Fighting Against The Cage

A good boxer understands how to use the ring to his advantage. He can trap his opponent in a corner, avoid getting trapped in the corner, and box while his back is against the ropes. To be a proficient mixed martial artist, you must learn how to fight in a steel cage.

Becoming a master at pinning your opponent's back against the cage increases your offensive options. When I back my opponent up against the fence, I usually go for a single- or double-leg takedown because 1 have robbed his ability to defend my takedown by sprawling. If you're a striker and want to keep the fight standing, pinning your opponent against the cage can create openings to land fierce elbow and knee strikes. The one thing you don't want to do when you achieve this advantageous position is become stagnant. No one likes to see two fighters hug each other and do nothing. If you rest too long, you not only give your opponent a chance to spin you around and drive you up against the fence, but you also risk having the referee break the fight apart due to inactivity.

Although it's more enjoyable to practice working from a position where you have the upper hand, it is mandatory that you learn how to defend yourself when your opponent manages to pin your back against the cage. You must know how to strike, spin your opponent around, and execute takedowns as your opponent drives his weight into you. When I'm pressed up against the cage, I make it very difficult for my opponent to take me down, but I've gotten points taken away on the judges' scorecards many times because I didn't utilize the tools in my arsenal to escape. Even though my opponent wasn't causing me any damage, he was the one pressing me up against the fence, and to the judges it appeared as though he was winning. So learn from my mistakes and stay active.

In the upcoming section I've included numerous techniques that you can utilize in both scenarios, but even more important than the techniques is developing cage sensitivity. This is something that can only come about with lots of practice and time. If you don't have a cage to train in, I recommend finding a sturdy wall.

Key Concepts for Pressing against the Cage

»'Maintain a low base and keep driving your weight into your opponent. SMaintain a staggered stance and keep your lead leg between your opponent's legs. ^Whether you are working for a takedown or trying to keep the fight standing, stay active.

Key Concepts for Pinned against the Cage

SKeep your hips at an angle. You never want your hips pinned flat against the cage.

•SConstandy work to reverse your position by creating distance or pivoting out. Every second you remain pinned against the cage, you're not only in danger of getting struck or taken down, but you're also allowing your opponent to rack up points on the judges' scorecards.

As Albert continues to drive forward, I spin him around by pivoting in a counterclockwise direction on my left foot, pulling with my left under-hook, and pushing with my right over-hook.

I spin Albert all the way around so that his back is facing the cage.

Driving my weight forward, I pin Albert against the cage.

I finish by stepping my left leg between Albert's legs and driving my weight into him. For the best results, you want to pin your opponent's hips flat against the cage.

I'm tied up with Albert in the clinch.

As Albert drives forward, I continue to turn in a counterclockwise direction.

Albert drives me toward the cage, forcing me to step back with my left leg. Instead of stepping straight back, I step back towards my right side and begin turning my body in a counterclockwise direction. This will allow me to use Albert's linear momentum against him.

As Albert continues to drive forward, I spin him around by pivoting in a counterclockwise direction on my left foot, pulling with my left under-hook, and pushing with my right over-hook.

I spin Albert all the way around so that his back is facing the cage.

Driving my weight forward, I pin Albert against the cage.

I finish by stepping my left leg between Albert's legs and driving my weight into him. For the best results, you want to pin your opponent's hips flat against the cage.

s avoiding the Cage

One of the worst things that you can do in a fight is allow your opponent to press your back up against the cage. Although it is possible to work well from this position, making it very difficult for your opponent to take you down, you don't want to make a habit of fighting from here. The best way to avoid getting pinned up against the fence is to tn develop a good sense placement in the Octagon. At all times, you should know how far the fence is behind you. If your opponent begins driving you backward, you can utilize this technique to spin him around and turn the tables. To get comfortable with this technique, I recommend playing a sumo game where you and your training partner start out in ^ the middle of the cage and then try to push each other back into the fence. Pay attention to your footwork, and use your (j opponent's footwork to force him off balance and spin him around as he drives into you. Z

I'm tied up with Albert in the clinch.

As Albert drives forward, I continue to turn in a counterclockwise direction.

Albert drives me toward the cage, forcing me to step back with my left leg. Instead of stepping straight back, I step back towards my right side and begin turning my body in a counterclockwise direction. This will allow me to use Albert's linear momentum against him.

Boxing Simplified

Boxing Simplified

Devoted as I am to popularizing amateur boxing and to improving the caliber of this particularly desirable competitive sport, I am highly enthusiastic over John Walsh's boxing instruction book. No one in the United States today can equal John's record as an amateur boxer and a coach. He is highly regarded as a sportsman. Before turning to coaching and the practice of law John was one of the most successful college and Golden Gloves boxers the sport has ever known.

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