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.