Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Clinch is the Key

An aspect of the upcoming fight between Forrest Griffin and Rampage Jackson that has been getting some publicity is Rampage's ability to fight within the clinch, specifically when he is on defense. As noted in the Spike TV preview, Countdown to UFC 86, Forrest and his team have specifically cited this as an area of Rampage's game that they wish to attack. They feel that Forrest's height and reach advantage will allow him to control Rampage's movement, as well as wear him down physically by landing knees to the body. Plus it will neutralize Rampage's biggest assets which are his vicious slams and powerful punches. Still don't believe me? Checkout what Forrest's training partner, Wanderlei Silva, did to Rampage over in PRIDE with just that game plan.

Hmmmm that’s not pretty, for more on that see MMA Weekly's interview with Forrest, where he specifically highlights his Wanderlei influences. Oh and to make matters worse, Forrest just beat Shogun Rua, who was the last guy to take out Rampage. Here's are the highlights from that fight. Notice the similarities....

Hold on a minute. Before you all rush out to your local bookie or hit up Bodog to change you bets, it should be noted that those fights are three years old and Rampage is a much more polished fighter than he was in those losses. Secondly, those bouts were fought under PRIDE rules and in a ring versus a cage. I still am not sold that Forrest is going to come through with the upset, but I definitely see him making a very very good match of it. Perhaps it will be as excellent a match as the TUF 1 finale, but with Forrest on the losing end of the decision.

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