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Knucklehead in an Ether Cave
Remote Coaching Notes: 2/10/2023
© 2023 James LaFond
Over the month of January Sean sent me videos of three opponents. The first was an MMA video of a big boy—these are amateur heavies. This means they are as serious as pro boxers but tend to lack conditioning. In other words, they have full time jobs and can’t make the weight cut down to 205. I like Sean as a heavyweight better then lighter weights because he is a devastating leg kicker and amateur heavies tend to be top heavy and have a really weak kicking game.
When he asked me about this three years ago I said, “Break his leg,” and he did. Erique, who worked his corner while I was in Portland, spoke to me after the fight, “That was not cool—I’d like to know who told him to break that guy’s leg?”
I owned up and we laughed.
The first fighter leads with lead left leg round kick, a bad mix of sport karate and brawling. I counseled Sean to let him lead with a kick and then, when he transferred his weight onto that leg, break it, with a back leg round kick, while posting a south paw check on the man’s left shoulder.
That fighter backed out; must have seen the leg break video.
Sean sent me another video, two, of this opponent. This was a Muay Thai fight and an MMA fight. This guy was a dark black man with a lot of hair who looked to be 5’ 11” and 280. The dude was tough, and game, with poor conditioning, no real kicking game and no grappling. However, this guy could rock with an overhand right to a shovel hook and scored a devastating KO in his MMA fight and has a huge wide head.
I recommended front thrust and push kicks to set him back on his heels, as his punching power was all off the balls of his feet tilting in. The fellow had a habit of gassing after an exchange and then putting his hands behind his head to gather breath, while the other lighter guy backed away, which is something a lot of boxing gyms encourage in sparring. This guy was doing this in his Muay Thai fight. So I suggested Sean to feint backing away after an exchange and then when this guy put his hands up for a breath, launching a tight side kick or front kick into the wind.
This guy was a gorilla with a big fat head who was not going to go down from punches. The goal was to attack the body, protect the head, throw the blind jab, pass step and slam downward and inward, not upward, knees into the thighs and win on points. If head kicks were permitted, a third round head kick KO would be the goal.
The gorilla backed out—must have seen the leg break fight, “Oh, hell no!, that cracker is not battering these drumsticks!”
Finally, I get a video of a Muay Thai match, which is really more like karate with MMA gloves on, a really sick slobber knocker fight with Sean scheduled to meet the really tough and heroic loser. Head kicks are allowed, and this guy does not appear to have head kicks or any quality kick and is shorter than Sean.
I reviewed the video and sent the following commentary.
[His] Legs go dead and straight when he backs up, so use lead front kick, either leg, to a slingshot back leg round kick. Cover with high check to head or shoulder, not a punch.
Experiment with the side kick to spleen or hip on this guy.
Pass right and pivot check of course. 
He leads with light round kicks. Draw that kick and kick the standing leg under it. A sanshu sweep would work, but I'm also thinking knee break.
He's tough, so torment him with kicks over two rounds never going for his head. He drops his hands. Study that and in the third round take his head with a shin.
I like you against the old peckerwood [who beat him on points] too. 
Sean informed me that the fight against his fearless foe is March 5, some four months before this article will likely post. I am not a good corner man: not loud, or assertive, inspiring or demanding, merely supportive and informative. I think the gym and the fight video are my appropriate coaching venues.
Sean did say he wanted a few machete duels with me in May. That should be a good way to close out a fighting life.
It is an honor to be valued and trusted by such men.
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