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8/22/12 8:56 AM
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Jack Slack
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Edited: 08/22/12 8:56 AM
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Hey guys,
A while ago I wrote a piece called Fight Like Dos Santos: The Right Straight. I've finally got around to doing the second part of the series, focusing on Cigano's left hook.  If you enjoy this one please share it and make some noise, I really want to start doing some magazine pieces and need all the attention I can get!

Hope you don't mind clicking the link and as always, all feedback is welcomed.

Cheers,
Jack
 
 
 
Several months ago I wrote a piece called Fight Like Dos Santos: The Right Body Straight which was supposed to be part of a series breaking down the key techniques of MMA's only true boxer-puncher. This was my last piece at Head Kick Legend and since then I have failed to go back to the series. That changes today as we delve back in to the striking techniques of Junior Dos Santos.
 
Many may ask what the point of this series is, obviously not everyone can be a 240lbs fighter that moves like a middleweight. The purpose of this series is firstly to shed light on some of Cigano's techniques for the layman, and secondly to give the MMA / boxing / kickboxing trainee some insights on techniques which they might struggle to land. This won't be my personal philosophies but rather the techniques that Dos Santos has proven in action.
 
One of the reasons that Dos Santos has hypnotized the MMA fan base is that he is not just a slugger who throws one punch or wades in swinging - like almost everyone in MMA, even the strikers. Cigano is a boxer-puncher, using long punches such as the jab and the right body straight to set up his power punches. He rarely throws combinations outside of 2 or 3 punches in length (except when he is swarming on a hurt opponent), but he works the entire upper body and head throughout his combinations. Not everyone can be Dos Santos, but his strategies are so sound that they are often imitable.
 
 
Today we will focus our attention on the toughest punch to learn, the left hook (G). Dos Santos tends to use this is one of several ways:

- As a Lead

- After a Faked Right

- As a Counter

- On the Retreat
 
As a Lead
 
Junior dos Santos is one of the few fighters in MMA who can actually lead well with a left hook from a natural, correct boxing stance. Many men such as Paul Daley and Quinton Jackson lead with left hooks, but because they stand so square on it is obvious that they plan to. Dos Santos' lead left hook comes right out of his stance, doesn't carry huge power, but provides a nice alternate to his jab.
 
Against Shane Carwin many touted Dos Santos' ability to land his jab so often. Shane Carwin is not a dumb fighter, and his boxing is very solid, no amount of a speed advantage would allow Junior to simply repeatedly throw the straight jab and land it over and over. Dos Santos' secret to success was mixing between the strong left jab and the long left hook right out of his stance.
 
 
Dos Santos' ability to seamlessly mix the jab and lead hook comes from his performing what in the bare knuckle boxing days was referred to as "milling". This is the act of circling the hands as you often see in old movies when gentlemen are about to engage in fisticuffs. Dos Santos' motion is not as exaggerated but it is the same principle - he constantly circles his lead hand between the neutral position in the top left still and the coiled position in the top right still. Every time he circles his hand out again the opponent worries it is a punch, and every time he comes back to coil he brings his lead hand outside of his lead shoulder, allowing him to lead with a left hook or a jab. In the bottom left still Junior leads with a left hook, catching Carwin's arm from the outside. Seconds later he leads with a jab and lands inside of Carwin's hand as Carwin is clearly trying to play catch up with his defence.
 
This milling motion is as old as pugilism itself, but it is continually forgotten or under-rated by fighters and coaches. Here is a nice clip of the Boston Strong Boy, John L. Sullivan - first heavyweight champion of the world - demonstrating milling to set up a jab or left swing.
 
It looks silly and outdated, but watch the Shane Carwin fight again and see how well this seemingly primitive technique baffles a top level UFC heavyweight over and over again. Dos Santos' ability to lead with a left hook gives him two fast options right out of his stance where most fighters only have the jab.
 
After a Faked Right
 
One classical way of landing an offensive left hook is to set it up with the right hand. Against Cain Velasquez, Dos Santos opened with three powerful right hands in a row - two to the head and one to the body. Then he moved his head and faked a right straight before jumping in with a left hook to Cain's body.
 
