Junior Dos Santos and the Lucky Punch

Discussion in 'UFC Discussion' started by Discipulus, Oct 18, 2013.

  1. Discipulus

    Discipulus Black Belt

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    Here's part one of my latest breakdown, which focuses on the two men vying for the heavyweight title at UFC 166 tomorrow. This installment breaks down the game of JDS, including the flaws that allowed Cain to beat him last time out, and the skills that he might use to turn the tides in the rubber match.

    Let me know what you think!

    JDS and the Lucky Punch

    This Saturday, the UFC heavyweight title is on the line. The two men fighting for the belt have each beaten the other once already, so suffice to say that this rubber match is a big deal for them. This write-up marks something of a big deal for me too, as Junior Dos Santos is now the first fighter about whom I have had the privilege of writing two full-length articles. So before we get into the tactics and the techniques, I'd like to express my sincere appreciation to the kind people of Bloody Elbow for giving me this opportunity to write about my passion. Thank you to the folks behind the curtain, and to you, the ever-supportive audience before the stage.

    Alright, wipe away those sentimental tears. It's time for some face punching.

    Typically when I write about the tools a fighter will need to succeed in a matchup, and the pitfalls he will need to avoid, I am going on conjecture. I can educate myself on the chances of the fighter based on similar matchups and stylistic advantages, but the fight itself is always at least a little bit different from how I predicted it.

    Rubber matches are different. We've already seen how JDS can beat Cain, and we've seen how he can lose. On that note, today we'll be taking an in-depth look at Junior's past two fights with Cain, with a few looks at his other fights for clues as to how he might have evolved his game for this matchup. This afternoon we'll look at the current champ, Cain Velasquez, in the same way.

    Velasquez Breakdown Here

    Landing the Lucky Punch

    In their first fight, Junior Dos Santos did what heavyweights have always done: bummed out all the people who bought tickets by ending the fight almost immediately. In 64 seconds, Junior Dos Santos flattened Cain Velasquez with an awkward right hand behind the ear, and a series of brutal punches on the ground to the same target.

    This was almost immediately called a "lucky punch." As a fan, it's hard not to view sudden KOs this way. And with the five round beating Cain administered in the rematch, the shouts of "lucky punch" have only grown louder. What else are we supposed to think when a bout ends in such a quick and unexpected fashion?

    Perhaps we should come to the conclusion that Junior Dos Santos, owner of 12 knockouts and an incredible 10-fight winning streak, has some idea of how to sleep fools with his fists. Here's how he did it to Cain the first time around.

    [​IMG]

    1. Dos Santos fakes a jab as he steps off line.

    2. He connects with a right hand to the body, but eats a counter jab/hook from Cain.

    This was Junior's last attack before the one that felled Velasquez. This is important, because the knockout only happened as a result of this set up.

    [​IMG]

    1. Junior and Cain circle one another.

    2. Dos Santos steps off line, hiding his footwork with another jab fake. He visibly winds up his right hand.

    3. Cain attempts to counter exactly as before, with a left hook as Junior changes levels. He is focused on his quickly moving target, Junior's head.

    4. The right hand connects, thumb to temple, and folds Cain up like a lawn chair.

    (GIF) Note how similar frames 2 and 3 are to the first exchange. Junior sells the right hand to the body two ways. First, the chambering of his overhand right, in which he drops his hand to his hip in what many would call poor technique, looks like a hand being lowered to the body. Second, as his weight moves forward with the punch, Junior bends his knees and lowers his elevation. The moment Velasquez sees Junior's lowered right hand (check out his line of sight in frame 2), he prepares to counter to Junior's exposed jawline. As Cigano changes levels, Cain feels safe in committing, his eyes fixed on Junior's cro-magnon skull (now look at his line of sight in frame 3).

    By the time he notices Junior's right hand sailing over his shoulder, Cain can only wince and turn away. No, it wasn't pretty. In fact, that may just have been the ugliest punch ever landed. But the point is that it landed, and it landed as a result of deliberate strategy.

    In combat sports, there is no such thing as a lucky punch. Junior threw a hard punch which was intended to hit Cain in the head. It did. None of us should be surprised. Luck may be a factor in everything, but the only lucky man in that fight was Cain Velasquez-lucky that Junior was happy to relent when the ref pulled him off.

    Continues at Bloody Elbow...
     
  2. Charlie Sheen

    Charlie Sheen Invisible Belt

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    When I read the title, my initial reaction was "Here we go again, another dumb thread trying to discredit JDS' first win against Cain...", but I was wrong. Great breakdown, TS.

    The way JDS sets up that overhand right is brilliant.

    You might as well put quotation marks on "Lucky Punch" in the title.

    Anyway, great OP.
     
