Heavy Hands

If you've listened to Heavy Hands before, you know that Pat and myself haven't always been particularly fond of the technical prowess of Jackson-Winkeljohn fighters. We both agree, however, that Carlos Condit is among the finest fighters to have ever come out of Albuquerque's most prestigious MMA academy--and, in fact, he's one of the best in the world as a whole.

After discussing why Mike Winkeljohn's unique style might be so perfectly suited to Condit's strengths, we move on to Mirsad Bektic, one of UFC Goiania's other standouts, and discuss the nature of prospects in MMA.

Direct download: 54_condit_and_bektic.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 3:18pm EST

There are a lot of things responsible for a fighter's success. Skill is one, and natural talent is another. No fighter wins consistently without stamina, and power and chin have carried many fighters to victory. One essential ingredient that often goes undiscussed, however, is confidence

Today, Pat and I talk about the role of confidence in a fighter's career, and how some of MMA's greatest comeback stories are the result of subtle changes in style and a little bit of favorable matchmaking--just enough to help build the best, most confident version of our fighter possible.

We also talk a bit about the idea of peaking--what it means, and how trainers control it. And then finally, we address MMA's numerous comeback stories, and ask, "Is it possible to change who you are as a fighter?"

 

Direct download: 53_confidence.mp3
Category:Technique Breakdown -- posted at: 1:15pm EST

So far on Heavy Hands we've talked about out-fighters and boxer-punchers. Today, Pat and I get the chance to talk about a fighting style close to both of our hearts: pressure fighting. Bouts involving a pressure fighter are almost guaranteed action, as the style calls for constant forward momentum and a nerve-wrackingly narrow gap between the two combatants. To understand the style, Pat and I break down four spectacular exemplars of the type: UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman, light heavyweight contender Anthony "Rumble" Johnson, boxer Gennady Golovkin, and flyweight boxing champ Roman "El Chocolatito" Gonzalez. 

Tune in to hear two self-professed pressure fighters talk about the art of pressure fighting.

Direct download: 52_pressure_fighters.mp3
Category:Technique Breakdown -- posted at: 12:12am EST

Episode 3 of "Styles Make Fights" is all about boxer-punchers. 

For those unfamiliar with this Heavy Hands series (you can find the first two installments here, and here), "Styles Make Fights" is all about the way combat athletes do their thing--not technically, per se, but mentally. Which way does the fighter prefer to move? Where does he like to stand in the ring or cage? How does he act under duress? These are the questions that help us to understand the mindset at the heart of any fighter's style. 

Today, we're talking about the Boxer-Puncher, a sort of catch-all category that even Pat and I don't perfectly understand. We break down the styles of some notable boxer-punchers, namely Canelo Alvarez, Urijah Faber, and Eder Jofre, and try to figure out what exactly makes one a boxer-puncher in the first place. 

The discussion is a good one, and we hope you enjoy it--next week we'll visit our "Styles Make Fights" series again and talk about pressure fighting, with the help of Gennady Golovkin, Anthony Johnson, and Chris Weidman. 

Direct download: 51_boxer-punchers.mp3
Category:Technique Breakdown -- posted at: 11:02pm EST

I was lucky enough to have a conversation with Joe Delguyd, boxing coach at Cleveland's Strong Style MMA, on the latest episode of Heavy Hands. Strong Style hosts a number of high-level UFC fighters, among them heavyweight Stipe Miocic and bantamweight Jessica Eye, for whom Delguyd has very high hopes. 

When it comes to Ronda Rousey, the current champion in Eye's division, Delguyd has no delusions about her finishing ability. "Once . . . your hip meets her hip, it's goodnight, adios amigo. [To beat her] somebody is gonna have to give her a tremendous amount of movement . . . maybe make her reach, maybe make her make mistakes, maybe use the jab to punish her a little, swell her up . . . Maybe even be Mayweather-ish, you know? Don't be so fan-friendly . . .The girl that has that particular skillset is in our house."

"I have all the confidence in the world in [Jessica Eye]. Everybody else in the world is coming straight in, and [an out-boxing style] is the specific skillset, and she has that specific skillset."

One of Delguyd's other fighters is Stipe Miocic, who is set to face Mark Hunt in the main event of UFC Adelaide this weekend. 

