BIOMECH BREAKDOWN: Junior Dos Santos KO of Cain Velasquez

Junior Dos Santos SmilingI had an eventful Saturday night…

First up, I called JDS to win in a text to my man Claude Patrick who replied, “no way emoney, cain’s got this, you’re getting worse by the event”.

To be honest, I mainly picked JDS because I like him – he’s always smiling and so happy!

IMO, much better having him as champ vs. Big-Headed Brock or Alistair “Ronnie Coleman” Overeem.

Then got to see Manny Pacquiao get the win over Juan Manuel Marquez…

Not the way I would’ve loved to see, but it was a win.

Then, I made it over to a a Black Star concert. I was hoping to see Mos Def zoom away in a Mini Cooper after the show but it didn’t happen.

And it was at this concert where I lost my iPhone. 🙁

Anyone who’s ever lost a cell phone can feel my pain.

In my sadness and despair I even considered going cell phone free, but then came to my senses and realized how inconvenient it would be to have to send smoke signals when meeting people and to run plastic cups and string across the city of Toronto for remote voice communication with friends.

That brings us to today.

In today’s article, I’m bringing back the BIOMECH BREAKDOWN that I first did of Anderson Silva’s front kick KO of Vitor Belfort.

I’ve got a very interesting comparison to show you guys along with techniques on how to develop KO power like JDS.

First, let’s take a look at a video of Junior’s KO of Cain in slow-mo:

[jwplayer config=”512×288″ mediaid=”3865″]
We can see that the initial knockdown was a step-jab followed by a big overhand right.

As shown in the poll I posted on my blog here, the Rear Overhand was a close second to the Rear Cross as “the most powerful punch in MMA”.

I personally choose either the Rear Overhand or Lead Hook (meant hook with lead hand vs. rear hand, not like a hook jab) as I think most KO’s happen with either of these punches.

JDS gave us another example of the power of the Rear Overhand.

So if we want KO power, we’d better learn how to throw it properly.

But first, check this video out, as you can see many of the same mechanics that I’m going to talk about in a second:

Notice the similarities?

Especially with the fact that JDS led with the jab, it was basically his “pitching wind-up” to get maximum velocity behind the punch.

So here are the technique cues to turn your overhand right into a 100 mph FASTBALL:


STEP #1 - Lead with a Step Jab

This does a few things.

It gives you forward momentum for more power behind the punch.

It gets your opponent to either a) block or b) counter with the lead hand.

Most guys don't have the speed to slip a good jab (other than Anderson Silva).

It's also difficult to counter a jab with a right hand because it'll either be too slow or get blocked by the jabbing arm/shoulder, if thrown with the shoulder high and chin tucked of course.

So you know your opponent is either going to block/parry or counter with their lead hand, which will keep you relatively safe vs. simply leading with the overhand right.

Dos Santos Knockout of Velasquez

STEP #2 - Plant Your Front Foot

This comes naturally after a step-jab, but I want to communicate the importance of this for power.

There's a misconception among beginners that a jumping right hand is a powerful punch.

Well it's not, because you're missing 2 critical components:

1) Without being planted on your front foot, you cannot generate any rotational power through your core.

Try it right now - get in your fight stance, stand on your back foot, and throw a right with good rotation. Now compare that with standing on your left and doing the same. See what I mean?

2) When you plant your foot after forward momentum, you create the whip effect in the sagittal plane of motion (the plane of motion where you march your arms like a soldier).

It's like the olden days when seat belts in the backseat of your car were only around your lap - if your Dad braked suddenly, you'd get whipped forward. Same thing happens when you plant the foot then throw the punch - you create that whip.

STEP #2b - "Wind Up" Your Right

As your front foot is landing, your right hand should be winding up.

The term winding up is perfect, because it's a rotational wind up: down, around, then BANG.

It's the circular motion of the wind up that allows you to generate max power in your punch.

Just like throwing a fastball - if you started with arm up and tried to throw, you'd get no velocity. You've got to go through a big circular motion to get the speed on your pitch.

Knockout Power

STEP #3 - Core Rotation and Drop

Finally, to get the most power possible, you rotate and drop through your core, with your head ending up lower and to the side of where it started.

To get more speed for the rotation, you use the lead jab and pull it back as fast as you threw it out - another reason why it's great to set the overhand right up with the jab.

Big Knockout UFC on FOX

If you execute these steps all properly and land, LIGHTS OUT!

That’s your BIOMECH BREAKDOWN of Junior Dos Santos’ Knockout of Cain Velasquez.

What do you think – any questions or Comments?

Oh – and I’d like to ask you a favour…

Go old school and copy and paste the link to this blog and send it in an email to your friends who train or like MMA.

I’m sure everyone’s gotten enough “man does something stupid and hurts himself” videos that they’ll appreciate something like this.

Or maybe not.

And hit “Like” on your way out too. It’d be much appreciated!

That’s it for now.

Signing off,

Coach E

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JMoneyEric WongAnnaMRocciTommy Geoghegan Recent comment authors
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Love these posts eric. Thank you so much. Im still awaiting Anderson silvas front kick part 2 but please keep these coming they are so awesome.