  3. Discipulus

    Discipulus Black Belt

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    Thanks, Charlie. :) I won't deny that I'm baiting a little bit with the title, but I hope that leads to pleasant surprise when people realize the irony in my use of the phrase.

    Although I have had one person already who clearly didn't read the write-up tell me that I was a douchebag and must be a Cain fan or a JDS hater. Ah well...
     
  4. Senzo Tanaka

    Senzo Tanaka Silver Belt

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    JDS landed the exact same punch on Hunt and he went down like a ton of bricks. I couldn't believe he survived it. It was lightning quick, sounded like a gun shot and my jaw dropped.

    The way JDS lands it is beautiful as it seems to hit right on the temple, putting whomever it hits out of balance.
     
  5. ShinkanPo

    ShinkanPo I'll be the one to pluck that fleur

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    I don't know why this made me laughed
     
  6. Discipulus

    Discipulus Black Belt

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    Nearly snapped his toe off on the way down, too. That's a dangerous punch, for sure.
     
  7. MrKilroyT

    MrKilroyT Brown Belt

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    I thought the same thing... only to be pleasantly surprised. JDS set that KO up beautifully.
     
  8. Shoot Boxe Hero

    Shoot Boxe Hero We are Rizin!

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    Good breakdown TS.

    Here is another angle to look at. People say JDS landed 1 lucky punch and that the 2nd fight showed who the better fighter was....but wasn't Junior easily stuffing Cain's takedowns until Cain hit Junior with that 1 big bomb that clearly changed everything? If Cain had KO'd Junior with that shot, would people be calling that victory a fluke or a lucky punch? Both fights had a big turning point centered around 1 big punch. JDS hurt and finished Cain with his. Cain hit JDS and turned him into a zombie for most of the fight with his. I just think its funny no one mentions that the 2nd fight also had 1 big punch that changed everything

    IMO I don't think either was a lucky shot and we will probably see more than 3 fights between these two
     
  9. SKITZADACTYL

    SKITZADACTYL Gold Belt

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    anyone who says that punch was lucky is an idiot, we've seen that punch land for a good year or two from other guys as well, nelson is a good example. i dunno what it is about that punch, hitting with the side of the hand like the thumb area, just folds everyone hahahaha.

    edit: actually i do know why it works and the whole back of the ear equilabirajtbbririam shit but it's just such a weird punch, never looks like it connects, like it hits the shoulder or something until you watch slow mo replays
     
  10. Discipulus

    Discipulus Black Belt

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    Good point. Both men are better going forward than the other is going backward. Both men managed to drop the other by getting them to open up by attempting to counter the jab, when neither is a very good counter fighter. But of the two, JDS is the better boxer by far. Just needs to bring the aggression this time.
     
  11. MartyMcFry

    MartyMcFry Brown Belt

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    Good post! Only the idiots ever called it a 'lucky punch' to make themselves feel better. It's an incredible punch.
     
  12. propergeezer

    propergeezer Blue Belt

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    cliffs: jds isn't a counter puncher, lacks mentality to beat cain's style

    cool
     
  13. Discipulus

    Discipulus Black Belt

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    I don't think that's the case at all. JDS isn't a great counter puncher, but if he can use counters as a means to turn the tide and churn out some aggressive combinations, he'll be able to put Cain to bed.
     
  14. Mikeyz

    Mikeyz Silver Belt

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    Great breakdown TS. 10/10. Everyone already said it best. I thought this was going to be a dumb thread as well but you proved us wrong
     
  15. BuffaloEmperor

    BuffaloEmperor Brown Belt

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    i hate the term "lucky punch". it makes it seem like whoever is throwing the "lucky" punch was not trying to punch the person, they were like swatting at a fly near the other persons head and accidentally hit them.
     
  16. Discipulus

    Discipulus Black Belt

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    Thanks!

    Haha! Sounds more like an unlucky punch. I would love to see JDS swatting at flies like that, by the way. I like the idea that when he wants an insect gone, he just fucking smashes it into oblivion with an overhand right.
     
  17. bat_country

    bat_country Red Belt

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    Agreed. It always surprises me how a guy with 12 of his 16 wins coming by KO/TKO is tagged with a "lucky punch" tag.
    Good post though OP.
     
  18. bat_country

    bat_country Red Belt

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    Personally I'm fine with a guy with little to no standup getting in a fluke KO and having it called a "lucky punch" but it is definetly a way overused term.
    People need to learn the difference between a lucky punch and having a puncher's chance though because they are not the same thing at all.
     
  19. BuffaloEmperor

    BuffaloEmperor Brown Belt

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    so your saying a fight like randleman vs cro cop ?.... randleman had no business standing with Mirko and he somehow managed to KO the shit outta him.
     
  20. mxkey

    mxkey Blue Belt

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    Always informative, love reading your articles.
     

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