Control The Ring, Control The Outcome

You can play a near-perfect game and still lose. This is the excitement of combat sports. You can be losing on all scorecards and still pull out a victory. Hell, you could be almost unconscious and still win the fight (e.g. Pat Barry vs. Cheick Kongo).

Such is the beauty of combat sports. However, this means that any mistake can be your last. What do we do in a game of infinite variables? How do you survive a game where anything can happen? You make the game smaller.

Ring control is one of the most neglected aspects of combat sports, yet it is so crucial. If you can control where a fight takes place, you can control what your opponent does. To see this control in action, check out the Evolve MMA and Muay Ties video below:

Muay Thai – Left High Kick K.O. – Penake Sitnumnoi, Fight Breakdown | Evolve University


Laying Traps

In all things, there is the hard way of controlling and the soft way. Think of it as coercion versus persuasion, threatening versus convincing. Ring control works in the same way. You can have the Nick Diaz in-your-face style of control… or you can have the Tyron Woodley style of control.

In the case of someone like Nick Diaz, he forces his opponents to the fence and has complete control over them. For Tyron Woodley, he chooses to sit on the fence and let his opponent come to him.

The result is the same. Diaz forces his opponents to either move forward to fight or sideways to escape. Woodley gives his opponents the impression that they’re pressuring him when it is really he who is stalking them. The moment they move forward, that is when Woodley blitzes with a right hand.

Never underestimate the power of ring control.

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If you enjoyed these videos, be sure to comment below and share your thoughts!
Also, please share this article with your training partners and instructors so you can try out these techniques during your next training session.

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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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