Best striking defense in MMA history?

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by Matty da Ranga, Jun 20, 2018.

  1. Matty da Ranga

    Matty da Ranga Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    4,283
    Location:
    I love Pauline
    MMA fans and commentators often seem to regard striking offense as the only aspect when discussing great strikers, and completely forget about the defensive aspect, which is oftentimes more important, especially in the heavier weight classes where great defense can cause the opponent to gas out without throwing a single punch. Alistair Overeem for example is a guy that is talked about as one of the best MMA strikers ever, when in fact his defense is poor, which is why he has been knocked out more times than can be counted on two hands.

    Some names I can think of who have great striking defense (I don't think striking stats are an accurate reflection of effective striking btw):

    Not in any particular order:
    - Conor McGregor
    McGregor has some of the most effective distance management and control in MMA history, if not the very best. This allows him to be incredibly difficult to hit, especially when fresh. However, his striking defense when he gasses suffers a lot, as evidenced by both Diaz fights. He, much like Jon Jones, is phenomenal at utilising his length advantage in fights and also uses this very well in his striking offense.
    - Demetrious Johnson
    One of the most well-rounded fighters in MMA history, DJ has unmatched speed and movement which allows him to avoid most of his opponent's significant strikes and has been rocked only a handful of times in his career.
    - Anthony Johnson
    One of the few fighters in MMA history who hasn't been rocked visibly in his entire career. I've rewatched the Vitor fight a few times and I don't think he was rocked, but rather shot a few takedowns because Vitor charged him like a madman and then Rumble quit on the ground as usual. Under Henri Hooft during his LHW run, he had excellent head movement, never dropped his hands, and always tucked his chin; three things that he wasn't all that good at when he fought at 170/185.
    - Jon Jones
    Jones relies on his length a lot to defend strikes, which is why his usually impenetrable defense was cracked a lot by Gus. Still, Jones is great at using jabs, side kicks, and oblique kicks to keep opponents off him, and even though he has showed an iron chin on the few occasions he has been hit by clean, hard shots, he does not need to rely on his chin very often because his footwork is so great and is better than anyone in MMA history at utilising his physical tools.
    - Anderson Silva
    His fundamentals weren't textbook, but in his prime his reflexes and head movement were so great that he didn't need to keep his hands up at all to be an effective defensive fighter.
    - Cody Garbandt
    Yes, he got KOd by TJ, but I think TJ won because he has a better chin than Cody and because his striking offense is more varied and effective. TJ is a better kicker, and is better at cutting angles, feints, and effective in both stances. Despite this, his head movement isn't as good as Cody's and his feet aren't as quick, which means that he can't slide away from punches as quickly as Garbrandt.
     
  2. chitoortiz

    chitoortiz Silver Belt

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2010
    Messages:
    11,436
    Likes Received:
    39,042
  3. Dozer .

    Dozer . Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2017
    Messages:
    3,933
    Likes Received:
    15,633
    2C8BEAA2-938D-4437-9D47-26DD7BB1F06A.gif

    7220BACE-3A5F-4CA1-B1AC-48657CC7E478.gif
     
    Toco and Alphaboy like this.
  4. Espresso

    Espresso Zabit MaGOATmedsharipov, you's'll see

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Messages:
    786
    Likes Received:
    1,635
    No Cruz?
     
  5. Übermacht

    Übermacht ἅπαξ λεγόμενον

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2016
    Messages:
    2,726
    Likes Received:
    12,937
    Location:
    Germany
    Yoel Romero's unorthodox defence always impressed me. He got busted up by Whittaker but that's one of the best strikers we're talking about.
     
  6. Matty da Ranga

    Matty da Ranga Banned Banned

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2018
    Messages:
    659
    Likes Received:
    4,283
    Location:
    I love Pauline
    Good one, but I feel like if he comes back, he will be far less effective than in the past because after years of studying his patterns, opponents will have figured him out to a degree. Not saying that he isn't still elite, but it will be like Machida after Shogun showed the world how to beat him. Garbrandt showed the blueprint to beating Cruz and I'm not sure Dom can make the necessary adjustments to his style at this stage of his career.
     
