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Fighting a better opponent

Craig DicksonThere is a lot to point out in this video. I could start with explaining the poses used in Pet Ubon’s Ram Muay, (Blue Corner), to his effective use of long range weapons to frustrate, (kicks and teeps). Some would opt to point out his tight clinch to wear Craig Dickson from Sumalee down or the reach advantage going so far as to place his hand on Craig’s forehead to taunt him. Instead, I’d like to point out the ability for Craig to ignore the antics, the critics that doubted him and the fact that he was truly outclassed for most of the match. (Now remember, Craig Dickson is no slouch…a champion himself at the time of this fight). Winning a fight against a “better” opponent requires a few things that I hope that you never forget.

  1. The ability to create or identify a weakness. No matter how good someone is, everybody makes a mistake. The question is will you be ready to capitalize it when it presents itself. In the case of Pet Ubon, he was faced primarily with straight punches and body hooks from Craig…an uppercut was not in his arsenal in either of the preceding rounds breeding overconfidence that it was not a threat
  2. The ability to stay focused on the plan crafted by your team, coach or Kru. In the minute between rounds, your job is to clear your mind and listen to the tip that you are being told. You may not be able to execute it seconds into the next round, but stay patient. The heavens will open when you see it and there will be a resounding Ohhhhhhh from your inner voice at the now obvious opportunity
  3. The ability to complete your goal and capitalize on the weakness. As an amateur, we sometimes get intimidated by our stellar opponent, land the correct response for the opening and then run away back to safety instead of following up.

Matt Embree once told me in a hotel in Chiang Mai after a teammate faced a tough opponent… “If you haven’t lost in a tough fight that you WANTED, you haven’t fought anyone worth fighting. What you learn from this loss will make you harder to beat in the future and will shape your skills IF you treat this as a learning opportunity and not just a lucky punch” – Matt Embree

For every fighter taunted in a match…live vicariously through Craig in this one…

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