Sunday, October 9, 2011

Heart vs. Technique

UFC 136 had some great fights. Frankie Edgar retained his belt and Jose aldo was taken the distance in the closest fights he has ever fought. (he also got to keep his belt). But the fight that stuck out the most to me was Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan.

Leonard Garcia is a great fighter to watch. He known throwing big powerful punches and having a lot of heart. He puts everything hes got in his punches and will keep punching till its over. Nam Phan on the other hand has a completely diffrent style. Phan is more of a technical fighter. He punches at about 65% power and while to those not expirenced in fight trainning might look down on this, it won him this fight.

In the first round Leonard was controlling the fight. He was throwing powerful punches and kicks at Phan when ever he got the chance. Phan took some hits but stayed on him picking his punches more carefully. About halfway through the round Phan had Garcia up against the cage and landed some nice combos on Garcia, throwing to the head and the body. Garcia got away just to have Phan land another punch which knocked Garcia to the ground. (there was a chance it was more of a slip).

In round two is where things got interesting. While Leonard was tired and breathing heavly from the big punches; Phan, who kept his punchs at medium power, was still in good shape. Phan Dominated round two. Phan kept on Garcia hitting him with combos and vicious body shots, and while he wasnt knocking Garcia out, he was racking up points. His medium power punches aloud him to stay on Garcia for the whole round and still have energy for round 3.

Round 3 started off with Leonard much more composed. His held back on the power a bit and threw more in combos. Then at 3:50 Garcia hit Phan with a powerful right hand. Phan was knocked down and was able to get back up but was clearly very hurt. This is where Garcia should have come in and finished the fight. Unforetunetly he was exhausted. Phan spent the next minute or so backing away from Garcia trying to regain composure. If Garcia had kept control of his punches through out the fight he could have easily finished him here. Instead they clinched up on the cage which allowed Phan to get his head right. While Garcia needed technique for most of the fight this is where Phan needed heart. Garcia was tired. He was breathing heavily and his hands were dropping. I think If Phan could have turned up the power he could have knocked garcia out. Instead Phan got the take down. Phan is strictly a stand up fighter. He got points for the take down but as usual he just hugged Garcia till the ref stood them up. This allowed Garcia to catch is breath and Garcia made somewhat of a comeback in the last minutes of the fight. The fight went to the judges where they unanimously voted the bout 28-29 Phan.

In this fight technique won the battle. Phan use good technique and controlled his power which allowed him to stay on Garcia for most of the fight. Garcia had more heart in this fight. He kept punching and he never backed away, but when the time came for the finish he was too tired to do so. Each fighters problem is the others solution. While Garcia only throws power punches and needs to tone it back on focus on technique, Nam needs to learn how to get go and throw everything into his punches. In the end heart if good, but it doesnt beat simply good technique.

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