Today, let’s take a closer look at fight #2,
That fight was particularly interresting in that it probably was the most tactical fight on that evening. Both competitors kept alternating between offensive and defensive styles. While it seemed that Pierre rather preferred a rather counter-oriented strategy, Andy was more interrested in attacking. However, none of them limited himself exclusively to his preference. Instead, they adapted and changed gears constantly. It was nice to see that kind of flexibility.
Still, there were some points on both sides that need to be adressed. First, I’ll focus on Andy, as he’s one of my boys. After that, I’ll analyze Pierre’s perfomance.
Let’s start from a tactical point of view.
If you look at Andy’s very first action, as seen in clip #1 from 00:03 – 00:06, you’ll notice a mistake that could have been avoided. Andy successfully feints an attack and causes Pierre to raise his lead knee in preparation of a counter. This was pretty symbolic for what was going to happen during large parts of that fight. Having seen Pierre’s reaction to his feint, Andy should have feinted again and try to close the gap as soon as Pierre’s foot is about to touch the ground again. That very moment, when a fighter puts his weight back on the lead foot adter a kick or a punch opens a window of opportunity for the other guy to (counter-)attack or rush in. That’s due to the fact that during that split second, when you place your foot back on the floor, your movement is seriously impaired. Basically that’s why indirect counters work. However, instead of preparing his attack carefully, Andy just rushed in with a lead roundhouse kick and got countered by Pierre’s sidekick. Fortunately for Andy, Pierre aimed to high and hit the shoulder rather than the ribs, but I guess that kick might have scored anyways. The rest of the attack, up until 00:10 was executed nicely with the exception of 00:06, where Andy failed to keep his hands up and was caught with a right hand. On a very positive note, Andy did a great job in the clinch, hammering Pierre with that knee.
As noted before, the boys switched gears quite often and so the second action was initiated by Pierre throwing a lead roundhouse, followed by a spinning hookkick. Andy basically reacted just fine by stepping backwards and countering with an indirect roundhouse to the body. He was a split second too late, however, so Pierre got his knee up for a leg block. Also, Andy’s hands weren’t up, so he got caught by a left jab to the head. Followed up nicely though and even defended against the takedown. Note here that our ruleset officially bans throws and takedowns.
At 00:39 – 00:41 Andy hit home with two nice direct push kick counters. The third counter at 00:44, lacked the power to stop Pierre, thus allowing him to close the gap. Now while Andy did great at a short distance, this rush probably could have been avoided by either following up on the counters with punches or by just increasing the distance after each successfull counter. In Andy’s case, the former option, following up with strikes, most likely would have been the better choice. Again, Pierre attempet a takedown which Andy defended.
Although this wasn’t punished by Pierre, I need to remark here that at 00:56 Andy dropped his lead hand and didn’t get it up until 01:04. Definately something to work on.
Then, on 01:04, Andy pulled of a spinning hook-kick, which didn’t make it through Pierre’s guard. Now while the kick got blocked, it was executed nicely, from a good distance and with good timing. Also, the lead roundhouse setup was good. For me, however, the best thing was the spinning backfist that followed the spinning hook kick. You seldom see that kind of situational awareness. Looking back, it might have proven effective to do some falling variation of the spinning hook kick, something more like a do-mawashi kaiden geri. Still, the whole action was well planned and performed. While moving back, Andy got a hold of Pierre’s head but missed his chance to hammer a shot or two to the head. Despite having missed an opportunity here, Andy probably was that evenings best clinch fighter. From 01:36 – 01:38 you can see him land some downward elbows and two knee strikes to the body.
Not much to see in clip #2. I mean, there really is, Pierre pulled off a textbook takedown that would have been great in any event that permits takedowns – the battle didn’t, so while the technique was flawless, it really was a foul. Note that Andy broke a rib here, but still insisted on finishing the fight. Tough guy, that one.
Obviously, due to his broken rib, Andy fought much more defensively during the second round. Really kept that lead leg working. From 00:57 – 01:01 in clip #3, you can again see Andy’s skill in the clinch – more downward elbows and a solid knee strike to Pierre’s face.
Again, not much to see in clip #4.
Technically, I think Andy could learn a lot from focusing on boxing for some time, as this would work the two points I need to adress:
- Guard: Andy’s lead hand wasn’t up most of the time
- Dirty boxing: When the going got rough, Andy often forfeit a clean striking technique in favor of something that looked a bit like bar room brawling. That’s a pity, as he’s a pretty good clinch fighter – if he was to dominate the distance between the kicking distance and his specialty, the clinch, he could set up some great actions.
Anyhow, let’s now take a short look at Pierre. Since Andy is my student while Pierre isn’t, I’ll keep it rather brief here.
Pierre definately was the more technical fighter in that bout. After all, he’s a seasoned Sanda fighter and part of the french national team. I think it was a tactical mistake for him to charge into the clinch so often. Rather, had he stayed in a more kickboxing-like distance, I’m sure his sanda background would have made him the fight’s clear victor. However, in my opinion, putting your head down and rushing the opponent isn’t a good idea if knee strikes are allowed. He lost more points at close quarters than necessary.
Also, Pierre got caught by Andy’s lead push kick more often than necessary. Too little feinting, to many linear attacks. At 00:40, Pierre worked up to a good set up by trapping Andy’s lead hand. Instead of throwing a punch or kick from that position, however, he tried to close the gap even more so as to perform some type of takedown. I think he missed a really good chance to inflict some damage there.
Technically, you can clearly tell Pierre comes from a chinese martial art – each punch had the whole body weight behind it. Basically I do believe that’s a good thing, but the speed of those strikes was limited. Just as with Andy, I think Pierre could benefit greatly from dedicating some time to honing his boxing skills. On the other hand, who couldn’t?
Ok, that was enough from my part – just watch the videos and let me know what you think in the comments section. Enjoy!
Next up: Felipe. I’ll find out his opponent’s name.