Counter Tips With Benson Henderson
The ability to counter your opponent’s best strikes is one that can be the difference between a win or a loss in any combat sport. If your opponent prefers to throw one shot in particular and relies on that shot to win in some kind of way, being able to counter that strike takes away one of their best weapons.
This is a great way to not only stop your opponent’s best shot and land a strong counter but also beat your opponent’s morality as you have taken away their best weapon.
In this video, Benson Henderson shows a counter that he uses against an opponent who relies a lot on their jab. Benson Henderson is a former UFC and WEC lightweight champion and currently competes in Bellator’s lightweight division. Henderson is known for his impressive and unorthodox striking that has won him a ton of fights and two different world championships.
While most people might not think that a head kick is a good counter to a jab but to Benson Henderson it is the perfect opportunity. Benson Henderson starts off this drill in a southpaw stance and waits for his opponent to jab. When Benson has the timing of the jab, he slips to the outside, that being to his right since he is in a southpaw stance, and fires off the rear straight with his left hand. As he is landing that left hand, Benson then throws a right high kick.
Benson emphasizes that the rear straight and the left high kick should be very quick, with the high kick landing very shortly after the two. He says that you should throw the rear hand and reset to throw the high kick but instead, throw the rear hand and as you're throwing it let the high kick come out.
Benson also says that this isn’t a counter that you should try to throw every time your opponent throws a jab. This is because your opponent’s jab is probably going to be fast and that makes this counter unrealistic to try to land most of the time.
It is also important to note that this counter works better out a southpaw stance, like how Benson shows it in the video. This allows you to slip to the outside safely to fire off the rear hand into a rear high kick. Kicking to the head with your rear leg in what is known as an open stance scenario with both you and your opponent in opposite stances makes the head kick easier to land.
If you tried to do this in a closed stance scenario with both you and your opponent in the same stance, it would be much more dangerous and less powerful. If you still want to try something similar in a closed stance scenario, something like an overhand right to lead leg high kick might be something you want to try.