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No tactic is unstoppable though and there are now a number of ways to defuse the straight kicking on show in MMA. One of the smarter ones was T.
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After Assuncao started jamming him with low line side kicks Dillashaw got in the habit of showing one leg as the leg to be jammed and quickly switching before he entered with strikes. Dillashaw also did well faking an entry and then physically reaching down to parry and slide down the side of the low line side kick. They need to find your lead leg and if your lead leg is a little less predictable, they run the risk of getting on one leg and locking themselves on the spot for nothing.
The other area where Jones really excels is in the clinch. Jones is one of the most creative and smothering clinch fighters in MMA history. He basically invented the spinning elbow in an MMA context. Guys occasionally tried to time it as a counter out in the open, as is the most common application in Muay Thai, but it was Jones who realized that by posting his head and freeing his hands with the opponents back to the fence, he could spin for elbows with a static target and no repercussions.
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You will see everyone from Alexander Volkanovski to Rafael Lovato attempting this move nowadays. That head post is incredibly important because it allows Jones to stand his opponent bolt upright while he can move his hips back and create power on both punches and knees with his whole body. Notice that by posting his head on his opponent Jones can drive them into the fence and flatten them out, while maintaining a stance from which he can hit with power. It is absolutely beautiful stuff and it shocked many that he was so comfortable doing it against the powerful slugger, Glover Teixeira.
The head post serves the same purpose though, obviously, this is asking to be snapped down into a front headlock. Another technique that was thought to be movie bullshit before Jones started slapping it on everyone he fights. Notice that his hips are still back. Jones leaves the floor to slam his shoulder into Anthony Smith.
You can rely on him to play those hits when he gets in the cage and while there is more to him, when he goes past these it is pretty much his own choice. Most of the opponents he meets cannot cope with him at range or in the clinch. None of that actually matters to the specific ways that Gustafsson troubled Jones.
Watch through the first round of Gustafsson vs Jones 1 and you will see almost no effective low line straight kicks because Gustafsson is so laterally mobile. Mistiming a low line kick actually saw Jones suffer the first takedown of his career. If a man who can comfortably prevent Daniel Cormier from taking him down through two fights is being taken down by a Swedish boxer with no wrestling credentials, you know that getting out of position on a kick really makes a difference. Gustafsson was able to build the body jab into beautiful low-high combinations as Jones got into the bad habit of simply trying to stiff arm his man away.
And where Jones had his successes in the first fight out of orthodox stance spinning for a back elbow against a slipping Gustafsson, throwing a switch high kick at the same opening , he fought the rematch almost entirely southpaw. Each time Eye moved to close the distance, Shevchenko broke the line of attack and turned her.
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As Eye advances, Shevchenko gives ground and circles towards her own left. After every turn, a gut munching kick came up to wind Eye or pin her right elbow to her side.
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There were even instances where Gustafsson switched stances on Jones and Jones would switch stances just to maintain that open guard match up and circle out. In their first meeting Gustafsson was floating around Jones, who slowly pursued from the centre of the cage. Jones had to put a lead on Gustafsson and try to time him circling with back kicks. In the rematch, Jones forced Gustafsson to be the pursuer instead and, in doing so, could predict where Gustafsson would be far more accurately.
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Jones circles off the fence 1 and back towards the centre of the cage 2. As Gustafsson moves across to follow Jones, his path becomes predictable and Jones scores a good oblique kick to the lead leg. As Gustafsson pursues Jones across the ring, Jones ducks in on a takedown attempt, though he throws his left arm out wide 1 , seemingly unconcerned with Gustafsson getting the underhook. Jones half heartedly chases the leg while Gustafsson digs in his underhook 2.
Going into their first fight, most fans were fascinated by the match up Daniel Cormier posed for Jon Jones primarily because of the possibility that we could see Jones forced to work from his back.
The rematch between Jones and Cormier provided some of the finest mixed martial arts we have ever seen. No longer was Cormier a wrestler with heavy hands, looking for the cartoonish, wound-up uppercut. Instead he was now a serviceable and awkward striker. By changing the contest into a handfight, Cormier was able to outjab Stipe Miocic, a man who uses one of the most educated jabs the heavyweight division has ever seen.
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Jones uses a great deal of double hand checking himself. However when Jones turned his usual elbows over, DC was repeatedly able to fold down behind his own shoulder and elbow or duck the elbow outright. Reiterating that point that the low line straight kicks only have a small area of effectiveness even within their own path, Cormier was able to withdraw his lead leg into his stance and then come back with counters as Jones was left out of position.
Cormier withdraws his lead leg from a Jones side kick 1, 2 , Jones is left out of position and Cormier counters with a good right low kick 3.
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