 
The top two stills are instances of Dos Santos landing his right hand on Velasquez, or at least passing Cain's defence and flustering him - as his left hook did to carwin in the first storyboard. In the bottom left still Dos Santos fakes a right and steps in with a left hook to the body. Cain succeeds in landing a left hook on Dos Santos' shoulder, and Dos Santos' chin is up, showing that even the best make mistakes - but this stepping left hook is something that can be seen over and over in his padwork with Dorea before each UFC event. The act of faking the right hand also squares the hips, allowing a powerful left hook to be thrown.
 
As a Counter
 
 
8/22/12 9:23 AM
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Jack Slack
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rrefs - fight like dos santos: go to a boxing gym

 The vast majority of boxing gyms in the world are pretty poor.

Dos Santos happened to fall in with Dorea, who is an incredible coach.
8/22/12 9:35 AM
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Funaki Masakatsu #1
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8/22/12 9:37 AM
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Willin_But_Not_Chaeble
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Jack Slack - 
rrefs - fight like dos santos: go to a boxing gym

 The vast majority of boxing gyms in the world are pretty poor.

Dos Santos happened to fall in with Dorea, who is an incredible coach.

Jack,

I haven't read your piece yet but I will in a moment. Thanks for these - I've expanded my appreciation of MMA striking several-fold since I've started reading your articles.

Do you find Freddie Roache's knowledge of boxing to be as esteemed as his reputation would lead people to believe? Is he really one of the premier boxing coaches or maybe even the best in the world?

Cheers!

8/22/12 9:38 AM
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Nexuscrawlers
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 good read as always, thanks Jack.
8/22/12 9:41 AM
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Chimonos Revenge
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What is your background, Jack?
8/22/12 9:42 AM
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GladiatorGannon
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8/22/12 9:44 AM
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Jack Slack
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Willin_But_Not_Chaeble - 
Jack Slack - 
rrefs - fight like dos santos: go to a boxing gym

 The vast majority of boxing gyms in the world are pretty poor.

Dos Santos happened to fall in with Dorea, who is an incredible coach.

Jack,

I haven't read your piece yet but I will in a moment. Thanks for these - I've expanded my appreciation of MMA striking several-fold since I've started reading your articles.

Do you find Freddie Roache's knowledge of boxing to be as esteemed as his reputation would lead people to believe? Is he really one of the premier boxing coaches or maybe even the best in the world?

Cheers!


  I rate Freddie Roach's knowledge incredibly highly and he's surely one of the best in the world. But I wouldn't say he's the smartest or savviest coach out there - I mean there's dozens of great guys who teach amazing styles and techniques. Manny Steward, Roger Mayweather etc. I personally very much like what Enzo Calzaghe and Brendan Ingle have done with their fighters.

Unfortunately Freddie has acquired this reputation whereby if you work with him you will somehow magically get great hands. It just isn't the case. There are a great many coaches out there who could help individual fighters much better than Roach. I think at the highest levels you have to know what you're looking for and who is known for teaching that well.
8/22/12 9:48 AM
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Gokudamus stole my name
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I think Roach is a bit overrated and getting more publicity than other equally good coaches but he was trained by Eddie Futch one of the best coaches ever in boxing






8/22/12 9:51 AM
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Willin_But_Not_Chaeble
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Jack Slack - 
Willin_But_Not_Chaeble - 
Jack Slack - 
rrefs - fight like dos santos: go to a boxing gym

 The vast majority of boxing gyms in the world are pretty poor.

Dos Santos happened to fall in with Dorea, who is an incredible coach.

Jack,

I haven't read your piece yet but I will in a moment. Thanks for these - I've expanded my appreciation of MMA striking several-fold since I've started reading your articles.

Do you find Freddie Roache's knowledge of boxing to be as esteemed as his reputation would lead people to believe? Is he really one of the premier boxing coaches or maybe even the best in the world?

Cheers!


  I rate Freddie Roach's knowledge incredibly highly and he's surely one of the best in the world. But I wouldn't say he's the smartest or savviest coach out there - I mean there's dozens of great guys who teach amazing styles and techniques. Manny Steward, Roger Mayweather etc. I personally very much like what Enzo Calzaghe and Brendan Ingle have done with their fighters.

Unfortunately Freddie has acquired this reputation whereby if you work with him you will somehow magically get great hands. It just isn't the case. There are a great many coaches out there who could help individual fighters much better than Roach. I think at the highest levels you have to know what you're looking for and who is known for teaching that well.

