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As a child, I remember distinctly that the short and stocky fighters were always the most feared. And there are definitely fighters with that type of build who still dominate, but I find that today's generation are wondering how to defeat a taller opponent.
When a tall and lanky fighter knows how to utilize their reach to keep you on the outside, it makes it extremely difficult to hit them because they simply have the advantage of longer limbs. If you and your taller opponent were to strike at the same time, their punches and kicks would land before your strikes. The short and stocky fighters hit with a lot of power, and sometimes all it may take from them is a Woodley-like overhand punch knockout.
But, would that short fighter be able to land it on a taller opponent? The taller and lanky fighter may hit with less power, but can typically land more volume and cause a lot of cumulative damage as the rounds go on. This is seem time and time again from UFC legends like Anderson Silva, Israel Adesanya, and Sean O'Malley. All three of these fighters are tall, lanky and extremely evasive. Not only can they avoid their opponent’s attacks by being long and evasive, but they strike with accuracy, speed, timing and with their advantageous reach.
If you read my article last month on how to deal with the overhand punch, you would have a better understanding on how to deal with these powerhouse fighters! Now how do regular or shorter opponents fight back against a taller opponent?
One of the most effective strategies to defeating a taller opponent is to get into their pocket. By entering their pocket, you are not only in range to strike, but you remove the taller opponent’s reach advantage and make it more difficult for the taller opponent to attack when you are in their pocket. The best methods to sneak into the pocket is to utilize head movement and footwork! There are many different methods, but I personally use these 6 different tactics to get in the pocket. Now if you're looking for a better tool to learn MMA tactics, become a stronger striker, and understand some of the most common scenarios you'll find in the octagon, I highly suggest checking out The MMA Striker, full curriculum.