A comparison of Cruz and Dillashaw's performance.

Discussion in 'Standup Technique' started by rmongler, Dec 31, 2016.

  1. rmongler

    rmongler Black Belt

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    Dominic Cruz and TJ Dillashaw are two fighters who's sets of skills are often compared more than any other two fighters in the UFC; largely due to the uniqueness of those sets of skills. However, there were marked differences in the gameplanning and deployment of those sets of skills in UFC 207.

    By interesting coincidence, both men happened to be matched up with counterparts who, themselves, have similarities to each other in terms of focus.

    In Dillashaw's fight, he put on a performance that was close to near perfect in terms of how to play the neutral game in MMA. He had no interest in playing Lineker's strongest game and trading hands, opting to use his kicks at range, and through masterful integration of feints, transition to the true focus of his strategy that night: the takedown into ground and pound.

    John Lineker truly has hands of stone, harder hands than even Garbrant perhaps. Yet never the less Dillashaw never looked to be in any real danger throughout the entire fight; Linekers trigger finger was defused by the fear of the takedown and not knowing what would be coming next.


    Contrasted to this was the Dom/Cogar fight. After the opening bell and first few exchanges, what stood out to me immediately was that Cruz's head didn't seem to really be in the game. This is a rather amazing thing to say about Dominic Cruz, given his length of performance against world beating competition, and especially given his demonstrated mind for the game, yet never the less, the fact demonstrated itself.

    He seemed determined to engage Cody in a handfight in Cody's strongest area, and over the next 25 minutes showed basically no deviation or adaptation from this tack. As in many things there are likely a confluences of factors that add up to a single effect; the prefight animosity perhaps engendering some hotheadedness, combined with that ageless champion's pitfall of overlooking an opponent, leading among other things to indulging that hotheadedness, all which resulted in piss poor preparation.

    Recall that there was another talented fighter with extreme hand speed that Cruz had faced in the past, a one 'Demetrious Johnson', and he won that fight, not by trying to trade hands with the speed ball powerhouse, but by molesting him on the ground with a wrestling heavy gameplan.

    Garbrandt had no fear of the takedown, and little fear of his hands, and consequently, did not react at all to Doms bump fakes, contenting himself to simply wait for Dom to get closer, whereupon he would unload with full confidence and weight transfer without any second thoughts of being tricked and punished for extending himself.

    The vital lynchpin that holds the cogs of one machine in place was missing in the other, and so the machine broke down, the expected reactions not happening, and nothing seeming to work.


    How bout you guys, what did you think about it?
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  2. PivotPunch

    PivotPunch Red Belt

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    I just think Cruz and Dillashaw are just different enough and Lineker and Gardbrandt a very different.

    The only thing Lineke rand Garbrandt have in commin is power. Lineker is a puncher and Garbrandt is a boxer-puncher. Cruz and Dillashaw do both some of the same things but Dillashaw i much better offensively. Cruz throws awkward looping punches and puts himself off balance, sometimes on purpose sometimes maybe not. Dillashaw has tighter punches.

    Garbrandt made Cruz lead which Cruz isn't good at and Garbrandt approached exchanges smart and countered Cruz' wide looping shots when he was in range.
    I see no way cruz can beat him on the feet not even a young Cruz because of his weaknesses and Garbrandt's strengths. His only way to beat him is GSP style by distracting Garbrandt enough on the feet and then wrestlefucking him but it's not easy Garbrandt showed supreme defensive grappling and he trains with good wrestlers.

    Lineker vs Garbrandt would be fun though it's a better matchup for Lineker than Cruz or Dillashaw allthough I would still favour Garbrandt.
     
  3. rmongler

    rmongler Black Belt

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    I don't disagree, at the same time though distinctions and nuances which are highly relevant to one area of practice often end up becoming 'lower resolution' when you step outside of them.

    Speaking of mma in particular, drawing distinctions in striking in neutral usually looks something like this:

    'is he a stand up/sprawl and brawl fighter? if yes, how does he do it?

    'let A=(bladed+lots of lead leg kicks), let B=(throws lots round leg kicks), let C=(throws lots of hands)

    'if A, then 'karate', if B, then 'moo thigh', if C, then 'boxing'.'

