Monday, December 29, 2008

Q/A: Boxing Striking for MMA.

Here's a great question I was asked about teaching boxing striking to an mma fighter and what it can add. Rampage starched Wanderlai with an awesome left hook on the money and Mir displayed improved hand striking in his win although he still needs to improve on it a lot more.

Bottom line modified boxing striking adds a lot to an mma fighter as you'll read in my response below. Look for me to blog more on how mma fighters are adding or need to add more in the future upcoming big fights.

Rob, I wanted to know what you thought about applying boxing to mma striking and where do you see it going in the future. A lot of mma guys throw haymakers and looping punches but seem to get away w/ it (Fedor, Wanderlei Silva, etc.). Some guys (Rampage, GSP, etc) have more of a traditional stance and better technique. Do you think as mma progresses, guys will start applying more head movement, combos, and counter punching as a professional boxer would? Thanks in advance Michael.

I work striking with mma fighters using modified techniques. I can add some footage very soon. I think when it's taught right it adds a lot to a fighter and I obviously see and get this feedback as well.

You can't turn an mma fighter into a boxer with a typical boxing stance. Teaching them how to maximize their punching leverage, turning their hips, shoulders, and wrists over goes a long way to increasing punching power.

Tools that the fighters I work with dig are the maize ball ( shown in a previous post ) and the double end bag. In fact many fighters have never used these great training tools. The maize ball goes along way into improving head movement as does the double end bag along with punching far more accurate, improving timing, speed, movement etc.

You saw what happened to Wanderlai as he got stretched because he was there to be hit. Same thing with Evans blasting Chuck out a few fights ago. They can be countered on easy . Head movement is a must and not worked on enough.

Yeah I do think that mma fighter will add more modified boxing techniques to their game. They'll alo learn to relax more so the punches flow faster, more accurate, tighter ( meaning not so wide ) and harder for longer. This takes time to master.

Those gloves are fucking small so it's either kill or be killed by punches. Meaning you can get a guy out fast when you master hands or a fighter will get stretched by someone who's good if they're an easy target who walks right into shots with no head movement.

One thing I do with the fighter I work with is that when they work on the heavy bag I'll get behind the bag and after a combo or mid combo I'll thrust forward with the bag like I'm shooting in on them so they can move out of the way and back in with knees or kicks. This keeps them very sharp and prevents them from getting lazy and in a lull.

Monday, December 22, 2008

First annual year end Boxing Performance awards.

Here's my first annual boxing performance awards. We had a great 08 in boxing, look for a bigger 09 in boxing! Enjoy....

Best performance of the year

1) Pacquiao
2) Hopkins
3) Margarito

Fighter of the year pound for pound

1) Pacquiao (no one else comes close this year)
2) Bernard Hopkins
3) Paul Williams

Fight of the year

1) Vazquez-Marquez 3
2) Cotto-Margarito
3) Pacquiao - Marquez II

Event of the year

1) Pacquiao-De La Hoya

Upset of the year

1) Pacquiao- De La Hoya
2) Hopkins- Pavlik
3) Prescott-Khan

Comeback of the year

1) Vitali Klitschko: Returns from a near four years away and shuts out the so called most feared heavyweight in the world.
2) Vic Darchinian: Beats down Mijares in impressive fashion.

3) Ricky Hatton (he didn't retire but he rebounded well from a beating by Mayweather )

Round of the year

1) Holt-Torres 2 round one

KO of the year

1) Casamayor - Katsidis
2) Holt-Torres II
3) Miranda-Banks
4) Prescott- Khan
5) Mosley-Mayorga

Trainer of the Year

1) Freddie Roach
No one else comes close this year.

Fake Ass Fighter Nothing but Hype Award

1) Roy Jones
2) De La Hoya
3) Sam Peter

Dude you should have stayed retired award

1) Angelo Dundee: He added nothing to Oscar and it was a distraction and all hype to have him in camp. Back to the sunny beaches of retirement Dundee goes... Please stay there Angie.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Gym Notes: The power of distance and using angles.

I'm going to start blogging now with more gym notes from my gym. I think this will allow everyone to have a great look about what goes on and arises in training fighters.

Tonight at the gym during sparring one of my fighters kept making a basic but yet very over looked mistake. The mistake was getting in position to land the jab and follow up right hand left hook then take 3-4 steps straight back taking himself out of position to get off again.

