Creating The Ko With Melvin Manhoef
In the short history of Mixed Martial Arts there have been more than a few legendary strikers. Wanderlie Silva was known for his reckless throw bombs style, Shogan Rua had incredible Muay Thai and was known for his leg kicks, Mirko Filipovic (CroCop) had his famous head kick knockouts. Each one of these fighters drew a large crowd because of their ability to put the other guy to sleep. Yet each one of these guys have also had some snooze fest fights, where they just didn’t pull the trigger.
Another name deserves to be thrown into the hat of exciting fighters who draw a crowd for their knockout prowess. Melvin “No Mercy” Manhoef. Melvin has probably the highest knock to win percentage of any fighter. Of his 32 win, he has won 29 via knock out.
For those of us that are not good at math, that is a whopping 90% knockout rating. This is brought on because of Melvin’s insane power. Every punch, kick and combo is thrown with Ill intention. At 44 years old he still is just as scary as he was 20+ years ago when he stepped onto the MMA Scene.
Early in his career he fought another Dutch striker Gegard Mousasi who was known for his ability to counter strike. Mousasi wanted nothing to do with No Mercy and went straight for the takedown, and continued that strategy for the rest of the fight.
If that does not convey how absolutely talented and scary Melvin “No Mercy” Manhouf is, how about the time Melvin moved up to heavy weight on short notice. For those playing along, Melvin is a middle weight and Heavy weight is two divisions up. Melvin did not care, a fight was a fight.
Melvin didn’t move up to fight just anyone. He stepped in to replace the opponent for Mark “The Super Samoan” Hunt. The man known to have a Iron Jaw. At this point in time Hunt had never been knocked out in MMA. That is until 18 seconds after the bell rang, he lay on the floor looking up at Melvin.
Melvin hit hunt with a 2-3 combo as Hunt moved in. keeping his stance while being moved toward the corner the Straight right, fired down the pipe and Melvin used his hips to rocket the left hook to his chin!
Keeping good form under pressure can be hard as the first thing that will happen when getting pressured in a fight is the frantic response and many fighters lose their technique. This results in “arm Punches” or punches that only use the muscles in the arms to generate power.
When you are fighting up two weight classes that is not a luxury you can afford. Check out this video on how Melvin keeps his form on the hook! Its is a true master class on form.
This is not the same punch that put down hunt but it is a punch that most fighters throw improperly. Most fighters term the “Right Hook” (hook from the right hand on an orthodox fighter is the hand in the back) for a looping overhand. Not a body driven punch as shown above.
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The heavyweight Fedor was known for his “Casting punch” which is a looping overhand right. That punch has power, but is not a right hook. One of the inherit problems with a casting punch is the leading with the head and the requirement to be off balanced if you miss.
The right hook is a much more technical punch that will leave the fighter in the pocket and with many more defensive options if the strike is blocked or evaded. Another advantage over the casting punch is that the right hook thrown properly can be added to combinations as to the overhand right is more of a “walk off “move. You throw it and forget about it. Sure, if it lands you will have landed a huge shot, but what if that is not enough?
Breaking down the key points to how Melvin throws his right hook are
- Stance (weight 50/50 between legs), Elbows in hands up, Chin down and shoulders slightly forward.
- The shoulders are tied together,when the right shoulder moves forward the left shoulder moves back.
- The hips turn by pushing off the toes of the back foot (keeping the heel off the ground.)
- The forearm is 90 degrees to the floor and at eye level
- The knuckles are straight up and down (if you opened your fist your looking at your palm)
Try this out on the heavy bag, start slow and build up your speed and power. Remembering to drive the hips with the foot and the shoulders on a swivel. As you practice this remember to return to your good fighting stance after every punch. Not dropping hands and pulling them back up but “re corking” the body.
For more top tier instruction from one of the world premier knockout artist in the history of Mixed Martial Arts check out Melvin’s new instructional Series appropriately named “Creating K.O.’s”. It can only be found here!