Last weekend's UFC was excellent. Silva and Belfort danced around for 2.5 minutes, and when it looked like Belfort took Silva down, he climbed out from underneath using a freakish flurry of athleticism, then got up and delivered a straight kick (below) to Belfort's right cheek that basically ended it. Strangely, Steven Seagal was in Silva's corner, and told an interviewer he taught Silva the kick. Go here quick to see a neat animated gif of the knockout before it gets removed.
While ESPN and Sports Illustrated continue to emphasize boxing, all the excitement in combat sports is in mixed martial arts. After all, in a real fight takedowns, kicks, and chokes happen, so boxing seem pretty lame in comparison. A fight without take downs is like Greco compared to freestyle wrestling, not very impressive because you are constraining so many real options.
Jon Jones continues to dominate his opponents, thoroughly thrashing previously undefeated Ryan Bader. Interestingly, Jones weighed in at 205, and by Saturday morning tweeted his fans he weighed 221. Vitor Belfort lost 30 pounds to get to 185. They should make them weigh in an hour or two before the match, because these guys all figure they can lose a ton and feel normal within 24 hours, which actually works well as long as you don't cross that line into permanent renal failure. It's a very nonlinear result, and I suspect athletes will be tempted to push until someone gets seriously hurt. It's a dangerous game. American wrestler Dan Cormier (now an MMA fighter) could not compete in the Beijing olympics because he lost so much weight he was hospitalized.
The correct term for that kick is a front kick, and Silva throws it karate-style there, striking with the ball of his foot (other styles strike with the heel).
One of MMA's weaknesses is that there are few talented kickers in the sport (Cung Le is a spectacular exception; Silva is an all-around great athlete, when he's not dogging it). This is most likely a result of new fighters starting to spar in MMA before mastering basic karate kicks (front, roundhouse, side, back) or more advanced ones (hook kicks, spinning back kicks, spinning hook kicks, axe kicks, etc.). I guess it's a matter of personal preference, but I find it more entertaining to watch men kick each other in the head than grapple on the ground.
Incidentally, the kicks to the legs in MMA are dirty and indefensible. It doesn't take much athleticism to kick someone in the leg. It's just a dirty move and shouldn't be legal.
Boxing at its best (e.g., Castillo-Corrales 1, or Ward-Gatti 1) is plenty exciting. Unfortunately, unlike MMA, the greatest boxing matches often leave lasting damage.
Mixed martial arts is also a bit boring in some ways - it seems like some grapplers will stay on the ground in position that would be screaming "Kick me in the nuts!" in a real fight.
Maybe I notice this more than others because crotch shots were legal (cups were required) in the light contact sparring classes I took when I was more into martial arts.
Then again, the fights where crotch shots are legal would be less interesting because people would never open up their stances.
"Incidentally, the kicks to the legs in MMA are dirty and indefensible. It doesn't take much athleticism to kick someone in the leg. It's just a dirty move and shouldn't be legal."
Leg kicks are a very important part of MMA. Kicking the outer quadricep is great for slowing down your opponent because their balance can be effected potentially to the point of no longer being able to stand. It is also less likely that you'll be taken down while throwing a low kick. High kicks are lower percentage and give the opponent more opportunity to counter. Kicks to the thigh/midsection are also less likely to do serious damage than a head kick.
I would agree that the front kick is under utilized in MMA. It's effective and can be delivered quickly. More fanciful, taekwondo-ish kicks take more time to deliver and put you at greater risk.
The whole of your comment makes it clear that you've spend no serious amount of time in sport combat. This is fine of course but it's worth considering the matter from the fighters perspective.
"Kicking the outer quadricep is great for slowing down your opponent because their balance can be effected potentially to the point of no longer being able to stand."
I understand that leg kicks can slow or disable an opponent. So can poking him in the eye. That doesn't mean either move should be legal.
"I would agree that the front kick is under utilized in MMA. It's effective and can be delivered quickly."
Front kicks are actually used relatively infrequently in karate and kickboxing, for a couple of reasons. You need to square up to throw a rear-leg (i.e., power) front kick, and you risk breaking your toes on an opponent's elbows. Sidekicks would be probably be more useful in MMA, but Cung Li is the only MMA fighter I've seen who knows how to throw one effectively.
Spinning back kicks are a little riskier, but they've proven to be effective in kick boxing. It's usually tough for an opponent to recover from a spinning back kick to the mid section. But you're not going to see a lot of them as long as you allow leg kicks.
"The whole of your comment makes it clear that you've spend no serious amount of time in sport combat."
Bill "Superfoot" Wallace made the same point about leg kicks ~15 years ago. Would you say that "makes it clear" that he's spent "no serious time in sport combat"?
"You need to square up"
The MMA stance is more square than TKD, boxing, and etc.
"Bill "Superfoot" Wallace made the same point about leg kicks ~15 years ago. Would you say that "makes it clear" that he's spent "no serious time in sport combat"?"
If Bill said that he was wrong. You are no Superfoot and have spent no serious time in combat sport. There's no two ways about it. You wouldn't think this way if you had.
"If Bill said that he was wrong. You are no Superfoot and have spent no serious time in combat sport. There's no two ways about it. You wouldn't think this way if you had."
He wasn't wrong, he just has a different opinion than you do, as do I. And if you knew anything about him, you wouldn't be surprised that he'd be against leg kicks.
I have never claimed to be Superfoot, but I have spent time in "combat sport" if you consider karate, judo, boxing, or kickboxing to be examples of them. In none of those cases were leg kicks permitted in sparring or competition.
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