He would also have success doubling up his jab yet take himself back out of position. I explained to him while he was sparring that he was having success and taking that success away from himself by doing that. You can't fight for position then take it away. You get nowhere fast and build no momentum or rhythm. What solves this common error? Moving laterally allows you to evade incoming punches while turning your opponent and allowing you to be in position to punch in on angles. This is how you control another fighter and it's truly powerful and very fun to do!

I know what boxing is and how to define it... It's to hit and not be hit yet be in position to counter ( punch ) back and score. Many coaches forget this. I don't. This is boxing and this is what I teach at my fight school.

Click here to master how to move laterally and punch in on angles.

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Best Heavyweight in The World, But Ready To Be Blown Over and Out At Any Moment.

Wladimir Klitshko took care of business against sub and sloppy looking Hasim Rahman in a one sided beat down last Saturday night. Hasim looked to show up just for the check and lets hope we don't hear from his bitch ass again. I say bitch ass because of the way he weaseled out of the Toney rematch and he goes on to perform like this! A fucking joke and embarrassment to his team.

Why was Marshal Kaufman fired weeks before the fight? Why in favor of McGirt? who did give good instructions in the fight. Did Marshal foresee what was coming and voice his concern? Wlad played with Hasim and this fight really sucked to watch!

In watching Wladimir you obviously can appreciate how he uses his size and skill well. Offensively he is there although he has a poor body attack and defensively he's still flawed. Emanuel Steward is notoriously a more offensively minded coach. Watching Wladimir fight you can still see he gets uncomfortable when pressure is applied. ( Not that Hasim applied much! ) He just looks like he can be blown over with a heavy shot at times. I just don't trust his toughness.

How do you expose Wlad's defensive flaws you may be thinking? Look at the Pacquiao- De La Hoya fight that followed this bore fest. You take Wlad's strengths away by turning him and pressuring him. You beat him by using movement ( foot, and head ), power, feints, and HARD counter punching.

A heavyweight that I first laughed at by thinking he could pose a threat to Klitchsko is starting to make me a believer in him. His fight against Barret has nothing to do with my thinking this either.

David Haye has the athleticism, power, speed, and foot work to catch and test Wlad. If he can improve his head movement and shorten his shots by not getting too wild I give him a hellava shot of beating Wlad. Haye has pretty fast feet along with his hands and I think he could punch in on some nice angles created by his footwork. Wlad fights totally different when he worries about what's coming in return or when the other fighter doesn't cooperate and fights his own fight.

Wladimir has everything but a chin. Haye's chin is suspect too but he has balls and would bring it too Wladimir WHICH is what he hates. I feel Hay's pressure if he doesn't make any mistakes could really stress Wladimir and fatigue him as he fatigued against Lamont Brewster. Haye seems to hit harder and is obviously a lot faster than Lamont so you can't help but think he has a great shot.

I tell you what.. If they fight like they should.. It'll be a lot better rather than watching that one sided beat down we seen against that pretender Rahman. Haye comes to fight and will go out on his shield. That's a can't miss fight and one I'll guarantee we'll all enjoy seeing. Wishful thinking on my part? I don't think so. Lets hope this fight happens.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Dreams Can Come True With Your Help.

I contributed to this awesome holiday tips e-book. I know you all will dig it and find it really beneficial. Now I'm asking each of you to reach out and help those in need this holiday season by purchasing this e book. Help yourself while helping those in need by purchasing this $10 e-book. It doesn't get any better than that!

Here's what's inside the e-book....

Get inside advice from some of the world’s top personal trainers, coaches and strength athletes while benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation®. .

Team EliteFTS 2008 Holiday Tips contains 137 tips to get through the holidays with relatives, no gym,commercial gyms,holiday food and parties.This also includes 10 workout programs and one Circa-Max Raw Bench Press Program to peak your bench before the new year. As always you will find our usual EliteFTS humor scattered throughout the manual.

We request a minimum $10 contribution for this e-book, but we are leaving the option to donate extra if you like.

Team Elitefts Holiday Tips (e-Book)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Oscar Found Out That If You Play With Fire You Do Get Burnt... Really Torched.

It looks like the days of Oscar hand picking his opponents for a big event and pay pay are finally over. Last Saturday night in a fight touted as mismatch Manny Pacquiao proved everyone wrong while beating Oscar's ass into obvious retirement.

