Four Unconventional Punching Styles That Have Seen Some Success in Boxing and MMA
Over the years, the world of combat sports has seen its fair share of fighters who have defied convention with their distinctive punching styles. Whether honing their skills on punching bags in the gym or experimenting in the heat of competition, these athletes have developed unique techniques that have become their trademarks, often propelling them to significant victories in both boxing and MMA. Let's take a closer look at four such fighters and the unusual punching styles that have set them apart from the rest.
Let us explore four of those fighters and their unusual punching styles in more detail.
Sergio Martinez’s Counter-attack Punches
From 1997 to 2014, Argentine Sergio “Maravilla” Martinez dominated the middleweight division of boxing.
The former middleweight world champion was well known for his good looks and undeniable charisma, but it was his unconventional and crowd-pleasing fighting style that really made him such a formidable opponent.
While Martinez’s punching style was actually pretty standard, it was the fact that he would fight with his hands at a very low position, therefore enticing his opponents to charge at him with their best shots before he counter-attacked, that gained him such a reputation.
Martinez’s most memorable victory came in 2010 when he engaged in a rematch with the undefeated Paul Williams. In the first minute of the second round, Martinez knocked out Williams with a single punch.
If you enjoy competing yourself, it is a good idea to learn standard punching techniques before you begin experimenting with more unconventional methods. It is also important that you protect your hands correctly during sparring when trying out techniques.
Injuries are common while training and sparring, so fighters need to make sure they have the best protection available to prevent any career-threatening injuries. You can shop Cleto Reyes boxing gloves to check out a selection of gloves worn by high-profile fighters including names like Joe Louis, Mike Tyson, Lennox Lewis, and more.
Made with genuine leather, Cleto Reyes gloves offer excellent wrist support and cushioning to help you optimize your punching performance.
Lyoto Machida’s Backpedaling Jabs
“The Dragon” Lyoto Machida’s unorthodox fighting style in MMA combines elements from his diverse training background, which integrates Brazilian jiu-jitsu and Shotokan karate tactics with wrestling and sumo techniques.
But it is the Brazilian’s backpedaling jabs that really stand out.
Machida has mastered those intangible elements of striking, using basic techniques combined with elite-level timing, to perform false retreats and then counter-attack his opponents in the most daring manner.
After luring his opponent into running after him several times, Machida chooses his moment and dives in with a hefty punch.
The former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion is currently number six in the Bellator Light Heavyweight Rankings.
Chris Weidman’s Backhand Flick
American Chris Weidman came to worldwide attention in 2013 when he defeated Anderson Silva via knockout at UFC 162. The win ended Silva’s 17-year reign as champ, and Weidman retained his title for two and a half years.
At the time, Weidman received some backlash from fans and pundits who claimed his knockout was only due to Silva’s poor performance. But in reality, Weidman performed a backhand flick that tricked Silva and allowed Weidman to win the battle.
It all came down to Weidman’s unconventional doubling up of his right hand. Chris Weidman is currently ranked number 14 in the UFC middleweight rankings.
Fedor Emelianenko’s Looping Sambo Punches
Russian heavyweight mixed martial artist, sambist, and judoka Fedor Emelianenko, who currently competes for Bellator MMA and the Rizin Fighting Federation, has been a multiple winner in several championships, including the MMA Pride Fighting Championships, the Russian Judo Federation National Championship, and the FIAS World Combat Sambo Championship.
As you probably know, it is Emelianenko’s looping sambo punches that kickstarted his wins in a number of his legendary fights.
Some have mistaken his unconventional punching style for simple wild punches, but in fact, Emelianenko lands punches with superior power and timing in combination with timely ducks, enabling him to throw some of the best counter punches around.
His technique is much more than a casting punch. The technique is actually taken from his experience with combat sambo.
One thing is for sure, his unorthodox punching style manages to catch his opponents off guard and it has helped him to become a legendary champion.