"I've watched Mark Hunt since he was in K-1 fifteen years ago," Delguyd said. "People see Mark Hunt and they see an older fat guy. But he maintains that . . . short, punching power . . . But Stipe has all the long tools. I think what we're gonna see . . . is Stipe use the jab and straight right hand at long range. He's gonna use angles, and I don't think Mark Hunt is gonna be able to find him with those short power shots. 

Direct download: 50_joe_delguyd.mp3
Category:Interview -- posted at: 5:16pm EST

Needless to say, Patrick Wyman and I have watched an awful lot of Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao footage lately. As we come ever closer to Mayweather vs Pacquiao itself, we decided to look at the fight from a strategic perspective. Each of us compiled, in order, what we thought to be the three most important keys to victory for both Manny and Floyd. On today's episode of Heavy Hands, we compare notes.

It's too easy to forget what an incredibly compelling style clash this fight represents, but the fact that Pat and I came up with nearly a dozen "key points" between us is a nice reminder. Tune in to hear for yourself, and enjoy the show!

Direct download: 49_mayweather-pacquiao.mp3
Category:Boxing -- posted at: 8:35am EST

What do Max Holloway, Lucas Matthysse, & Demetrious Johnson all have in common?

Patrick Wyman and I decided to tackle this thought on the latest episode of Heavy Hands which (and here's your answer) is all about fighting in transitions. When Matthysse threw punches at Ruslan Provodnkov, he did so with the express intention of catching Provodnikov in the spaces between movements. Likewise, Cub Swanson struggled to keep up with the rapidly shifting attack of Max Holloway.

And for Demetrious "Mighty Mouse" Johnson, the shifts happen not only from one technique to the next, but from one phase to the next. Takedowns, punches, clinch attacks, submissions--Johnson uses every opportunity to take his opponents apart. Will he be able to do the same to Kyoji Horiguchi this Saturday?

Direct download: 48_johnson-horiguchi_fighting_in_transition.mp3
Category:Technique Breakdown -- posted at: 11:07am EST

It's another episode of Heavy Hands, and another great fight card to break down. This week Connor and Pat are looking into the best fights from UFC on Fox 15, including Lyoto Machida vs Luke Rockhold, Cub Swanson vs Max Holloway, and Beneil Dariush vs Jim Miller.

After a brief foray into the Heavy Bag to talk about gameplans (and fighters who claim not to use them), your hosts carry that topic into the fight discussions, coming up with on-the-spot strategies for the three big matchups named above. How does Machida beat Rockhold? How can Holloway thwart Swanson? And is it possible that Beneil Dariush can squeeze the life out of submission-master Jim Miller? 

All of that and more on this episode of Heavy Hands.

Direct download: 47_machida_rockhold.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 11:33am EST

On this episode of Heavy Hands, Connor and Pat break down Open Stance fights. Open Stance occurs when a southpaw and an orthodox fighter meet, and the angles and attacks of such an encounter are truly fascinating. 

Your hosts look at the tactics of an open stance fight by analyzing the skills of southpaws Luke Rockhold and Lyoto Machida, who face off in the main event of UFC on Fox 15, on April 18th.

Also discussed are boxers Adonis Stevenson, who used classic southpaw tactics to retain his lineal light heavyweight title last weekend, and Artur Beterbiev, who bested the southpaw Gabriel Campillo in flawless fashion. 

Direct download: 46_open_stance.mp3
Category:Technique Breakdown -- posted at: 12:13pm EST

Patrick and Connor have got a treat for you today--one of those rare episodes where they get the chance to just talk about two of their favorite fighters. Today's episode is all about Chad Mendes and Al Iaquinta, both of whom have made dramatic improvements in the striking realm over the past year.

And wouldn't you know, both of those men are fighting this Saturday--Mendes faces the always dangerous Ricardo Lamas, whose limitations are second only to his threats, and Iaquinta faces fan-favorite Jorge Masvidal. Both men fight atop the UFC's card in Fairfax, Virginia this April, the 4th. 

It's some good old fashioned analysis, so sit down, grab a drink, and enjoy.

Direct download: 45_mendes_lamas.mp3
Category:UFC -- posted at: 1:00am EST