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UnderGround Forums >> Edson Barboza: Style over substance?


1/8/13 11:39 AM
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Jack Slack
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Edited: 01/08/13 11:41 AM
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Hey guys,

Instead of cashing in on free traffic and writing an Eddie Alvarez piece I, like a muppet, have written a piece about Edson Barboza! If you could check it out so I feel less foolish I would be very grateful ;)

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

Cheers,

Jack

Between the comments on my articles and the tweets and emails I receive, Edson Barboza has to be one of the most requested fighters for technical analysis out there. Having finally sat down with his career and given it the once over, the main thing that I can say about Barboza is that his game is remarkably simple. Knowing what I knew about Barboza coming in - the wheel kicks on Njoukani and Terry Etim being my foremost thought - I never expected such a man to rely mainly on the jab and the right low kick, and to have such deficiencies in his boxing. Barboza has only one loss on his mixed martial arts record, to Jamie Varner, but in that time we have seen his stand up game tested and at times exposed in areas where it was thought to be sound. Today we'll look at Barboza's go to techniques and the shortcomings in his boxing game in advance of his UFC on FX 7: Belfort vs. Bisping bout with Lucas Martins.

The first thing to be said for Barboza is that he kicks extremely hard, which is impressive because he rarely steps into his kicks all that much and often refuses to rotate very far on his standing leg - keeping it pointing far more forward than to his side. This makes it easier to get back to stance because the hips aren't fully committed to the movement - Fedor Emelianenko actively chose to kick in this way and Jose Aldo does so occasionally when on the back foot - but it also causes a good deal of torque on the knee joint which, of course, is not designed to take torque.


 

Notice that Barboza's right hip stays on his right side rather than moving in front of his left hip with a full hip rotation. Barboza's left knee is pointing more towards the target than it is to the side. While it is possible to kick harder by rotating the hips all the way and pivoting on the standing leg, Barboza's shorter kick provides him more control in withdrawing his leg.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kcTpeOa086g

To contrast, here is a low kick from Thiago Alves - notice how he points his stepping foot way out to the side, allowing his right hip to rotate much more fully than Barboza's. Alves, however, is far more committed to the motion than Barboza, who can withdraw his foot more swiftly in case of a retaliation.

Barboza's bread and butter seems to be almost identical to his countrymen Renan Barao and Jose Aldo - to back the opponent up with the threat of punches, then connect the right low kick as they retreat. There is a reason for this - it works extremely well. The skill of checking low kicks in MMA seems to be especially under-practiced. I doesn't fail to exist, in footage of almost any fighter on the Thai pads he will check kicks from his feeder, but come fight time they might as well have been practicing kata or training on the Muk Yan Jong - no-one actually uses the checks that they practice with any consistency.

Now of course there is a reason for men who can check a low kick in training to not check them in fights - the threat of a takedown in MMA is ever present and the narrower a fighter's base becomes, the more susceptible he is to being scooped up or swept. Frankie Edgar and Lyoto Machida have made a specialty of sweeping out an opponent's standing foot while he is on one leg - to many it seems more sensible to take the low kicks than to concede a takedown.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eBo6VkDi_q4
 

This brief highlight pretty much sums up Barboza's entire game on the feet. Outside of the spinning kicks it is almost entirely jabbing to the right low kick or the right roundhouse kick to overhand right. When he is being pushed backward Barboza will almost always respond by swinging his right hand at the opponent. It's a pretty minimalist fighting style, but it works against the majority of his opponents the majority of the time.

When he is against an opponent who will check his kicks or will simply not move back and allow him to land his punishing low kicks on a lightened lead leg, Barboza will use the right middle kick to right hook or straight. This is a pretty simple, but confusing tactic and is often used by the great knockout artistMelvin Manhoef. The punch coming off of the same side as the kick is unexpected and can confuse many opponents - Barboza was able to knock down Anthony Njoukani with this technique.


