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The Masvidal Knockdown Setup With Stephen Thompson

The Masvidal Knockdown Setup With Stephen Thompson


Setting up our strikes is the most important aspect when we want to land punches or kicks that can finish the fight. Fighters with the ability to finish fights are always feared; even when facing a better opponent, they will always have a chance.


When we look at setups, we first need to differentiate them from standard combos. Many practitioners think that by throwing a combination, they are setting up a shot, and they are right to some extent. But setting up a strike is a vast subject, and combos are only a tiny part of it.


Some types of setups we encounter usually are:

  • Drawing a certain strike 
  • Creating an opening with movement
  • Creating an opening with strikes (combos)
  • Effective positioning in the ring or cage

    Now that we understand that we have more than one setup, we need to learn to use the optimal setup for every situation. Today we will dive into a category of “drawing our opponent” to set p our strikes as it is the most common and easiest set up to perform.


    The key to learning how to draw our opponent is to analyze and anticipate mid-fight continuously. As we begin the round, our opponent will be a mystery, and it will be hard to set up anything. Still, as we start exchanging strikes, we must open our eyes and analyze the situation to anticipate our opponent’s reactions and give him an incentive to draw a response.


    Once we can draw our opponent, we can set up the openings that will allow us to land powerful strikes with intentions behind them to finish the fight, and this is the importance of good setups.


    In the following section, we will talk about a setup to the right hand, and we must understand that the right hand is always anticipated and easy to react to and defend. Throwing it without any setup reduces the chances of landing the punch by a landslide, so make sure you prepare your shot.


    In the following video, Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson will show us a drill to learn the setup he used to knock down Jorge Masvidal.


    Who Is Stephen Thompson?

    Stephen Thompson is an American Mixed Martial Artist fighting for the UFC and a former professional Kickboxer. Stephen had a fantastic Kickboxing career as he came from a Karate background and gathered a mind-blowing record of 57 wins and zero losses. Stephen is a top contender in the UFC Welterweight Division and is respected for being a kind character with unbelievable skills.

    Upgrade Your Striking With WONDERBOY! Click Learn More!



    Drilling The Masvidal 

    In this video, Stephen Thompson will show us a drill he calls “The Masvidal” because this is the exact combination he used to knock down Jorge Masvidal in their fight. In this drill, we will shuffle forward and angle out to the side to create an opening for our right hand.

    So we start in our stance, and we bounce to create a disguise for our initial movements; the next thing we want to do is move around and analyze our opponent, so we know what he likes to throw.

    In the case of Masvidal, he liked to throw his Jab, so we will work on countering that strike. When we expect the Jab, we will shuffle forward with a Jab of our own while taking our head to the side, so if he throws his Jab, we dodge it.

    Now from here, we are in an excellent position to sidestep off to an angle and land a straight right hand down the pipe. Stephen likes to aim at three spots when he throws the right hand:

    • The tip of the chin
    • The jawline
    • The ear

    Notice that when we aim for the ear, we hit the equilibrium, and our opponent will most certainly lose his balance which is good for us so we can finish the fight, and in the fight between Thompson and Masvidal, Thompson landed that strike to the ear.

    Now when we drill this combination, we want our partner to hold pads for us and show us his front head/pad as an indicator to throw the Jab. As we Jab, we move our head and sidestep to an angle with our shoulders stretched in a way that allows full rotation and power with our right hand.

    It’s important to understand that we are not facing our opponent as we step off to an angle. If we face our opponent, we are squared, and we cannot put power into our punch when we are half rotated.

    When Stephen throws the Jab, he keeps it out there in front of his partner for the whole combo so he can keep the space and hide the right hand behind it when he wants to throw it.

    Learn More From Stephen Thompson

     Movement as a Weapon by Stephen Thompson - Dynamic Striking

    Suppose you liked this drill by Stephen Thompson and would like to learn more from him; check out -  “Movement As A Weapon - By Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson” available exclusively on Dynamic Striking.