    And so it goes.

    That also tends to, generally, be how people approach game-planning in mma too.

    Dillashaw pretty much completely avoided getting into any strait up punching exchanges with Lineker; if/when he ever fights Garbrant, i fully expect him to employ a pretty much identical strategy.


    As an aside, it was interesting how TJ was actually backing John up rather than the other way around, he plays well off the lead.
     
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  4. a guy

    a guy Black Belt

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    I think every time a dominant champ loses people rush to explain their performance, when sometimes the answer is they got the shit beat out of them by a better fighter. Cody embarrassed Cruz. He straight styled on Cruz. He made Cruz miss by miles and showed far superior footwork. It was a battle of good positioning vs bad, and because Cody was so in control of positioning he was able to control distance and find his timing. Cruz' feints and misdirection had little effect because Cody refused to chase him and did an amazing job using his right hand to parry and feel out range. Cody conserved energy, figured out the patterns and put the hurt on Cruz by making Cruz come to him. He outwrestled Cruz even. That was a true championship performance, showcasing elite composure on top of technical skill.

    As for the comparisons between TJ and Cruz, Cody and Lineker, the styles are very different. TJ and Cruz move a lot, Cody and Lineker hit hard, but their approaches are not the same.
     
  5. shpboris

    shpboris Blue Belt

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    Question about TJ takedowns - I saw the fight in a bad quality so not sure about those:

    1.
    Was he feinting with his hand prior to the takedown attempts or what was that ?

    2.
    Were those regular double leg takedowns or some other flavor of this technique ?
    Specifically, was his front knee on the ground when getting a hold of opponent's legs.
     
  6. AndyMaBobs

    AndyMaBobs Brown Belt

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    It seemed to me that after Cody sprinted at Cruz and got nothing, he realised he was being dumb and started staying back and making Cruz come to him.

    I'm in the camp that says that Dillashaw and Cruz really aren't that similar. Dillashaw is much better on the offensive. What that fight highlighted for me was some of the complaints I've made about Cruz in the past on this forum. He always puts himself out of position, and he doesn't really have much in the way of offensive footwork to speak of.

    When he was met with an opponent who just wouldn't come to him and kept stepping back and forcing him to move forward, he had nothing in the way of aggressive footwork, be it ring cutting or otherwise to back Cody up and trap him.

    Dillashaw on the other hand is a lot better at aggressive footwork, but I would also say that Dillashaw gets hit more. I think that people compare Cruz and Dillashaw because of how visible their footwork technique is, but when you actually look at the techniques they use and their approach to footwork, I wouldn't really say there that similar beyond their footwork being eye catching.
     
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  7. GalegoREB

    GalegoREB He Who Talks Loud, Saying Nothing Double Yellow Card

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    1. Yes he was feinting with the right hand and switching to southpaw

    2.He did an outside trip from the double leg after the switch and the knee only hit the mat after he got a hold of lineker
     
  8. rmongler

    rmongler Black Belt

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    Im giving Dom that benefit since hes an ATG. People also have a tendency to rush and pile on when a big name loses, heaping indignities and acting like they were a can all along and never any good. Victory forgives many sins; likewise, defeat provokes damnation to anyone. So i try to be more circumspect on the topic.

    Once upon a time GSP got embarrassed by Matt Serra after all, TKOed even. Time will tell.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
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  9. Knock Out Ned

    Knock Out Ned el mero mero

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    Decided to venture out, eh?

    What are you doing here away from F12?
     
  10. CFGroup

    CFGroup Green Belt

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    Dom has lots of movement but not much to capitalize with using it. TJ, has lots of movement and uses it to capitalize offensively and to get out of dodge in a hurry. We know now Dom doesn't have an offensive response to someone refusing to play his game. Cody did what I thought TJ should have done against Dom, stay patient, relaxed and wait knowing that Dom doesn't have the power to do real damage most of the time.

    Dom came up when flatfooted Muay Thai was the "most effective" stand up style. He was successful because he couldn't get hit as much and people tried to chase him. But it never was connected to having great body mechanics to deliver power, just awkward off balance striking. My guess is TJ vs Cody would expose TJ as not having the foundation to deliver power against someone as patient as the Cody we saw last night. I'll add I don't think TJ would be able to take Cody down at will like he did to Lineker.