This fight was seen as a joke to many experts and even team De La Hoya. They obviously didn't take Manny serious enough and totally mis judged what Pacquiao could do.

I though coming in Manny would rise to the occasion and perform spectacularly. I didn't think he'd dominate Oscar that easy though. I mean it was EASY for Manny. He kicked Oscar's ass from pillar to post.

Oscar was finally taught the lesson that if you want to be a part time fighter and not take boxing serious enough by being active before taking on a beast like Manny you get embarrassed.

It was obvious coming into this fight that Manny was the real fighter. The size factor was the only question mark and Manny proved the adage of it's not the size of the dog in the fight but the fight in the dog very true.

Ironically though Manny was heavier than Oscar going into the ring. The speed, movement, and defense Manny displayed was spectacular. He upped his game big time. Yes it was a one sided fight but Manny made it that way and kept it that way until the end. That's how good he has become.

That's what special fighters do. Manny has done what Oscar was never able to do and that's dominate in a big fight. That's why when Manny retires he'll be looked at as the better and more accomplished fighter. Manny has taken more risks and beat better fighters than Oscar. Manny takes risks because he's a fighter and now a multi multi millionaire as well.

He's had a Henry Armstrong like year and the sky is the limit as a proposed Hatton fight nears. Yes Manny is P4P #1, yes he'll be a hall of famer, and yes he proved with last Saturday nights performance that he's a throw back fighter.

The scary thing is that Manny hasn't even peaked yet! The best seems yet to come. While Oscar's act and charade as an elite fighter is finally over.

- Big props to Freddie who devised and had Manny follow a brilliant fight plan. This bout was sweet revenge for Freddie and it couldn't have happened to a better trainer.

- Thanks to Bob Arum for listening to Larry Merchant's idea of this fight and having the faith in Freddie Roach when Freddie confirmed that Manny could do it.

- Of course thanks to Manny for proving all these fucking moronic experts wrong who called this fight a mismatch in favor of Oscar. It's fighters like Manny and of course Bernard Hopkins who continue to prove how little these experts do know of boxing.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

My Late Prediction For Pacquiao-De La Hoya.

From reading my last post here on my blog and my latest post on the elite Q/A under Olympic sports you guys obviously know who I want to win. I really think Manny can do it too.

Lets remember that Oscar hasn't fought frequent enough and against solid opposition to be really sharp tonight. That's what's going to hurt him against Manny who's been very active against awesome opposition. I mean fighters like Marquez who is amazingly skilled and everything that Oscar isn't pound for pound.

Oscar should have a few movements with his size advantage but the fight will change when he's tired. Manny can go all night and he's VERY durable. That'll make the difference along with his movement and speed. I think his power will surprise Oscar and we'll soon see.

Manny by close decision... Because they're fighting in Oscar's town... Vegas.

Enjoy the fight!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Pacquiao- De La Hoya Promotion Should Be Titled The Fighter Vs. The Fraud

Let me ask you guys something. How did you like hearing Oscar regurgitate the same old shit he has his whole career during Pacquiao- De La Hoya 24/7? Are you sold on it? Do you believe his twisted hype? Do you believe Dundee can add anything or has made Oscar better? What about Nacho for that matter? After all wasn't Oscar SOOOO elated that Nacho was training him and saying that Nacho is the weapon that'll help him beat Manny yeeeet he brings in Dundee?

Oscar is anything but a real fighter and hasn't been for quite a few years now. Why does he fight then? He's established his promotional firm as the soon to be juggernaut promotional company of boxing.

Oscar wants to have his cake in boxing and eat it too. But at last he's fighting a REAL fighter who loves to fight, can bring the fight, and will bring the fight for the whole 12 rounds if it lasts that long.

Thomas Gerbasi couldn't be more right and I couldn't agree with him more in his article here that's on

Don't be turned off and believe the hype of this fight being a mismatch. Don't believe misconception that size conquers will and skill. I mean you had to know who the REAL fighter was in Pacquiao-De La Hoya 24/7! Manny is real fighter in this fight and that's why you should tune in.