Eric Wong

great breakdown! i cant throw like that because my shoulder would come out. gotta stick to tighter punches.


Hi Eric . I love this analisis too . I use a lot of Feldenkrais , foam rolls , swill ball advance stuff working with my MMA guy and glad to be a former student of prof Janda – his mm analisis – mm game background helps a lot . Love how you do comparison with pinching – probably will open some minds for MMA men to look for some exercises from softball and maybe also others like hockey , waterball, iceskating, golfers training . Do you know any statistic , what procentage of mma fighters suffer from back pain – is it common or not, injury more often then others ? do some of them develop spondylolisthesis or just functionally unstable segment ?
Regards in 2012 and let’s achieve all of that what 2011did not allow us …and more !


that is an awesome in-depth break down, its a shame that there are not that many striking coaches that could do what you have just done, with the breakdown like that you can really appreciate the punch as well as the biomechanics

Tommy Geoghegan
Tommy Geoghegan

Hey Eric,

You are a legend man, tried this move in a sparring session and I suppose you could call it beginners luck but it worked out perfect. My partner was wearing head gear but it still left him very unsteady on his feet, had to call time out.
This coverage has made me much more aware and analyitical when watching pro fight videos, thanks heaps Eric my coach loves you.

The G Man in Aus.

PS Supersubguru is spot on with his comments on the Marquez V Paquiao, you would have to be Blind Freddy not to see that Marquez won that fight. Even the Paquiao fans in the venue where I watched it here in Aus, although obviously happy, were shocked. Some of them actually exited early thinking that the fight was lost. Is the Integrity lost from the sport or was it ever there to begin with?

Scrappy D
Scrappy D

awesome article, reminds me of chuck liddell’s overhand right. I think you should do a lot more bio mech break downs, they are definately my favorite!


Hey Eric that was great. This article is freaky: I was justing thinking about baseball pitchers today and how they generate power ( this is highly unusual cos nobody plays baseball in Ireland).
BTW my MMA coach Jake Hecht (American born, Cork based MMA fighter) is making his UFC debut at…you’ve guessed it UFC 140 in Ontario – same card as Claude Patrick. Say hi to him for me, that’ll freak him out and wish him luck. Cheers


I do like your breakdowns articles but u missed the real reason Cain went to sleep on sat night
Cain throw a lead hook & missed but his head kept following his hand he didn’t see the punch that he was hit with & those are the shots that hurt! JDS does have power but if cain body position wasn’t so off balanced & if he saw the punch I don’t think it would be the same result
Keep the great articles


Thanks Eric that was very interesting and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Could I just request a warning the next time you are talking about Ufc results? Hadn’t had a chance to watch the fight yet!

Shane Cafferkey
Shane Cafferkey

Thankyou Eric, that was great reading! And food for thought.


Agreed with everything of the BIOMECH BREAKDOWN. But did not agreed with your coment of the Marquez vs Paquiao fight. Read this. Not just my opinion.
And, once again, ponder a thought as to what is wrong with boxing? As subjective as the sport is, Marquez clearly won the fight. And at the least, if the judge wanted to keep the Pacquiao-Mayweather fight alive they could have all agreed that this was a draw. So, there is no resolution as to who the better fighter is. The scorebook and the annals of boxing will show Pacquiao has the advantage taking two of the three fights, all controversial.

Read more:

In the end the Manny Pacquiao win was for Bob Arum


I agree with this guy the victory of manny wasnt that clear at all (even more if you consider he is suppose to be the best pound for pound) he never connected right, he started to box at round 8 before he didnt have a clue of how to connect Marquez lot of people agree that Marquez connected lot more solid punches than many so boxing is dubious now seems bets are more important now than the sport itself, some guy in a web site is showing the score cards of the judges(a digital pic in the judges table) and is clear that Marquez won but they favored Manny due to be more aggressive but he was just swinging hard with out connecting so is weird people love floyd boxing style which is more counter just like Marquez did in this fight but curiously enough that was not good enough… Read more »


Good stuff, I used to play outfield when I was a kid so it should be an easy transition just like my kicks from playing soccer for so many years. Finally figured out power is generated from the core.Wanted Cain to win but dos santos is a great fighter too. Just wish the fight would have at least gone 3 or 4 rounds. By the way, got any info on how to improve and utilize jabs? Just asking. Thanx for the advice.


The foot-hand combination is of main importance, and is one of the most important things we’re learned in our full contact classes. Great article!


Interesting video. This isn’t a pitching blog, but still, I noticed things I never saw before. The extreem slow mo at about 24 sec shows it best. 1- Complete stretch sets up powerful contraction, 2- Front foot plant, 3- Front knee bends significantly, arm starts forward, 4- Elbow suddenly moves forward to lead the hand creating a whip within the whip, 5- Ball release is accompanied by a forceful straightening of the lead leg, shrugging of the trapazoid and contraction of the pec. Timing these elements correctly is quite an accomplishment.


Great analogy comparing the overhand right to a pitcher. Not many people understand that it is the strength/stability of the lead leg to produce distal deceleration, which creates proximal acceleration, and produces the whip-like action of the throwing arm (or rear overhand) to occur. Thanks for the breakdown.