    I have to add TJ is my favorite fighter right now because of his movement, speed and use of angles...And damn some of those takedowns were perfect last night, LOL!
     
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  11. biscuitsbrah

    biscuitsbrah Black Belt

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    Cruz has never fought someone as tall as him at that level.
     
  12. Jimmy Jazz

    Jimmy Jazz Red Belt

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    if tj learned how to kick with the lead leg he'd be twice the fighter he is now.
     
  13. Fire of Youth

    Fire of Youth Green Belt

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    TJ looked like he was playing with his food and loved every minute of it.

    Cruz did look a little slower than normal. But Cody had obviously studied Cruz hard and was seeing through all of Cruz's feints and entries. Cody just waited and met Cruz's entries with timing and structure and it was beautiful to see.
     
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  14. rmongler

    rmongler Black Belt

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    Jus expanding my horizons maine, i love learning things and now im trying to learn more about striking these days.
     
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  15. AndyMaBobs

    AndyMaBobs Brown Belt

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    Honestly, I thought TJ probably should have got the nod in that fight. But really I wouldn't even say not to play his game the way Cody did. The game plan using leg kicks that won him the championship rounds clearly should have been used earlier. The issue was that TJ just wasn't paying attention to Duane until the start of the fourth round.

    I wouldn't go singing Cody's praises just yet though, because on one hand he beat Dominick Cruz, but on the other hand I wouldn't say that Cody showcased stellar defensive footwork. It was mainly just pack steps and the occassional pivot, he was just against someone with no idea how to fight on the front foot. Anyone can beat anyone, but I don't see Cody beating TJ.

    Must say though, those were some nice takedowns
     
  16. a guy

    a guy Black Belt

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    GSP got caught early, Cruz got embarrassed for 5 rounds. There was nothing wrong with him in the fight. He just got beat. It doesn't mean he's a bad fighter, but I'm fully confident a rematch would look more like Dillashaw Barao 2 than GSP Serra 2.
     
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  17. CFGroup

    CFGroup Green Belt

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    Don't know, I thought TJ did way to much chasing against Dom. Logic should dictate the challenger needs to come and take the belt from you meaning they need to be more aggressive. Alfa gorilla gets challenged, he smacks Beta around a little and sends him off nursing his wounds... TJ was the champ he could have waited. In that same logic I was a little worried that Cody, being the challenger wasn't going to be aggressive enough, but Dom fell for it and went after him.

    TJ vs Cody I'd be rooting TJ all day. That power Cody can unwind would be the obvious tactical obstacle. I haven't analyzed Cody enough to see his patterns, but it seems obvious and born out in facts, that mobile guys or ones with superior reach need to be leg kicked early to hobble them. As I said and you agreed with TJ didn't do that early enough against Dom. Studying Cody, TJ may not be disciplined enough to stay on point...Though I'm eating my word cause he did just that against lineker, LOL!

    Both TJ and Cody staying right on game plan not getting frustrated or falling into the others bait? Epic tactical, maybe seeming boring to the average MMA Joe, battle of whits and ability.

    I'd say that'd be a great tactical match up I'd be body englishing the shit out of it on the couch, haha!
     
  18. Rico

    Rico Franklin Platinum Member

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    Cody let Cruz lead the dance the whole way and didn't bite on the urge to chase Dominic like everybody else has. Sat and waited for Cruz to enter the pocket on his terms where he knew he was miles better.
     
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  19. a guy

    a guy Black Belt

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    Cody's defensive footwork was phenomenal. "just back steps and the occasional pivot" doesn't do it justice. That was some of the most effective use of those things I've ever seen in mma, both to defend the strikes and the takedowns. He badly outpositioned Cruz with superior footwork. He didn't just beat Cruz, he styled on him and nearly finished him.

    That said, TJ is way better on the front foot. I think Cody will come forward more against him, and hopefully work the body and legs. If he does I'm picking him.
     
  20. a guy

    a guy Black Belt

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    For the record, Cruz himself has no excuses:

     

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