Your Favourite Low Kickers in MMA

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by AndyMaBobs, Feb 11, 2018.

  1. tekkenfan

    tekkenfan Purple Belt

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    renzo gracie i love renzo but tbh alot of guys at 170 could have done that to him
     
  2. Albe

    Albe Yellow Belt

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    Is your friend Marfio Canolleti by any chance?
     
  3. Bobbybackpack

    Bobbybackpack Blue Belt

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    Top 5 in UFC (no particular order): Pat Barry, Barboza, Thiago Alves, Aldo, Anthoni Hardonk

    Then there's: Tarec Saffeidine, RDA, Cowboy, Larkin,

    For WMMA: Nunes (first place), Joanna, Valentina
     
  4. AndyMaBobs

    AndyMaBobs Brown Belt

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    https://muay-thai-guy.com/one-on-one-tarec-saffiedine.html You might like the interview I did in that case
     
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  5. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    Low kicking out of the clinch is the best. Get the guy worried about punches upstairs, get him to shell, give his gloves a little push and blast him. Hard to see it coming or check being off balance from the push. Especially if you're in an open stance matchup, the back leg is already farther away allowing you to land from closer distance, just blast it.
     
  6. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    Also, not one of the best in a classic sense but one of the most consistent low kickers who worked it into his game perfectly: Dan Henderson.
     
  7. shincheckin

    shincheckin Brown Belt

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    not sure Azams stance on this one but I will say that I think leg kicks are not AS important in MMA, still a great technique that can definitely end fights, cause alot of damage etc. but they may be a bit under utilized in MMA due to the grappling/takedowns and hands.

    We all know leg kicks can end fights, and it doesnt take a whole lot of "solid" leg kicks to end a fight either. Consider a guy like Anuwat with conditioned legs got dropped by them
     
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  8. Azam

    Azam Purple Belt

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    Basically what I said was leg kicks are effective but they aren't as important in MMA as they might be in kickboxing or MT.

    I also said that it's much rarer for fights to be finished by leg kicks in MMA because you can't spam leg kicks the way you might be able to in kickboxing for example. I said that's why there aren't that many leg kick finishes in MMA (Aldo has none, Barboza has 3 leg kick finishes in 10 years etc). The output of low kicks in MMA is a lot less because there are many more avenues to counter those leg kicks - the easiest being grabbing the leg & a double or single leg take down (GSP & Frankie Edgar literally made a career out of taking down guys off of leg kicks).

    In kickboxing the worst thing you'll get is a check on your shin (other than breaking your shin). In MMA you can potentially be taken to the ground, lose significant points on the scorecard or potentially be GNP'd till unconscious or submitted. So I think that's why the output is less and why leg kicks aren't as important in MMA the way they are in kickboxing for example.

    I love leg kicks - it's a go to technique for me. But I'm well aware in MMA - the output of leg kicks will be less because like you said you have 4oz gloves & grappling to contend with.

    That was my stance in a nutshell.
     
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  9. shincheckin

    shincheckin Brown Belt

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    Im on the same page as you
     
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  10. ironkhan57

    ironkhan57 Purple Belt

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    Jose Aldo is the goat of leg kicks, imo. Maybe that's just because he reminds me so much of myself, but still Barbosa and also are the best leg kickers.
     
  11. GordoBarraBJJ

    GordoBarraBJJ Gold Belt

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    Anthony Hardonk was brutal (ended a few of his fights with leg kicks)

    Aldo (when he used them)

    Barboza

    Also Rafael Dos Anjos
     
  12. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    It's interesting that this doesn't seem to happen to Justin Gaethje, even though he throws a ton of low kicks (even against good wrestlers like Alvarez who presumably could use them to take him down). I always wonder how much is not fear of the TD but rather not having very conditioned shins and fearing the check.
     
  13. LeonardoBjj

    LeonardoBjj Professional-Wrestler

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    - Marco Ruas, Pedro Rizzo and José Aldo!
     
  14. AndyMaBobs

    AndyMaBobs Brown Belt

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    I think it's because, although you wouldn't necessarily think it from how he fights, he's usually the better wrestler in any given match up. Another big part of it is that he usually low kicks on the counter when the opponent isn't in a position to catch the low kick. His timing is very good, I think if you low kick either out of combination, or on the counter you're far less likely to be taken down. In my opinion usually takedowns happen off of low kicks when they're thrown out in the open.
     
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  15. aerius

    aerius Black Belt

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    I think the main issue is MMA fighters kinda suck at throwing low kicks; they don't throw them with good form and the setups & timing is lacking. This makes it much easier than it should be to defend & counter low kicks, which in turn makes fighters & coaches hesitant to use them. Most MMA fighters telegraph their kicks from a mile away and just stand there when their kicks get caught and run through for a takedown. They don't know how to limp leg out to get the leg free, frame off to block takedown entries, or step forward to engage a clinch on their own terms, they don't put up much of a fight before getting planted on the mat.

