Technique: Huge Hook KO Set Up By Probing Jab

Oh, the jab. What a simple yet deadly tool, especially when paired with a lead hook. The jab has many variations: the power jab (beloved by Jack Dempsey), the blinding jab, the body jab, etc.

Of the many variations, the jab most often used is the probing jab and yet it looks the least threatening. Sure, a simple probing jab is probably not going KO your opponent, but it is what makes the knockout possible, as demonstrated in the Evolve MMA video below.

Check out the video, observe the KO, and I will break it down in further detail and outline the principles below:


Test The Waters With Probing Jabs

Your offense will often be determined by your opponent’s defense. You will see strikers change their punch selection in accordance to their opponent’s guard.

A notable example of this in action is Conor McGregor’s knockout of Dustin Poirier. McGregor noticed that Poirier’s guard made it difficult to land straights, so McGregor opted for a hook that looped around his guard.

Ninmunggon’s KO is derived from the same principle of adapting around your opponent’s guard. This is a basic principle. However, how do you ensure that your opponent does not counter you as you move forward? After all, McGregor and Ninmunggon’s KOs are both leads. How do you minimize risk? You begin with the probing jab.

That is its purpose after all. Probe to gauge your opponent’s response, then adjust your offense accordingly. They will either defend or counter. Given that you’re leading with a low-risk strike like the jab, you can probe and read their strikes as often as you want while putting yourself in minimum danger. Furthermore, if you lull your opponent into a false sense of security without following up on any of the jabs, you can take advantage of that security and throw a left hook instead of a jab next time.

It’s a simple process: probe with the jab, read your opponent, then adjust your offense accordingly.

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Evan Lee
Evan is a gourmand of combat sports from Taiwan. He appreciates the beauty of Muay Thai movement and all other movements. He's got no rudder so if the winds blow northerly, he goes north. His goal is to achieve and appreciate.

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