Although tis fight isn't for any title nor is their any big stakes at line... You may very well indeed watch and learn that you don't fuck with fighters who take this game serious. Yeah, Manny Pac is a nasty little mutherfucker who likes to make big $$$ and still fight hard. A mismatch was never in his mind. Only the next opponent he has too beat.

Maybe this will be the fight that finally lets Oscar know that he needs to stay his ass out of the ring as it's NO place for part time fighters.

You may very well see in this fight that size is a good tool but only one factor. Quality of recent world class tough as hell opposition means more pound for pound and being severely battle tested going into a big fight trumps many factors.

I'm not a hater of Oscar as much as it seems. I'm a hater of frauds and that's what he is if he or anyone thinks he's still a world class fighter that demands the lions share of the $$, hype, attention, and respect for being a part time fighter that hasn't beaten anyone GREAT since Vargas.

I'm ending my rant and telling you to watch the fight! Manny Pac is one of the last great millionaire fighters left.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Looking Back: Grading Arreola and Williams

Chris Arreola and Paul Williams weren't exactly in big fights last weekend but they were still pretty significantly important.

Chris's fight was very important for the reason of him being tabbed the real American contender. There was a lot of pressure on Chris for this fight, win and he's closer to a huge fight with either Klitschko. Lose and he's seen as a pretender and not the American contender that has been stamped on him.

When I saw how much he weighed at the weigh in I was extremely disappointed with he and his team. Coming in at 254 didn't give the impression that he took this fight and the stakes serious enough.

I feel he had a tougher time than he should of had against Walker although it was a short but very sweet and exciting fight. Chris is a lot better fighter than he showed in appearance and technique.

Here are his grades.

Conditioning: D

Chris wasn't pushed into the late rounds as team Walker had planned and hoped for so we didn't get a good gauge of Chris's despite his appearance. Taking his weight of 254 into consideration gives you the impression that it would've been disastrous for Chris to allow the fight to go that long. It didn't. He won and he better be damn glad too.

Strength: B+

Chris is pretty strong, he showed his strength of will and mind by getting up and ending the fight before it got out of hand. Many fighters would've folded under Walker's start. Chris didn't and he must be praised for that.

Power: A

The left hook Chris finished Travis with was right on the money and just the power shot he needed to land to call it a day. Power can save your ass quick in a fight as Chris displayed.

Speed: C-

Chris has better hand speed and combos than he displayed last Saturday night. His weight slowed him down. If he comes in at 240 like he should you'll see how quick and nimble Chris can be.

I feel Team Arreala dogged a bullet with the condition they came into this fight with. All that talk of Big Bear being great for Chris and he still comes into the biggest fight of his career thus far looking sloppy! They better get their shit together if they want to take advantage of their next opportunity and not be blown out.

Paul Williams

I thought Paul fought as good as a fight he could have with a bad cut early while winning the 154 WBO strap. I feel that this fight was a great experience for Paul. Verno is an older fighter but he is NO joke. Paul looked stronger at 154 than 147. His grades are as follows.

Conditioning: A

Paul through a lot of hard body shots and combos period leading to his eight round stoppage of Verno. You can't do that if you're not in shape. Paul was and he made sure the cut wasn't a factor by his constant whirl wind punch put output.

Strength A

Like I said earlier Paul looks very strong at 154. Verno is not a weak fighter either and Paul bullied him around the ring. For being a wiry guy, Paul doesn't allow himself to be bullied or looked like he'll be blown over at any moment. Strength makes that happen.

Power A

Verno is fucking tough as hell. Any other fighter would've crumbled earlier under those viscous body shots that Paul was ripping. His was consistent and relentless with his power shots. If he was feared at 147 by the elite, makes you wonder what the best of 154 are thinking!

Speed B-

I feel Paul can be a bit faster. I don't like how he hangs his punches out there sometimes. Against a faster fighter he'll be countered on. I feel he can be faster and I doubt that he's performing any plyo work. I would add some power training to his routine and then watch how the fear of him grows along with that new speed and power.

Paul is going to be hard to beat if he's focused. I think he learned a lot about that in the first Quintana fight. The only way I see anyone beating Paul is if Paul comes into the fight drained and over trained from jumping divisions. Team Williams should settle into the 154 division for a bit set up a super fight with Vernon Forrest kick his ass then go to middleweight to cause havoc and terror their. One step at a time team Williams.. haste makes waste... being foolish jumping divisions could get Paul's ass kicked.