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Landing The Overhand Right With Cyrille Diabate

Landing The Overhand Right With Cyrille Diabate

The overhand right is a staple punch of many fighters. It's a great shot to land as it has a ton of power and knockout potential. In fact, at least from a scientific perspective, it might actually have the most out of any punch out there. This is because it ticks so many boxings when it comes to power punching. First, it is a rear hand punch, the overhand right or in the case of a southpaw the overhand left, comes from the stickers rear hand. This allows for the maximum amount for hip rotation to go into a punch as possible. 

The angle of the punch also allows for more torque, in a similar way that the angle of hook punches allows for more rotation than the angle of straight punches. The angle also means that the strike can loop around the targets guard, as well as hit targets that they might not think to block, like their temple. 

The overhand also forces the person throwing it to really sit on their punch which is one of the oldest and most tried and true ways to get power into any punch. The overhand right also allows for the thrower to get as much of their back into a punch as possible which also drastically increases the power of any strike but is largely overlooked, even by a lot of coaches. The overhand literally forces you to get your back into it. 

The final reason that the rear overhand is so powerful is that it is usually used as a counter to cut off another opponent's punch. This means that all your power is going forward while most if not all of their power is coming at you. This is basically two cars crashing into each other head first but since you are countering you should be putting your head off the line of their punch, meaning that your opponent is taking a ton of damage to a side that they can’t defend since it is the side that they are punching with. 

This is why counters off the overhand are so great, but first you need to draw out a straight punch, so that you can get the most out of this strike and hopefully score a knockout. 

In this video, retired UFC fighter Cyrille Diabate shows a combination that he likes to use to draw out an opponent’s straight punch so he can counter with his overhand right. The drill starts off with Cyrille throwing a combination, that combination being a jab to rear uppercut to lead hook to a lead low kick to his opponent’s rear leg.


Finishing on a lead low kick to your opponent’s rear leg will get you close to them and is likely to cause them to throw a straight punch. Off that straight punch you are going to get your head off the center line and throw your overhand. Once that overhand land, even if you think it has dropped your opponent, move quickly. This is because you are still very close to your opponent and they might be ready to throw counters, so you should be moving to avoid any strikes they have.

Striking For MMA by Cyrille Diabate

If you liked this combination and want to learn more drills like this from Cyrille Diabate then check out our complete video series featuring him available now!