    Fighters who know how to setup their low kicks properly can pretty much use them at will. Joanna Jedrzejczyk for instance fought all the best wrestlers & grapplers in her division, landed tons of low kicks against them and never got taken down off a low kick.
     
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  16. Azam

    Azam Purple Belt

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    ^^^

    Pretty much my thoughts. He tends to be matched up better in the wrestling department.

    I think as well low kicks definitely have their place in MMA but you have to be much more selective when/how you throw them when compared to kickboxing or MT.

    Like @AndyMaBobs mentioned the best way not to get countered off low kicks is using low kick counters (the best way to throw them), sometimes out of combination (even here you can sometimes get caught out) or using setup feints that involve low kicks & head kicks for example.

    I think it helps tremendously to have second to none takedown defense as well.

    Most of the low kicks I've seen get countered are off combinations, when they're thrown out in the open or too much to the point your opponent cottons on to it. Best way to throw low kicks in MMA I feel is as counters - this is how I use them nowadays after tasting too many takedowns off my low kicks in kudo/mma sparring.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  17. Azam

    Azam Purple Belt

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    I don't think that's the issue at all.

    MMA and MT/Kickboxing are different sports. In this particular case leg kicks change drastically when you open them up to grappling and other avenues of fighting.

    The issue isn't poor technical kicking or telegraphing (although that may be an issue for some fighters) - the issue is that you can't use all the same setups & timing for low kicks that you might have in kickboxing in MMA. I think a lot of people who do kickboxing & MT - simply don't understand that. That's why they assume MMA fighters just suck at throwing low kicks. This might be the case for some - but not the vast majority.

    I can't stress how easy it is for a leg kick to be caught by a competent or even average grappler and how easy it is to initiate a takedown. You have literally split seconds to try to frame or get your leg out. But someone who knows what he or she is doing will simply be way too quick for you to do any of the things you've suggested.

    Joanna Jedrzejczyk fights in a very young and limited division. It's not the same. The pedigree & talent pool in her division is nowhere near what it is in the mens. The reason she got away with it for so long is because there was simply no-one near her calibre until she ran into Rose.

    A great example is Jose Aldo - who makes use of leg kicks in nearly every fight. We could even argue that he's one of the GOATs as far as leg kicks in MMA are concerned. But even he was regularly taken down off leg kicks - it's just that he had amazing takedown defense so never paid for it. There were even times where he purposely limited his leg kicks to avoid being countered off them by competent wrestlers - like he did when he fought Frankie Edgar the second time.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Uchi Mata

    Uchi Mata Preaching the gospel of heel hooks and left kicks

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    Naked low kicks are bad for sure, but a big part of it too is that Gaethje mainly throws low kicks when his opponent is backing up or being defensive against the fence. In that Condit GIF above, that's about the worst way to throw a low kick. No real setup, opponent walking forward, against a guy for whom the level change is automatic. Against someone like GSP, unless he's backing up and defending heavily I don't know that I'd throw low at all.
     
  19. Cross_Trainer

    Cross_Trainer Yellow Belt

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    Agree with the people saying Ruas. The way he chopped down Varelans was like an infomercial for the power of lowkicks at a time when grappling looked like it was taking over.
     
  20. aerius

    aerius Black Belt

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    Agreed that the timing & setups in MMA change compared to kickboxing, and that's part of the problem as well. Not all the setups which work in kickboxing will work in MMA, some of them won't, and even the ones which do may need some adjustment to work consistently in MMA.

    You bring up Aldo and he's actually a pretty good example of setups gone wrong. In his earlier career up until the Hominick or Florian fights, Aldo actually had good setups on his low kicks which is why they were seldom caught or countered. He'd force his opponents to retreat with punches or other strikes then slam in the low kick when they started backing up. Once he had his opponents hurt to the leg, he'd start feinting the low kick to draw a check or other reaction then slam in the kick for real when the opponent is out of position to defend.

    Problem is Aldo stopped doing that and started throwing most of his low kicks with no real setup. Look at the sequence you've posted, he just walks at Frankie and throws a naked low kick at him, you're just not going to get away with that unless the other guy is pretty outmatched. And that's the way it was for most of Aldo's UFC career, he relied on the speed of his low kicks rather than setting them up properly. He'd mostly wait until he saw an opening and then kick rather than actively working to put his opponent out of position to defend kicks. Which is why he didn't land nearly as many low kicks as he did earlier in his career and had to rely more on his takedown defence.

    Other example, GSP, not known for crippling low kicks or anything, but he lands them consistently in all his fights against some of the best wrestlers in MMA without getting punished. Granted, he's a great wrestler himself but the key thing to note is that his opponents almost never get a chance to even grab a leg, shoot a takedown or attempt any kind of counter, and that's down to GSP's timing & setups. Watch the footwork for his jab and lead leg low kick, the initial setup is very similar and it's hard to tell what he's throwing until it's too late. He pops them with the jab a few times to get them thinking about it, then goes to the low kick. He'll also feint & mess around with timing to freeze or get his opponent out of position before hitting them with the jab or low kick.
     
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