1. Barboza throws a right roundhouse kick to the midsection.

2. Barboza draws his right foot back under him.

3. Barboza lunges off of his landing foot to throw a right hand which clips Njoukani and drops him.

Wind to 4:40 of the below video to see Manhoef's version of this fantastic little set up against the unfortunate Yoshiki Takahashi - who has had the distinction of being beaten up by Igor Vovchanchyn, Melvin Manhoef, Bas Rutten, Ken Shamrock andSemmy Schilt among others.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=B_nKbE-PDAg

 

Continues at: http://www.bloodyelbow.com/2013/1/8/3850268/ufc-on-fx-7-edson-barboza-mma-technique-analysis-jack-slack-judo-chop

1/8/13 11:43 AM
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Flyers179
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Edited: 01/08/13 12:46 PM
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Guy is good but I just wanted to say he lost to Ross Pearson.

Pearson got robbed.
1/8/13 11:43 AM
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SonnendbySilva
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Flyers179 - Guy is good but he I just wanted to say he lost to Ross Pearson.

Pearson got robbed.
Agree. Oh and sub for later... Phone Post
1/8/13 11:49 AM
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GladiatorGannon
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1/8/13 11:52 AM
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1/8/13 11:54 AM
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DamnSevern
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Edited: 01/08/13 11:54 AM
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Jack Slack - -When he is being pushed backward Barboza will almost always respond by swinging his right hand at the opponent. It's a pretty minimalist fighting style, but it works against the majority of his opponents the majority of the time.

 

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg176/daveshaps/edson1.gif?t=1310582065

 

1/8/13 11:54 AM
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Matrixkick
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In Phone Post
1/8/13 11:55 AM
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Matrixkick
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DamnSevern -
Jack Slack - -When he is being pushed backward Barboza will almost always respond by swinging his right hand at the opponent. It's a pretty minimalist fighting style, but it works against the majority of his opponents the majority of the time.

 

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg176/daveshaps/edson1.gif?t=1310582065

 

Damn! Phone Post
1/8/13 11:57 AM
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DamnSevern
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1/8/13 12:08 PM
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Who he's fighting at UFC on FX 7:

"A native of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, 24-year-old “Mineiro” Martins has accumulated 11 wins in just 15 months as a professional. The Chute Boxe representative fought nine times in 2012, finishing all but one of his opponents. His most recent bout came under the banner of top Brazilian promotion Jungle Fight, where Martins in December halted the 10-fight unbeaten streak of Oberdan Vieira Tenorio with a head-kick knockout."

1/8/13 12:18 PM
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Chimp Strength
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1/8/13 12:30 PM
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Matrixkick
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DamnSevern -

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DS what ended up happening to his opponents knee? I mean torn anything? Was always curious... Phone Post
1/8/13 12:34 PM
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Brian Rule
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sub for later Phone Post
1/8/13 1:16 PM
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ChaosOverkill
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 Hell of an analytical mind you have Jack, stuff is wonderful and fascinating.

1/8/13 1:18 PM
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ChaosOverkill
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In Honor of your 606th vote up!

1/8/13 1:27 PM
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Paul_Blanka_Harris
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he has a lot of talent can wait to see him evoulve has he get older into the sport

1/8/13 1:31 PM
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Themanders1
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1/8/13 4:14 PM
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Jack Slack
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Bump =)

1/8/13 5:51 PM
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TheFlyingGentlemen
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1/8/13 6:00 PM
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UGCTT_THE Kevin Chandler
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You, sir, are the Sherlock Holmes of fighter breakdowns.

 

As always, thank you for the excellent read.

1/8/13 8:05 PM
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Bwatermyfren
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Great as usual. Phone Post
1/9/13 8:35 AM
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Enjoyed the read.

1/9/13 8:35 AM
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Enjoyed the read.

1/9/13 8:42 AM
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1/9/13 9:35 AM
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Infamous Ed
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Card -

Who he's fighting at UFC on FX 7:

"A native of the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, 24-year-old “Mineiro” Martins has accumulated 11 wins in just 15 months as a professional. The Chute Boxe representative fought nine times in 2012, finishing all but one of his opponents. His most recent bout came under the banner of top Brazilian promotion Jungle Fight, where Martins in December halted the 10-fight unbeaten streak of Oberdan Vieira Tenorio with a head-kick knockout."

Never seen this guy but the GIF suggests that barboza might in for it Phone Post

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