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Floyd Mayweather, Jr. at DeWalt event

"There's nothing cool about taking punishment" - Floyd Mayweather Jr

Floyd Mayweather Jr is arguably the greatest boxer ever. 44-0 as a professional (at the time of writing) & champion in 5 weight classes. Known for his incredible defence & strategy (of course his coaches & camp play a large role too) he makes the best look amateurish. He exemplifies everything it takes to be a great fighter, supremely intelligent & a masterful innovator. In one round he shows more skill than many can comprehend, yet he is often seen as boring... As he often points out in interviews, he wants to remain healthy & continue enjoying life with his family. ...continue reading "Excellence vs. Excitement"

I read 2 articles recently that analyse the finish rate per weight division in MMA. The first (not the order I read them in, btw) was an article on Fightnomics. The author, Reed Kuhn, looked at all the UFC fights for 2006 - 2012. As was expected, the number of KOs, TKOs & stoppages as a proportion of fights increases with the weight of the fighters. Simple physics right? The graph below is a simplification of the data presented by Kuhn to make it more comparable to that presented by Sampson (see the next analysis):

Finish Rate per Weight Division - UFC Total
As expected a positive correlation between weight & knock-out power... simple physics.

...continue reading "MMA: Physics vs Technique?"

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I thought I would contribute my 2c worth on an endless debate. MMA is in parenthesise because the underlying principles apply irrespective of the rules. Fighting arts are defined by the rules under which they are contested. Boxing rules disallow kicks, knees, elbows, etc. while current MMA rules allow those & more but generally / currently disallow head-butts & on the street there are no rules. Irrespective of the tools / techniques at the striker's disposal it's the aptitude & application that I am concerned with here.

Fighting is as much science as art. Once the fundamental postures & movements are mastered a fighter needs to understand the principles that allow them to work. For some that understanding isn't intellectual, it's 'instinctive' (intuitive / subconscious maybe?). Instead of learning thousands of techniques & combinations the really good striker applies the principle to the situation. Great strikers are those that take it a step further & innovate. Essentially if a fighter is focused on getting in & out safely and not simply relying on reactions, speed, reach, power & a good chin, he is already a good striker (think black belt) in my opinion. By that definition at least 50% of pro boxers & closer to 80% of MMA pros aren't good let alone great (true masters). True greats are very rare...

...continue reading "A great (MMA) striker?"