right behind the last jab for a takedown or at least a clinch. Beyond that a jab is a pretty low-risk strike. Usually you aren't leaving yourself open for a big return shot as long as you're protecting yourself with your jab shoulder to prevent a hook "over the top." Running in with your chin exposed hoping the other guy doesn't touch it is the mark of an immature striker.

I really don't mean to pick on Jason. He seems like a pretty good dude and he has got a lot of talent. But in his last 2 fights we've seen him "standing in front, feet planted, chin exposed" and "running forward, throwing pointless shots, chin exposed." Really, I don't see how he'll ever be able to hang with a big striker going forward other than just running in and hoping he can get a clinch and takedown. Anything more than 20 seconds of striking and I'm just waiting for him to take a nap.

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