Having logged an insane 22 fights to his credit in the UFC, the skills of #DonaldCerrone should be known the world over by now. The former lightweight title challenger and current welterweight standout has proven to be equally dangerous in both the stand up and grappling department over his ten year career, submitting the likes of Edson Barboza, Evan Dunham, and Alex Oliveira and stopping strikers like Melvin Guillard, Patrick Cote, and John Makdessi on the feet. But what are some of the bread-and-butter techniques behind Cowboy's success?
Ahead of Cerrone's bout against #KelvinGastelum at #UFC205 this weekend, King's MMA striking coach Kory Kelly brought in Champions' own Dave Rispoli to break down what he considers to be Cerrone's signature combo: the jab-to-body shot-to-high (or leg) kick trio.
How does Cerrone's combo look in action?
Most recently seen in his brutal finish of Rick Story at #UFC202, Cerrone typically starts his combo by employing a simple jab, forcing his opponent to keep their guard up and in turn leave their body open for the follow-up hook. When/if the body shot lands, his opponent's hands typically drop, thusly allowing Cerrone to load up on either a head kick (as he did against Story) or a leg kick (as he did repeatedly in his bout with Myles Jury at UFC 182).
It's a strong, if familiar combination to any seasoned MMA fighter, but one that is also works from a defensive perspective in that it requires the offensive fighter to change levels repeatedly in order to pull it off. Against a pressure-heavy fighter like Gastelum, Kory believes that Cerrone's quickest route to victory will be found in his ability to dictate the pace of the fight while keeping his back off the fence.
"If [Cerrone] gets bullied and starts backtracking, that's when he tends to get in trouble," says Kory. "Just look at the Dos Anjos and Diaz fights."