Max Holloway Should Be A Tough Opponent For Khabib Nurmagomedov

Over the past 4.5 years, Max Holloway has shown a tendency to walk down his opponents in an attempt to get them into striking range. If he is successful, Max will repeatedly circle into the opponent’s power hand to analyze the hand placement of the opponent. For instance, if the opponent places the hands at jaw level or higher, he will give Holloway the opportunity to target the body and legs. This is because the opponent usually can’t drop his fists in time to block or deflect the strike. On the other hand, if the opponent places the hands below the jaw, he will give Holloway the opportunity to target the head. After Max is done gathering the data, he will look to exploit the areas that his opponent leaves open. For example, Jeremy Stephens would place his hands at about jaw-level for the most part which meant the body and legs were exposed continuously. As a result, Max Holloway decided to feature a heavy dose of the right jab and left kick to the body.

Jeremy Stephens vs Max Holloway fight video – ufc 194

Due to this, Max Holloway should look to attack the head of Khabib Nurmagomedov. This is because Nurmagomedov has shown a tendency to walk down his opponents in an attempt to get them into grappling range. If Khabib is successful, he will throw the left jab followed by the right uppercut to get the opponent to raise their hands. When the adversary raises their hands, it gives Khabib an easy takedown attempt; because his foe will not have time to get the under hooks in to stop the takedown. Due to this, Nurmagomedov can quickly drop down to grab one or both of the opponent’s legs and start pushing him towards the fence. Once this process is complete, he will regrip the legs to attempt a takedown to get the fight to the ground. If he is successful, he will proceed to establish wrist control and try to land some ground and pound. Eventually, the referee is usually forced to stop the fight because the foe can’t block the punches thrown by Khabib Nurmagomedov.

However, one can argue that Khabib Nurmagomedov’s fighting style will be the catalyst for his first loss. This is because every time he moves forward to close the distance his left hand is always on the rib cage area. As a result of this, the left side of his face is continually wide open to be hit. Furthermore, whenever Khabib gets hit on the left side of his face, he freezes for a couple of seconds because he hasn’t gotten used to being punched. Therefore I would suggest that his opponents throw one or two punches to the left side of his face and immediately circle out in either direction. This strategy will force Khabib Nurmagomedov to regularly reset and go back to square one since he seems to be uncomfortable with being punched. Due to this, Khabib Nurmagomedov will start chasing his opponents around the Octagon in hopes getting a takedown which leaves him open to more strikes.

 

Unfortunately, Max Holloway has spent the majority of the past two months rehabilitating the ankle injury which forced him to withdraw from UFC 222. On the March 19th episode of the MMA Hour, he said that “his physical therapy has been progressing well and he’s hoping to receive doctor’s clearance to return to action soon.” Due to this, one would think that Holloway will be in subpar cardiovascular shape because he has been in rehab instead of training to fight. Therefore, the fight should be extremely competitive for the first two rounds, with Khabib’s constant pressure fatiguing Max in the later rounds.

However, if Max Holloway had a normal training camp he would beat Khabib Nurmagomedov. This is because he would have the stamina to implement an in and out game plan for five rounds. For example, every time Khabib comes forward, he can target the left side of the face by throwing the right jab followed by the right hook or straight right. Once Max is done, he has the speed to circle out of grappling range before Khabib can shoot for a takedown which forces Nurmagomedov to constantly reset.

 

Tony Ferguson Should Be A Tailor-Made Opponent For Khabib Nurmagomedov

Over the past half-decade, Tony Ferguson has shown a tendency to walk down his opponents in an attempt to get them into striking range. If he is successful, Tony will spend a few seconds feinting the left jab or using body movement to analyze the hand placement of the opponent. For instance, if the opponent places the hands at jaw level or higher, he will give Ferguson the opportunity to target the body and legs. This is because the opponent usually can’t drop his fists in time to block or deflect the strike. On the other hand, if the opponent places the hands below the jaw, he will give Ferguson the opportunity to target the head. Once Tony Ferguson collects the information, he will dart forward and attack the open areas. For instance, Rafael Dos Anjos maintained his hands at jaw level or higher during the first round of the fight. As a result, Ferguson featured a lot of right kicks aimed at the midsection and legs.

