Coaches see the sport differently and look at the sport differently than anyone else, picking up on different things and paying attention to movements, habits or intangibles that others might not notice, but could have an impact significant on the action inside the Octagon.
Each match offers its own unique collection of items that might pique a trainer’s interest and pay a little more attention once the fight begins.
So what is this thing in this game?
Mad : If I’m looking for something Charles in particular, I’d like to see him stay a little more disciplined. When you fight a guy like Islam, one mistake can cost you the fight, so I want to see Charles a bit more responsible defensively.
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I know that’s his style, but every fight he’s on his ass, he takes those punches, and those punches will catch up with you one day. Being dropped isn’t a requirement, so I’m hoping to see if they’ve changed that a bit; see if he’s a little more defensively responsible, a little more disciplined this fight.
Krause: I’m interested to see if Charles engages in grappling or not. He seems convinced he’s the best grappler in the UFC, and I think it would be a mistake for him to really engage Makhachev’s grappling.
That’s not to say he can’t tackle him, but what I think could happen is that he gets tired of sitting on his back, and once that power goes away goes on the feet, and once the sweat sets in, it’s going to be tough to subdue Makhachev. And these guys can wrestle all f****** day; they don’t get tired!
So, for me, it’s Oliveira who will engage in grappling, because I really think he should stuff the takedown and keep the fight going, if he can. I don’t think he can, but I really don’t think you’ll see him try either.
Sean Madden is a freelance hitting coach who spent several years working with the Elevation Fight team in Denver, Colorado. More recently, he helped sharpen Lauren Murphy’s strike ahead of her upset victory over Miesha Tate.
James Krause is the head trainer at Glory MMA & Fitness in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, home of veteran UFC talent like Tim Elliott, Julian Marquez, Jeff Molina and interim flyweight title holder Brandon Moreno.