Part of the Muay Thai curriculum is sparring and we’ve addressed how to improve your sparring sessions previously. However, we’ve also encouraged self studying by watching fights. There are some aspects of UFC where you can take back to your training but we often encourage more Glory, One Championship or any Muay Thai fight in general.
The Body Shot
So if you haven’t figured it out already, we’ll take a look at the body shot through changing levels. Most often in your sparring sessions, you probably have seen your teammates only go head or leg hunting. While this is okay, you also shouldn’t forget about the body. We also understand that it is difficult to setup but it comes with time and understanding how to use your weapons in different ranges.
Breaking It Down
Let’s take a look at two fights, one being a more of an in fight adjustment and the other utilizing the body shot as a counter and understanding range.
For those not familiar with these two, Stipe Miocic, the current Heavyweight Champ in the UFC faced off against Daniel Cormier (DC) in a rematch for the title. Stipe in our eyes is a much better striker than DC who is a former, accomplished Olympic wrestler but still, no slouch in the striking game. This is where we see his prowess in making the in game adjustment and utilizing his range.
While we see Daniel Cormier winning the fight early by using his wrestling with a bit of boxing in the first few rounds of the fight, we start to see flashes of Stipe landing, finding his range. It isn’t until the championship rounds, where Stipe makes the adjustment from working the head to using a hook to the body. You’ll see Stipe landing that hook twice in a row to the liver followed by jabs to the face and back to the body. This adjustment alone got the win for Stipe Miocic.
For those who have never experienced a shot to the liver before, the overall damage you can take is quite a different feeling than a regular body shot.
Just like a typical Muay Thai fight, you see the common exchanges of low leg kicks. But, you could also tell this probably wouldn’t be a normal Muay Thai fight with the tempo being set pretty early.
Rodtang lands the body hook pretty early in the first round in a nice combination before going to the head with a cross-hook. You’ll see him land it again after Haggerty throws a face teep before going down for the first time of the match. Already early on, Rodtang’s counter to Haggerty’s teep almost each time was the hook to the body. You will even notice too that during sparring matches, when people catch teeps, their opponents will have their hands up which exposes the body.
Lesson in all this: Try landing the body shot next time in sparring or even try it out when you shadow box!