Striking at a downed opponent when you're standing is another situation completely unique to MMA competition. Usually you'll end up in this position when you knock your opponent down with a strike, execute a takedown or throw, or stand up in your opponent's guard. You may also end up here when fighting an opponent who wants to bring the fight to the ground but can't get the takedown, so he simply drops to his butt and scoots forward, trying to beckon you down.
You have many offensive options when in this position, and deciding which option to choose depends upon your goals in the fight. If you are primarily a striker, you may want to chop away at your opponent's legs with kicks, and then back away and let the referee stand the fight back up. If you're primarily a grappler like me, then you'll probably want to use the position to set up a pass. Passing can sometimes be difficult when fighting an experienced jiu-jitsu practitioner, so it usually helps to set your pass up with strikes. You will find several ways to accomplish this in the following pages.
One of the best things about striking at an opponent who is lying on his back is that you have a ton of creative leeway. If you've watched a fair share of MMA competitions, you know exactly what I mean. There are fighters who like flying stomp kicks, jumping over-hand punches, cartwheel passes, and all sorts of other strikes and passes that you never thought imaginable. Other than the up-kick, your opponent doesn't have much he can do in the way of strikes. However, just because you have a smaller chance of getting knocked out doesn't mean you should always try something crazy. It is still quite possible to lose your positioning, and in MMA position is everything. Before doing something that is considered risky, you need to factor in a lot of things. Are you winning the fight up to that point? How much time is left in the round? If your goal is to put on a show and you're confident in your ability to reverse any negative situation that could arise, you might want to make use of your creativity to add another clip to your highlight reel. But it is important to note that creativity is best used at a distance. Once you get into your opponent's guard, you must watch your base because your opponent has options.
Key Concepts for Striking the Downed Guard
SKeep your head back and maintain good posture. SKeep your lead leg bent and strong.
v'lf you gain control of your opponent's legs, immediately work to pass his guard, set up a strike, or both.
I keep my front leg bent and strong to prevent my opponent from being able to hyperextend my leg with a front kick to my knee. I lean my head back to avoid getting up-kicked in the face. I have my left arm out to guard against strikes, as well as to give me the ability to catch or gain control of my opponent's legs to set up a strike or pass.
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