Wow, you really think Roger is a premier trainer? Granted he coaches Floyd but the guy can barely form a sentence properly. I always assumed Floyd had the natural ability and experience and Roger is almost a robot who Floyd commands around for his own workouts.

Granted my boxing knowledge is quite limited... these are all suspicions I hypothesized from watching the 24/7 boxing series.
8/22/12 9:56 AM
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Jack Slack
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Willin_But_Not_Chaeble - 
Jack Slack - 
Willin_But_Not_Chaeble - 
Jack Slack - 
rrefs - fight like dos santos: go to a boxing gym

 The vast majority of boxing gyms in the world are pretty poor.

Dos Santos happened to fall in with Dorea, who is an incredible coach.

Jack,

I haven't read your piece yet but I will in a moment. Thanks for these - I've expanded my appreciation of MMA striking several-fold since I've started reading your articles.

Do you find Freddie Roache's knowledge of boxing to be as esteemed as his reputation would lead people to believe? Is he really one of the premier boxing coaches or maybe even the best in the world?

Cheers!


  I rate Freddie Roach's knowledge incredibly highly and he's surely one of the best in the world. But I wouldn't say he's the smartest or savviest coach out there - I mean there's dozens of great guys who teach amazing styles and techniques. Manny Steward, Roger Mayweather etc. I personally very much like what Enzo Calzaghe and Brendan Ingle have done with their fighters.

Unfortunately Freddie has acquired this reputation whereby if you work with him you will somehow magically get great hands. It just isn't the case. There are a great many coaches out there who could help individual fighters much better than Roach. I think at the highest levels you have to know what you're looking for and who is known for teaching that well.

Wow, you really think Roger is a premier trainer? Granted he coaches Floyd but the guy can barely form a sentence properly. I always assumed Floyd had the natural ability and experience and Roger is almost a robot who Floyd commands around for his own workouts.

Granted my boxing knowledge is quite limited... these are all suspicions I hypothesized from watching the 24/7 boxing series.

  In fairness, lots of top coaches who were fighters can't string sentences together very well.

The ones who had very limited fighting experience but plenty of gym time seem to be the most knowledgeable and articulate. Guys like Manny Steward and the late Eddie Futch.

It's worth noting that some of the top coaches don't have records at all such as Greg Jackson ;) and myself (I kid, I kid) but just lots of gym time. Some don't even have formal training.

Enzo Calzaghe (Joe Calzaghe's dad) is an excellent example. They lived in the middle of nowhere and one of his sons wanted to box and the other wanted to sing. So he found all the information he could get on boxing and singing in books and so on, and he taught them himself. Joe became one of the greatest boxers of the 90s and naughties, I'm not sure how his brother got on with singing ;)
8/22/12 10:00 AM
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Gokudamus stole my name
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Roger is not a posterboy for humanity but as a boxing coach he is solid imo. Check out undefeated prospect Jesse Vargas, Roger was his original coach


8/22/12 11:41 AM
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Jack Slack
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8/22/12 12:17 PM
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chew22
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great article!
8/22/12 5:16 PM
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Funaki Masakatsu #1
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8/22/12 6:09 PM
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SKARHEAD
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T T T


:)
8/22/12 6:10 PM
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DonaldCerroneTheGuyNateDiazBeat
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Thank you Jack, voted up again.
8/22/12 6:13 PM
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DonaldCerroneTheGuyNateDiazBeat
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And Jack if you don't mind, could you post the link to Junior's cross. Thanks.
8/22/12 6:14 PM
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DonaldCerroneTheGuyNateDiazBeat
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...and I wish you the best With the FO opportunity.
8/22/12 7:03 PM
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DonaldCerroneTheGuyNateDiazBeat
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grachuss - Who are the top trainers other than Steward and Calzaghe then? Roach gets a lot of publicity do to Pacman.

Don't forget Nazeem Richardson
8/22/12 7:08 PM
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EighNullSects
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nice post jack. i have enjoyed reading you on BE. keep it up!
8/22/12 7:11 PM
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da Vinci 81
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Good writeup.
8/22/12 7:37 PM
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FC_Kicked_My_Aspergers
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As an MMA boxer myself this is my favorite jack slack article! Phone Post
8/22/12 10:35 PM
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Chris SK
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8/23/12 12:02 AM
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GC111
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I'm making a new series: Fight Like Cuatro Santos: The Double Left Hook

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