Home Science Education Donald Cerrone: Kicks — Strategies and Tricks

Donald Cerrone: Kicks — Strategies and Tricks

Photo via mmanuts.com

Donald Cerrone displayed some really consistent kicks at UFC on FOX 10. These kicks encompass quite a bit of angles and strategies — let’s look at some of them.

Southpaw against Orthodox Lead Hand:

In this type of match up, the lead-hands from both fighters align. This is why it becomes much more difficult to jab against the opponent. To see this principle at play, see Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks.

In Cerrone’s bout against Adriano Martins, Martins had a habit of setting up his strikes with the jab. The Jackson camp must’ve studied this in detail to exploit it — almost every other time Martins reached out to jab, it would get downward parried by Cerrone to launch him into a stepping left-roundhouse. 

Downward Parry Into Stepping Left-Kick

Downward Parry Consistency

This accomplished two things — (a) nullify the lead-hand of the opponent, and (b) launch forward by using the leverage gained from the parry. Using the force of the downward parry, it hastens the step from the right-leg by providing extra pressure on the lead-leg (and hence lighter on the rear-leg). This allows Cerrone to transfer weight more effectively than if he did not parry.

Down-Parry Weight Distribution

The downward parry must be synced with the weight-transferring of the step. The timing is key in pulling this off, and Cerrone pulled this off close to 10 times in this fight. This indicates (a) consistency in Cerrone (b) lack of adaptability in Martins.

Push-Kick Angles in Southpaw vs. Orthodox

Southpaw vs Orthodox Push-Kick Angle

Notice Cerrone throws many rear push-kicks. Why? Because rear push-kicks are more versatile in this matchup. Take note of where the lead-foot of the two fighters are. If Cerrone chose to push-kick with the lead leg, he only has the outer-stomach to attack.

This point can easily be attacked by the rear push-kick (notice how it’s still there even when he takes an outstep, but the rear push-kick can also attack the mid-stomach more easily — particularly when their lead-foot are either parallel or if Martins attempt to take an out-step.

These angles matter a whole lot, and its another reason why Georges St-Pierre chose to rear push-kick Johny Hendricks, while opting to lead-leg side-kick.

Side-Parry Into Rear-Leg Kick

There’s a lot going on for this one… First off, Martins jabbed again and this time Cerrone parried it to the side. Parrying it to the side transfers Cerrone’s weight to his right-side, making the launch of his rear-leg kick even more powerful. This is the same principle as the left-hook into rear-leg kick.

Side-Parry Into Rear Kick Weight Distribution
Mid-Section Kick — a setup for high kick

So after a successful mid-section kick, Cerrone gets Martins to think about the rear-kick. This is a very common setup in southpaw vs. orthodox matchup — you’ll see this very often from various kickers e.g. Anthony Pettis (and this is how GSP landed several high-kicks on Hendricks as well).

 High-Kick Finish

Notice the hand-positioning of Martins. Other than potentially going for underhooks (or swift evasion that he doesn’t do), his hands have no business in being there. Instead, he’s likely attempting to grab a kick: attempting this without being able to read it is the best way to eat a high-kick.

Martins was already circling towards the rear-hand and rear-leg. To set this up further, Cerrone throws out his rear-hand, drawing Martins to shift further into the rear-leg. This meant shin to the neck for goodnight [GIF].

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