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Sneaking In The Overhand Right With Cyrille Diabate

Sneaking In The Overhand Right With Cyrille Diabate

The overhand right is hands down the number one weapon of choice when it comes to knockout artists. The reason it is so dangerous is because it comes from turning the entire body while stepping through the punch. Putting all the weight and forward momentum into a punch is what generates its power. 

Simple Physics tells us Force is equal to mass times acceleration. That forward step or for some fighters a lunge, is crucial to generate more Acceleration, the turning of the hips also increases accelerations but add more weight to the arm being thrown as the body weight will shift with hip movement.

The question is, if the overhand right is so effective why doesn't everyone throw them? The answer is not simple but there are factors that go into whether or not an overhand right will be successful during a live contest.

First shifting weight and lunging to create the speed and mass necessary for an overhand right is cardio intensive. We have seen fighters like Chris Leben in his early career go out and throw 15 overhand rights. Miss with most of them and then look like he had just run a marathon, in Texas, in July. 

In Lebens first 5 fights he landed the overhand right and won all 5. He met Anderson Silva and in 35 seconds threw 9 overhand punches and was knocked out himself.  What made the difference? Some could say it was “Anderson Silva”, which you would not be wrong. The problem with the argument is any fighter with decent technique could have done the exact same thing. 

Leben was known to go out with no self regard and throw bombs, it was this same fan loving style that also led to him being beaten so many times as he was predictable. Dan Henderson has twice as many knockouts on his record and used the “H-BOMB” religiously. What was the difference between a fan favorite and a Hall of Famer?

Simply it is all in the set up. We watch people go out and just start slinging overhand punches. It is fun to watch but eventually the technical fighter is going to win the day. Fighters who wish to be successful also need to learn how to lure in opponents and set them up for that one shot. 

Look back at fighters like Fedor or Henderson and you will see technical kickboxing that opens up the defenses for the hard overhand shots. The over hands are part of the combinations so that is how they came in so fast. It was a conscious effort to throw a combination before the big shot. 

Drilling combinations with reactions is a great way to condition the mind and body to throwing the over hand in the pocket. This kind of conditioning will only increase a fighters ability to acclimate to the chaos of standing in the pocket during a striking exchange. 

Below is Cyrille Diabate a former Pro Kickboxer and MMA fighter showing a simple combination and response from his partner that elicits him throwing the overhand right. 


The combo is a dynamic one combining strikes from all directions and a change in angle before the final blow so to speak.

Jab, Cross, Hook Outside leg kick.  After the leg kick lands his back leg steps away changing his attack vector. His partner responds with a straight right. Cyrille Steps away while throwing his overhand right. Effectively beating his partner to the punch. 

This drill should be performed slow at first then speed should be increased incrementally to acquire the timing needed to pull this off. When done correctly your partner should still be moving forward on their straight right as your overhand meets their head. 

Going back to our original formula for force. If they are moving forward toward the punch, and the punch is moving toward them then you add those numbers together. Regardless of how slow they move it is still adding to that number making the punch more devastating. 

Cyrille is no stranger to high level competition. He has fought in some of the biggest promotions in the history of MMA. He has also fought in major stadiums in Thailand while kickboxing. 

During his time as a fighter he has won against fighters like Tom DeBlass (MMA), Micheal Bisping (kickboxing), Chad Griggs (MMA) and Yasuhito Namekawa to name a few of them fighters he has beaten. 

In Kickboxing Cyrille racked up 41 wins, 8 losses and 2 draws. In MMA his record is equally impressive with 19 wins 10 losses and 1 draw.

Now that he has retired Cyrille focuses on coaching new fighters out of his gym in France. Named after his fight name “Snake” the Snake Team Dojo in Seine, France is where he calls home. 

Cyrille has outlined how he approaches both striking in MMA and how to drill combinations in his 3 part instructional here at Dynamic Striking. 

The Snake Takes a deep dive on finishing combinations with various heavy strikes, how to implement Knees and Elbows into a fight, Fundamentals of Clinching and advanced Combos once you have mastered the basic ones. 

Striking For MMA by Cyrille Diabate

This is truly a complete striking manual for those looking to compete in both Sport and Amatuer MMA. If you are trying to make your MMA dreams come true, you are going to need a good striking base. So take a look at what Cyrille Diabate has to offer!