Due to this, Tony Ferguson should look to attack the head of Khabib Nurmagomedov. This is because Nurmagomedov has shown a tendency to walk down his opponents in an attempt to get them into grappling range. If Khabib is successful, he will throw the left jab followed by the right uppercut to get the opponent to raise their hands. When the adversary raises their hands, it gives Khabib an easy takedown attempt; because his foe will not have time to get the under hooks in to stop the takedown. Due to this, Nurmagomedov can quickly drop down to grab one or both of the opponent’s legs and start pushing him towards the fence. Once this process is complete, he will regrip the legs to attempt a takedown to get the fight to the ground. If he is successful, he will proceed to establish wrist control and try to land some ground and pound. Eventually, the referee is usually forced to stop the fight because the foe can’t block the punches thrown by Khabib Nurmagomedov.

However, one can argue that Khabib Nurmagomedov’s fighting style will be the catalyst for his first loss. This is because every time he moves forward to close the distance his left hand is always on the rib cage area. As a result of this, the left side of his face is continually wide open to be hit. Furthermore, whenever Khabib gets hit on the left side of his face, he freezes for a couple of seconds because he hasn’t gotten used to being punched. Therefore I would suggest that his opponents throw one or two punches to the left side of his face and immediately circle out in either direction. This strategy will force Khabib Nurmagomedov to regularly reset and go back to square one since he seems to be uncomfortable with being punched. Due to this, Khabib Nurmagomedov will start chasing his opponents around the Octagon in hopes getting a takedown which leaves him open to more strikes.

Unfortunately, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s weakness should be negated by Tony Ferguson’s propensity to dart forward as he attacks. Every time Ferguson dashes forward, he will be within Khabib’s grappling range. As a result of this, Khabib can just duck down to grab one or both of his legs and start pushing him towards the fence. Once this process is complete, he will regrip the legs to attempt a takedown to get the fight to the ground. If he is successful, he will proceed to establish wrist control and try to land some ground and pound. Eventually, this style will drain most of the stamina from Ferguson thus preventing a comeback on his part.

 

How To Beat Khabib Nurmagomedov

Leonard Fournette Deserves Consideration For The NFL MVP Award

In the past few weeks, the mainstream media have suggested that Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, and Carson Wentz are the top candidates for NFL MVP; due to the statistics they have compiled and their team record. Although these players deserve consideration, the media should also consider Leonard Fournette because of the impact he has had on the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Over the past three NFL seasons, the Jacksonville Jaguars have made Blake Bortles the focal point of their offense. This is because the organization wanted to give Bortles as many opportunities as possible to prove to the public that drafting him with the third pick in the 2014 draft was the right decision. Due to this, the team would design game plans that allow him the opportunity to demonstrate how he is capable of making all the throws necessary to win games. However, this strategy has backfired on the team because Bortles is very inaccurate on passes that were thrown over ten yards. According to ESPN, over the past two seasons, Bortles has a completion percentage of 35.5 and 46.9 on throws from 11-20 yards in 2015 and 2016 respectively. The inaccuracy on passes thrown over ten yards can be attributed to being under pressure in the pocket. For instance, against the Ravens, there were a couple of plays where Bortles had to hold the ball for an extended period until his primary receiver got ten to fifteen yards downfield usually running a dig route. By the time that the receiver reached his destination, Bortles was already feeling pressure from the opposing team as a defender was only a few feet away from him.

Due to this, he was often forced to throw the ball off his back foot or in the process of sidestepping a defender which altered his passes. As a result of this, the offense was unable to keep the ball for extended periods of time during most games, which forces defense having to go back on the field without the proper amount of rest. In fact, according to team rankings, the offense was only on the field for 29 minutes and 9 seconds, which means that the defense is on the field for 30 minutes and 51 seconds. Eventually, the defense ran out of energy and couldn’t stop the other team from scoring.

However, it has been an entirely different story this season because the team made wholesale changes to the offensive system. This is because the Jaguars decided to select Leonard Fournette with the fourth overall pick in the draft. As a result, the team will once again feature their first-round pick as a focal point of their offense because; they want to give him as many opportunities as possible to prove to the public that he was the right pick. Therefore the Jaguars have implemented an offensive system centered around the running game and the play-action passing game. For instance, during the first two downs of a series, Blake Bortles would hand the ball off to Leonard Fournette in an attempt to force the opposing team to stack the box and set up a manageable third down. If the strategy were successful, the Jaguars would call a play action pass where Blake would fake the handoff and go in the opposite direction to throw the ball to the flat or the crossing route fifteen yards downfield. However, on occasion, Blake would fake the handoff to freeze the defense momentarily which allowed the receivers to get some separation as they try to complete a slant, in, out or crossing route. As a result, the defense spent less time on the field meaning they had more time to rest between drives. According to teamrankings.com, the unit has been on the field for an average of 28:17 minutes which is about two and a half minutes less than previous seasons.

