Southpaw Jab Counter With Benson Henderson
Fighting a southpaw when you're an orthodox fighter can present a lot of unique problems that the orthodox fighter might not be used to. This is what is known as the southpaw advantage in combat sports. The southpaw advantage is something that is pretty easy to explain. It’s not that southpaw fighters are just inherently better because of their left hand being dominant, as the southpaw advantage is still something that is held by right handed fighters who use a southpaw stance.
The southpaw advantage is all about experience. Since there are less southpaw fighters out there in every martial arts gym in the world, it is hard for orthodox fighters to get experience fighting them. This is the opposite for southpaw fighters, as almost, if not all, of their training partners are going to be orthodox fighters.
This means that southpaw fighters will have an advantage against orthodox fighters in sparring and competition due to their experience. Southpaw fighters are much more familiar with the nuances and strategies that come with being in an open stance scenario, where one fighter is in orthodox and the other is in Southpaw.
This familiarity gives them the advantage and this is part of the reason why so many top fighters in Boxing, Kickboxing, Muay Thai and MMA are southpaws. So if you want to beat southpaws, you need to learn some of their tactics and techniques.
In this video Benson Henderson goes over a jab counter that can be used by either fighter in an open stance scenario. Benson Henderson is an elite MMA fighter who is currently competing in Bellator’s Lightweight division. He is a former UFC and WEV Lightweight Champion with victories over fighters like Jorge Masvidal, Donald Cerrone, Nick Diaz and two over Frankie Edgar.
This counter can be used if you are a southpaw fighter or if you're an othrodox fighter fighting a southpaw. This counter relies on having a fair amount of distance and timing on your opponent and solid head movement.
While in an open stance scenario you are going to time your opponent’s jab and slip it to the outside. While you’re slipping to the outside you are going to fire off a rear straight. From here you can follow up. Henderson shows his preferred follow up, which is a lead uppercut to another rear straight. Benson also moves off to the side of his opponent as he’s throwing his lead uppercut to create a better angle and to avoid any counters from his opponent.
Benson points out that you shouldn’t try to counter every one of your opponent’s jabs like this and you shouldn’t drill like that because it’s not realistic. If you are drilling this technique with a partner, you should have them throw a few jabs that you are slipping block, dodge or parry with no counter.
Be selective with the jabs that you actually counter. If you try to counter every jab of your opponent, they will pick up on this and try to bait a counter out of you to land their own.