Fighter wastes no time in the cage en route to a 1st round knockout!
When you are first starting out your training as an MMA fighter and your coach tells you to keep your hands up and your chin down twenty times a practice you may start to get tired of hearing it:
“But coach, I was just holding pads. Surely you don’t want me keeping my chin tucked while holding mitts?”
“Yeah, I do.”
“But coach, we are working take downs, you don’t see wrestlers keeping their hands up in collegiate wrestling.”
“They don’t have to worry about getting punched, so keep your hands up till the end of class, and when your triceps are so sore that they are trembling and you are sure you can’t keep them from dropping any longer—keep them up for another 5 minutes and then we can call it a day.”
And when your coach says this he doesn’t mean, “keep your hands at chest level,” he means to keep them in front of your face.
If this weren’t so important we wouldn’t see fighters like James Johnson getting knocked out from an overhand right without a proper set up within the first 26 seconds like the bomb that Ralph Aau dropped on him back in April of 2010. But let’s not get too high and mighty on our soapboxes just yet because MMA fighters have a tough job. It probably takes getting clocked quite a few times in training and live combat before these rules finally sink in. In this fight, Johnson was clearly guilty of relaxing too much early on because he figured that the first few seconds of the fight would merely be a feeling-out process. It’s important to remember, though, that there’s no rule that says that any fight needs to start off slow. Once the bell rings you’d better protect yourself at all times –or like Johnson, you might just get rung.