Monday, July 27, 2009

Is the jab utilized in MMA

Blogging and Convocation buddy BBat50 commented on our post Boxing for Self-Defense and MMA (read it):Jab lead

“I'm not sure that I agree that the jab is forgotten in MMA. Some fighters, say Chuck Liddell, tend to rely on his deadly right on his left hook. But there are many, especially in the lighter weight classes, whose jabbing is constant.”

It was a thoughtful and critical comment, which I should address, and would ask for your input.

As to the point that the jab is neglected or forgotten in MMA:

At that point (2006), my observation was based on most of the major bouts I saw in the couple of years preceding the post's publication.

If we examine the history of MMA in general, and the UFC in particular, it seems to have had trends:
BJJ early on because of Royce's domination of everyone, large or small. Then the sluggers learned to sprawl and were knocking everyone out with the haymaker variety of power punches - little to no jabbing involved. At the time of my posting there seemed to be more of a balance - grappling and groundwork, and ferocious standup, but the striking was not that good. Punches were used to either knock someone out or create a good takedown opportunity, but seemed to involve little good boxing.

Nowadays, there are superb strikers in MMA, including Anderson Silva, my favorite. They can work the ground, sprawl, or strike like a good boxer and muay Thai fighter. GSP is another great example. Is the jab utilized now? Certainly, by the better fighters and journeymen alike.

So, I actually agree now (referring to the use of the jab), but at that time, no.

Now, what do you MMA fans think? Do you see prevalent use of the boxing jab in MMA at this time (2009)?

For more information:

The Jab- building block of boxing
Tips on the jab: More on the jab
John Sculley teaches you boxing basics
The King of Combinations for MMA, Boxing, and Self-Defense
Boxing for Self-Defense and MMA


Anonymous said...

i think that the jab has its now in moxt mma fighters personal styles u like a few years ago.there overall punching skills has a long way to go untill they rival pro boxers but they evolving

Nathan Teodoro said...

Marks- I agree. I think that the fact that MMA fighters have to know all ranges and can't really specialize will always limit their ability to "master" a subset like boxing to the exclusion of all else. In other words, if you put a pro boxer into MMA and his boxing skills didn't diminish to a degree, then he isn't focusing enough on the other areas of the game. Great comment.

sport520 said...

I have mixed feelings with the jab. Anderson and gsp have ridiculous reach so body type was the jab would favor them. If they were shot limbed like hughes or serra then creating punches for takedown or slugging it out is much better for them. I think it depends on the reach.