Karate Combat’s Bas Rutten: Michael Chandler’s stoppage of Tony Ferguson could be ‘Knockout of the Year’

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Former UFC heavyweight champion and Karate Combat commentator Bas Rutten arrived a bit too early to mix up his martial arts as carefully as he wanted. At his peak, stopping the wrestler was a very good start.

These days, Rutten looks at the myriad techniques of his primary art of Kyokushin Karate and can’t help but feel proud of the home they’ve found in modern combat. Whether in the octagon or in Karate Combat’s hybrid punching competition, they have become part of the game because they are effective.

“These guys hone their techniques over and over again,” Rutten, who calls the action on Karate Combat Season 4 which debuts online Saturday, told MMA Fighting. “In MMA and kickboxing, it’s all about how hard we can hit because we want to knock people out. They have these faster kicks, and now all of these faster kicks have full contact, and it looks really good.

Rutten has always had a good eye for punching technique setups, but even he was surprised by the work of Michael Chandler, who became the latest UFC fighter to viciously end a fight via front kick. when he grabbed Tony Ferguson in the jaw at UFC 274.

Just looking at the footage of the fight, Rutten said, “Boy, so you can really tell the impact. It was wonderful. This could be the ‘Knockout of the Year’ – per leg.

It is extremely difficult to pull off such a technique in a high-level fight. However, your chances improve if your opponent has not experienced a particular setup. Ferguson may have been as aware of his surroundings as other opponents, Rutten said, but if he hadn’t suffered that particular front kick attack, he might not have known what to look for.

“If it doesn’t happen to you in practice, the chances of you getting caught if someone worked on it for the fight are extremely high,” he said. “If someone in practice throws front kicks to the face, you start measuring the leg automatically.”

Rutten said when he started training in the United States for sparring, he worked with a Krav Maga specialist who was in full contact in the gym. No target was out of bounds, including the groin.

“When I first picked him up he was training with kicking the balls,” Rutten recalled. “I was like, ‘Whoa, that’s mean stuff.’ But then you realize, because you’re kicking the balls, you automatically read the length of the opponent’s leg between him and your cajones, and no one got kicked in the balls. balls.

In other words, if you are guaranteed to suffer for lack of preparation, you will ensure that you are not mistaken.

There is, of course, some random luck when you’re in a sanctioned MMA fight, and no fighter can be completely prepared for everything every moment. It’s part of the job hazard, and why fascinating moments like the one seen at UFC 274 come out of nowhere.

Rutten said he helped the nose of cauliflower Frank Shamrock by shocking him with a front kick down the middle during a fight at Pancrase. Decades later, his fellow former UFC champion was talking about it to a makeup artist as they prepared for a TV interview.

Rutten, along with Georges St-Pierre and Stephen Thompson, are among the most decorated representatives of karate to have crossed the cage. They bring a bit of that perspective to every Karate Combat call – and they can see when a fighter is plotting something big.

“If you create a setup, whether it’s a strike or a ground fight, there’s a good chance you’ll catch someone, even if it’s a high-level black belt” , Rutten said. “Of course, you’ll only catch it once. But once is enough to win a fight.

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