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Controlling the distance. In the sport of MMA, grappling and wrestling are looked upon like key components. The herd of sheep sometimes overemphasise these key components. But its okay, everybody has their strengths and weaknesses. This self-awareness allows us to progress forward, in knowing our weakness and strength we know what to work on, what to improve and what to maintain. We also know what game plan to impose on our adversaries what ground to avoid. Putting our opponents on grounds that favour us.

Nonetheless, whether it be in combat sports or a street fight, whoever controls distance, controls the fight, and has the certainty of victory in their hands. Conventional thought is that controlling distance is only the ability for a tall fighter. They keep their shorter adversary at bay. But this is wrong as Mike Tyson would breakdown in this old interview below:

If you tall you keep your opponent at bay, by firing from the outside and if you short, like mike Tyson, you go on the inside, by making your tall opponent miss. Mike would bob and weave or more accurately put, he would use the Dempsey roll, including throwing deceptive punches and would knock out his opponents with hooks or the infamous “gazelle punch”. The Dempsey roll was created to destroy giants, an innovation of the legend Jack Dempsey.

Mike Tyson drilled this and mastered it in his prime, including the gazelle punch. These tools are good for shorter fighters in weaving their way around their opponents’ defences. Once inside they cause damage. It is one of the ways a shorter fighter would control the distance in boxing.

Many great knock-out artists control distance, their knockouts are sometimes counterattacking as their adversaries’ attack, the likes of Connor McGregor in his quick knockouts against Aldo… and Alves…

Anderson Silva is another great example. And now we have Israel Adesanya, his recent dismantling of Paulo Costa is a perfect example, sending a warning to wrestlers and grapplers, that even they need to come up with tools to control the distance, control the pace and win.



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