Home Science Education Lyoto Machida: Techniques against Rich Franklin

Lyoto Machida: Techniques against Rich Franklin

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Photo via allwrestlingsuperstars.com

This piece is a follow up to my previous piece: “Lyoto Machida: The Forgotten Front-Kick”. In this article I hope to do this great match the justice it deserves. Both fighters were undefeated going into this match.

The Rear-Straight Counter on a Telegraphed Rear-Kick

Machida easily reads the telegraphed and slow kick: braces (step-down) and counters with a left-straight

Kicking without a guard and leaning forward (for power) is acceptable when you have sufficient timing to not get hit. It is extremely ill-advised to do this otherwise– Rich Franklin eventually paid for it harshly against Cung Le [GIF] — did not lean forward but absolutely no defence. Franklin’s kicks are too telegraphed and without setup.

Look at how wide open Franklin is even before he releases the kick. Machida saw it coming from a mile away and has a clear path into Franklin’s centerline.

 Rear Kick Counter Against Jab: Checking the Rear Hand

Machida counters with a rear kick as soon as Franklin throws a non-threatening jab.
Machida’s rear-hand is ready to parry the jab (same-side parry is generally textbook). The jab was not committed, and Machida kicks almost simultaneously.
Machida’s kick is not “technically perfect”. But notice how his lead hand is still up and forward — should Franklin attempt a rear-straight he’d have a good chance to parry. Also notice how he sits his weight down and away from Franklin — adding power while staying slightly further.

Defensive Tendency: A Tell For The Future

Franklin’s defensive tendency is key here. He leans left to slip, possibly attempt a takedown, and defend a right-roundhouse.
Trying to slip while perhaps attempting a takedown — but the timing is off.
Machida is ready to control and push off with forearm and drop the weight. Franklin doesn’t try any further and backs out instead.
Pretty much a preview for what’s coming up. Notice how Franklin tends to drop lower to cushion the right-roundhouse.

Over-Commitment and Off-Balance

When near the corner in this angle, a rear-straight and lead-hook is the right idea to trap opponent. But The rear-straight was so off target and over-committed that the lead-hook cannot be effective. This could’ve been a great countering opportunity.
A textbook rule is that the head should not be past the lead knee. This is literally a head past the lead knee — a single direction attack that makes it pretty much impossible to follow up effectively. The only time this type of strike should be thrown is when you are positive that it’ll land — the more off-balanced and committed you are the more likely you’ll be punished.
As a result the right hook is so far off mark and without much leverage that Machida can safely exit and circle out with lateral movement.

 Punishing the Get-Up

This is one aspect to the game that’s pretty exclusive to MMA: when an opponent tries to get up one should try to exploit it.

Near the corner, Franklin is pretty much forced to eat a roundhouse before exiting.
Again, take note of how Franklin reacts to the right roundhouse — downward cushion to left.

Exploiting Telegraphed Kick Again:

Franklin has a tendency to (attempt) leading with his kicks… despite repeatedly paying for it.
Franklin is about to kick, but again, too slow and predictable. He pays for it by eating a rear-straight counter followed by a lead-right. Note where Franklin’s lead hand is — not ready to parry or block.

 The Finale, Setup … and “Forgotten Front Kick”

Lyoto lands a left straight over Franklin’s jab feint into loading right. They crash into each other, and after a clinch disengagement (he shuck Franklin off and pushed him as Franklin backed out).

When Franklin was pressed against the ropes, he probably thought a right-roundhouse was coming, so he’s prepared to cushion. Just as he leans towards the “right-roundhouse”, the front-kick sneaks through the the guard from a “blind angle” (refer to Jack Slack’s Fightland piece). As Franklin’s head bounces back (being straightened by the front-kick), a seamless left-straight was delivered over the top for goodnight.

Tendency to lean left to cushion.

This is again, noticing a tendency and exploiting it. Again, apologies to Lyoto Machida for forgetting that it’s the first awesome front-kick I’ve seen in MMA — hope I’ve done his techniques justice!

As always, thank you for reading. Stay tuned for more breakdowns. To stay updated, you can follow Lawrence Kenshin on his social media accounts below.