Like many UFC fighters, I also teach martial arts in between training for fights. I’m one of the coaches at #DanHenderson’s Athletic Fitness Center.
While most of my time is currently occupied -- my wife and I are in the midst of adopting a child from Africa, and I'm preparing for my next fight against Rashad Evans at #UFCMexicoCity -- I still host seminars from time to time. Actually, I love doing seminars.
When I’m teaching at seminars, I like to go over all of aspects of the fight game, but I think one of the most underutilized areas is cage work, so I like to concentrate on that.
Almost every fight it happens on the cage now. It’s not just out in the open or on the ground. There so much pressuring up against the cage that the vertical surface becomes really important. Unfortunately, most people see that vertical surface and don’t know what to do there. So, I really make an effort to make that easier for everyone to use by offering a few tips.
One of the most important things I ever learned was from coach Robert Follis, who told me “the only time you’re ever gonna look down is if you’re taking notes or if you dropped a hundred dollar bill.” If you’re not doing either of those things, don’t ever look down, ever.
Another thing to work on is keeping your feet on the same plane and refraining from splitting your legs along the cage. You want to be in a football stance, with your feet spread shoulder width apart, so you can drive your opponent and put your shoulder through him.
My final key to cage work is to lock your hands when going for a takedown. Out in the open, it’s not as important to lock your hands, but against the cage it’s a must. If you lock your hands around your opponent when they’re against the cage and go for the take down, they’ll go down.
Overall, I think these three pointers will help anyone improve their efficiency against the cage and finish more fights.