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Tyson Reveals Punch Number Secrets

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Everyone knows 1-2 is a jab and straight right combination. However, that makes it problematic for a corner to shout out, as the opponent will know what is coming.

So the crafty genius Cus D’Amato made up a new numbering system. D’Amato passed it on to his fighter Kevin Rooney, and the pair passed it on to Mike Tyson, who became by far its best-known exponent.

It goes like this:
1 – Left hook to head.
2 – Straight right to head/right hook to head.
3 – Left uppercut.
4 – Right uppercut.
5 – Left hook to body.
6 – Right hook to body.
7 – Jab to head.
8 – Jab to body.

Here ‘Iron Mike’ himself breaks it down for the audience. Footage put together by Roots of Fight and shared with the Boxing Hall of Fame Las Vegas then shows the D’Amato numbering system in action.

Unfortunately, the vast number of techniques in mixed martial arts does not lend itself to a numbering system. At a minimum, you have the jab, left hook, straight right, overhand right, left uppercut, right uppercut, and spinning hammerfist, with your hands. Then there are five basic elbows with each hand, and four basic knees with each leg. There are perhaps a dozen basic kicks, depending on how you define them. So that’s maybe a minimum of 50, striking only, from the outside.

The D’Amato numbering system takes a while to get used to. The MMA equivalent would take until well past retirement.

Still, virtually everyone in MMA is a fan of Mike Tyson’s fighting, at the least, so it is neat to see his techniques broken out so clearly and helps you appreciate a little more clearly what is going on in his highlights.

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Aaron Portier
Highly passionate MMA Journalist, and I've followed the sport ever since my favorite fighter, Vitor Belfort won the heavyweight tournament at UFC 12. After that I've tried to go to every local MMA event around the Gulf Coast and surrounding areas and decided to make it a point to have a career in some aspect in the fighting sport other than fighting in general (didn't want to ruin my face). I'm currently enrolled at Southeastern Louisiana University working towards a degree in Communication. I cover MMA, Boxing and Football for The Daily Star newspaper in my hometown of Hammond, Louisiana, in addition to working as a promotional writer for a local Boxing promotion known as BoxnCar and I cover boxing for 8countnews.com however SciFighting.com is my home. My main goal is to bring more publicity to MMA in my area and to the sport as a whole as all of us involved with the sport are merely scratching the surface and laying the foundation of what mixed martial arts competition will be further down the road.