Tyson had something of a chin, and nobody claimed pro fighters never drop hands. I was merely suggesting that it's never a good idea when closing. You can get clocked, and luck may be one reason you don't. Why count on luck?
Originally Posted by danno
Is protecting the face at a vulnerable time such as closing range an extremely technical decision? When time does not allow for much thinking, you fall back on what you've trained and drilled or--once again--you're counting on luck.
Well that's it, isn't it? You're making extremely technical decisions at the limit of human reflexes. If you misjudge something by a little, it's lights out. You might come out looking quite the fool in slow motion replays.
...which is an outcome that would have given Bader chances that getting KOed didn't.
I think he was forced to adjust. He started throwing the punch thinking it would be for a longer range, then the conditions changed and he flared his elbow up to strike a target which was closer. If Machida had missed the punch or Bader had blocked it, I suppose Bader would have intended to clinch and/or attempt an immediate takedown, and Machida would probably have escaped again. Or he'd try to trade strikes and Machida would escape.
One of those options is ring generalship: cutting off routes of escape without dropping your defenses by pawing out your hands. Takes legwork, which a high-level wrestler should be familiar with.
To be fair, he was trying to mix it up. He pulled down the lead hand and threw a jab with it, also used the lead leg kick. But as soon as any combo started, Machida was on his bike. That limits your options.
...which is why doing "touching lead hands" with Machida--accustomed as he is to this sort of thing due to his background--is the last thing one should do.
It often happens when fighters are using opposite lead hands. Gauging range and trying to remove that weapon by touching it.
Machida reaches like that due to his background. That doesn't mean anyone else should play his game. As for Bader taking back control: protect your face and use legwork.
Bader would start with hands close, Machida would start reaching toward him which threatens a jab and keeps Bader out of range. So Bader was trying to take control back of that range.
An excellent idea. Did they?
Shogun had a JKA world champion in his camp to prepare. I think Bader and his team would have been watching tapes of Shogun defeating machida, and attempting to recreate the conditions which led to it.
...and where was Machida's nonstriking hand? Yep...down where it shouldn't be. I use this photo when discussing a proper defense with Shotokan-types. Sometimes, relying on luck gets you KOed even at elite-fighting level. Hopefully, Machida will learn and adapt when training for any future meeting with Rua.
Difference is, Shogun didn't misread Machida's movement and timing.