UFC Fight Night 229 Aftermath: Bobby Green’s Veteranship Wins the Day

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Listen, Bobby Green. I’m supposed to write an article after every fight and do some technical analysis. You make that incredibly hard when you knock out your opponent in 33 seconds. In case you missed last night’s main event, Green knocked Grant Dawson out in the first round.

With the shortness of the main event, we will be diving into the knockdown and how Dawson can avoid this mistake in the future. With the fight only being thirty-three seconds, we are going to have a quick Aftermath. Let’s begin.

Green: Punishing Poor Discipline

There is one rule when fighting a straight puncher in mixed martial arts: Do not go in on a straight line. You will get caught with something like a straight left. Does that sound familiar, Grant?

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From the very first punch Dawson threw, I could see this fight could go very badly for him. (1) He threw a wide right hand which took him way out of position. Next, (2) Dawson leaned heavily left, right into the high kick of Green. This is compounded by Dawson (3) dropping his left hand from his chin and any semblance of defense should anything from the right come back at him. That ugly start for Dawson would only get worse.

Looking at that first punch from Dawson a bit longer, we can see Green’s savvy footwork come into play. Dawson was likely looking for a knee tap where he punches across Green’s chest and picks up the knee. Unfortunately, Green is too much of a veteran for that and managed to stay out of the way.

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(1) We start the exchange off with Green in southpaw and Dawson in orthodox. As Dawson (2) throws the overhand right, (3) Green steps into orthodox to create space. The step back is textbook Alexander Volkanovski who thrives on this and makes people pay of these types of over-pursuit.

Volkanovski uses the switching of stances both defensively, as we saw from Green here, and offensively. He will use it going forward or backwards, as we saw Green do here. Doing this step back opens up new counters, especially if an opponent leads with a wide overhand and with their head forward. Let’s look at Alexander Volkanovski do it to a much more disciplined fighter in Yair Rodriguez.

Blaine Henry/Sherdog.com illustration

Volkanovski likes to enter these exchanges with (1) the step up inside low kick. There, he brings his rear foot forward and (2) as the kick lands, he will read out Rodriguez’ intention of throwing a right cross, which is theoretically the proper counter if Volkanovski didn’t switch so much. (3) Volkanovski will bring his left foot into the rear position putting him in orthodox. Rodriguez knows he missed with the cross and will follow up with a body kick. Volkanovski knows the left side of Rodriguez will be open off the switch and (4) will land a lead right hook that rocks Rodriguez to the core.

Green only stepped out of range of the overhand right but with how Dawson was leading with his head, lowering his hand in the process, Green could have easily come over the top with a lead hook and put Dawson down even earlier.

Blaine Henry/Sherdog.com illustration

On the knockdown, (1) Green was in southpaw, or right hand forward. (2) Dawson steps in and dips to his right as he mirrors Green’s stance. He lowers his right hand and Green hammers home the straight left out of southpaw. (3) Dawson falls and Green gets the win.

At the end of the day, this was only 33 seconds of a fight and Green showed us what he normally does. We didn’t get to see how Dawson held up against the cardio and pace of Green and if Green could stop the takedown. But that’s not Bobby Green’s fault. His job is to go into the cage and be as efficient as possible. A sub-minute first-round knockout is about as efficient as it gets. He will be tested against a wrestler again eventually. Be it Arman Tsarukyan, Mateusz Gamrot or Beneil Dariush, one way or another Green will fight his way into another matchup with a wrestler who won’t lead with their head and throw wild overhands. That’s when he will be tested.

As for Dawson, it is better he gets this lesson before he runs into Ilia Topuria or Justin Gaethje who hit much harder than Green. He and his team can go back to the drawing board and fix this issue and find safer ways to enter a clinch instead of throwing your head off to the side on an overhand right.


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