  7. Flboycanscrap2

    Flboycanscrap2 Green Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    1,463
    Likes Received:
    389
    Location:
    Boston, Massachusetts
    Striking defense is barely a thing in MMA.
     
  8. Dr. Hing Dinger

    Dr. Hing Dinger Downhill season

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    10,817
    Likes Received:
    13,067
    This
    Mma striking is whack in general
     
  9. ninja boot

    ninja boot Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,046
    Likes Received:
    1,402
    in that case I say Mark Hunt has the best head for striking defence.
     
  10. det_regnar_på_vår_kärlek

    det_regnar_på_vår_kärlek Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2016
    Messages:
    3,329
    Likes Received:
    9,691
    McGregor doesn't have good striking defense at all. He absorbed a record number of blows to the head in his second fight against Nate IIRC.
    Also, his Significant Strike Defense according to Fighmetric equals to 57%: http://www.fightmetric.com/fighter-details/f4c49976c75c5ab2
    For reference, in the Fightmetric top 10 list of Significant Strike Defense, the #10 guy (Renato Moicano) has 69,9%. Other top FWs: Holloway (65%) and Aldo (67%)
     
    elcj, listrahtes, Fedor>Cain and 10 others like this.
  11. acannxr

    acannxr Purple Belt

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2017
    Messages:
    2,235
    Likes Received:
    5,183
    According to the UFC's website:

    *Cruz - 75% striking defense
    DJ - 67% striking defense
    Jones - 65% striking defense
    Silva - 62% striking defense
    Johnson - 60% striking defense
    McGregor - 57% striking defense
    *Garbrandt - 69% striking defense

    *Cruz and Garbrandt only have six and seven fights, respectively, in the UFC, which will skew their defensive striking percentage.

    I'd pick Demetrious Johnson.
     
  12. MMAProfessional

    MMAProfessional Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    4,253
    Likes Received:
    2,392
    Location:
    NY
    Anderson and McGregor, especially Anderson, are the only two fighters who I've been amazed with when they evade the punch by a hair and counter in range immediately. When Cody fought Cruz that was also pretty amazing but I'd have to see him do that more often. That was the first time I've seen him display that headmovement but he made Cruz look slow.
     
  13. TheScorpionDude

    TheScorpionDude Get over here! ~~~~~~~~~~~~==>

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    Messages:
    7,307
    Likes Received:
    8,244
    Location:
    NetherRealm
    I'm surprised that no one mentioned Fedor.

    Before his first loss, he had the lowest percentage of absorbed shots per minute in high level MMA, closely followed by Machida if I remember correctly.

    When you compare their styles it makes Fedor even more impressive since he has an all out style, while Machida was backpeddaling most of his fights.
     
  14. Son Peyote

    Son Peyote ★★★★★★★★

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2015
    Messages:
    4,013
    Likes Received:
    18,477
    Yoel Romero is evolving the MMA guard right in front of our eyes​
     
  15. snaportap21

    snaportap21 Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    386
    Likes Received:
    42
    Location:
    On Instagram Straight Flexin
    I would definitely say mousasi. He is very deft at avoiding strikes.
     
  16. GreatSaintGuillotine

    GreatSaintGuillotine You may not like what I say but it's the truth. Platinum Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2017
    Messages:
    6,810
    Likes Received:
    10,246
    Location:
    New Orleans
    DJ or Dom are up there for sure.
     
  17. Alanf7

    Alanf7 Brown Belt

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2015
    Messages:
    4,865
    Likes Received:
    15,514
    Location:
    Amsterdam
    Yoel displayed a legendary defence in his last 2 fights.
     
  18. RustyShacleford

    RustyShacleford Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Messages:
    326
    Likes Received:
    387
    Darren Till has been really impressive with his striking defence. I guess he hasn't been around long enough to get the "best in mma history" title, but his defensive fundamentals are excellent. Great distance management, and after he lands something he immediately moves out of the pocket.
     
  19. Killroy

    Killroy Green Belt

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,164
    Likes Received:
    1,249
  20. TemDee

    TemDee Orange Belt

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2015
    Messages:
    418
    Likes Received:
    1,106
    People always make Lawler out to be this aggressive banger, but his in pocket defense is among the best in the UFC. I'd argue he's one of the most defensively minded fighters today.
     

Share This Page