Furthermore, the decision to feature Leonard Fournette as the focal point of their offense has helped Blake Bortles have a career year. According to pro-football-reference.com, during his first three seasons, Bortles had a completion percentage of 58.2 percent; while throwing for an average of 3747 yards with 23 touchdowns and 18 interceptions. However this season, Bortles had a completion percentage of 60.2 percent; while throwing for 3687 yards with 21 touchdowns and 13 interceptions.

In conclusion, the presence of Leonard Fournette has improved the performance of the offense and defense and helped the team compile a 9-4 record. The combination of all these factors is why he deserves consideration for the NFL MVP award.

Magic Johnson Would Need To Trade Lonzo Ball For LeBron James To Join The Los Angeles Lakers

Over the past few months, there have been several reports that LeBron James is leaning towards signing with Magic Johnson’s Los Angeles Lakers. According to Bleacher Report’s Howard Beck, “the general belief around the league is that, if he does leave, he’ll land with the Lakers.” Although these rumors are picking up more steam each day, Magic Johnson would’ve to trade Lonzo Ball; to turn the rumor from a dream into reality.

Throughout the past seven seasons, teams who obtained the services of Lebron have incorporated an offensive system; that is meant to showcase his ability to pass the ball and get to the basket. As a result, he usually walks the ball up until the three-point line and evaluates how the defenders are positioned. For instance, if a defender is playing off of a three-point shooter, he is supposed to pass the ball to the wide-open shooter. On the other hand, if all the defenders are staying close to their man he is expected to evaluate the size of his defender. If the defender is smaller than him, he should post up in the mid to low block and back him down until he can to a spot where he can shoot a jumper. But if his defender is the same size as him he should use his speed and strength to get around him to attack the basket. However, there will be some instances where the defense will collapse on him, and he should pass the ball to the perimeter for the wide open three. Furthermore, on occasion, the team will break out some different sets within their playbook to prevent from becoming a predictable offense. For example, the team may have LeBron act like he is going to post up at the free throw line and have him pass the ball to a teammate doing a backdoor cut to the basket.

Due to this, the Lakers would have to surround LeBron with players who can catch and shoot or know how to move without the ball. Unfortunately, both of these skill sets nullify Lonzo Ball’s best attribute; Ball has been described as a player who possesses excellent court vision and passing ability. According to DraftExpress, “Ball showed he has the vision, timing, accuracy, and overall foundation to eventually make every read necessary at the NBA level… and locate shooters”. Due to this, he needs to be on a team where he would be the primary ball handler; and is allowed to analyze the defense to determine what is the right pass. For instance, the traditional pick and roll offense would be an ideal system for him because he can bring the ball up to the three-point line and ask for a screen. Once the pick was set Ball can pay attention to his defender to determine the next course of action, for instance, if the defender went under the screen, Ball can go over it and take the wide open shot. On the other hand, if the defender went over the screen, Ball can go over it as well and drive towards the basket where he can score or pass the ball to the player next to him or to the perimeter depending on whether he was double teamed or not.

As you can see, both of these players need to have the ball in their hands for a significant amount of time to be effective. Due to this, they would need at least one season to figure out where everyone is supposed to be on the court and to develop chemistry. For instance, there would be many possessions in the early portions of the first season, where one player will bring the ball up the floor and hold it for the majority of the shot clock. Meanwhile, the other player is standing behind the three-point line acting as a spot-up shooter. This is because the duo will need multiple games to develop timing as to when they should move without the ball and where to end up. Unfortunately, neither LeBron James or Lonzo Ball can be productive in the spot-up shooter role; because they have a below average shooting percentage from behind the arc. According to Basketball-Reference, LeBron has a career three-point shooting percentage of 34.2 percent, while Lonzo is shooting 23.1 percent. Consequently, opposing teams will leave the shooter wide open and use the extra defender to provide help defense.

Therefore it would behoove Magic Johnson to trade Lonzo Ball for some more shooters to stretch out the defense thus giving LeBron more room to maneuver.