Friday, May 17, 2013

Empathizing With Greg Jackson On Preparing For Different Opponents

Tonight, I learned firsthand how tough it is to fight two different, high-level opponents.  While I still don't agree with Greg Jackson saying that 8 days wasn't enough time for Jones to prepare for Sonnen, I now understand why he felt that way.  When dealing with high-level opponents, strategy and preparation matter a lot more than size, strength, and speed.  I found that out when sparring Jeremy and Sifu Amanda.

Jeremy is swift and strong  He is very creative with his striking and combos, hitting from every angle imaginable.  I compare his style to that of Anthony Pettis: you never know where the next attack is going to come from. 

On the other hand, Sifu Amanda is technical and calculating.  She patiently figures out your rhythm before hitting you with accurate, well-timed kicks.  I compare her style to that of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua: wherever she aims, she hits.  It's that simple. 

Against Jeremy, I had the most success when I crowded him and cut off his space, turning the match into more of a brawl.  Against Sifu Amanda, I found that it was better for me to keep my distance and counter-strike whenever she went in for the kill.  In other words, against Jeremy, I fought like Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, whereas against Sifu Amanda I fought more like Lyoto Machida. 

I still have make some adjustments to my fighting style.  For example, even though I tired Jeremy out and made the fight more competitive, he still landed more strikes, so I need to improve my defense while in the clinch.  When it comes to Sifu Amanda, on the other hand, I need to apply more pressure to break her focus and concentration.  One thing is clear: I can't fight Jeremy the same way that I fight Sifu Amanda and vice versa. 

Jeremy would run circles around me if I tried to evade and counter-strike, whereas Sifu Amanda would kick me into oblivion if I tried to brawl with her.  I could only imagine how hard it would be to adjust for differences between two UFC-level opponents.  So when it comes to Greg Jackson, I can definitely empathize with him.  While I don't agree with his opinion on that particular event, I do agree with this: it is important to tailor your approach to each individual opponent. 

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