Everyone will likely remember two things about the Edson Barboza vs. Kevin Lee fight at UFC Fight Night 128 in Atlantic City, NJ, on Saturday night: Lee missing weight and the vicious spinning kick from Barboza that went viral.
One minute into the third round, Barboza hit Lee with a head kick that sent Lee into a stumble. I’ve seen MC Hammer, the “Chicken Dance,” and the “Stanky Legg” played behind the clip.
Kevin Lee constantly gave forward pressure on his feet until he would take Barboza down.
Once Lee got on top, he continued that pressure and was out there to break Barboza’s will, not just to finish the fight. He never stopped for five rounds, even saying he “could’ve gone five more.”
Lee took the same approach as new lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov did against Barboza at UFC 219 in December: with the relentless pressure, takedowns, and vicious ground-and-pound. It paid off.
Henri Hooft’s guys out of Hard Knocks 365 in South Florida are notorious for being pressure fighters. The Hooft Kickboxing system is built around two basic principles: pressure fighting and keeping it simple (stupid).
This can be seen recently with Gilbert Burns (UFC) and Demarques Jackson (LFA) earning “Knockouts of the Night” within a week of each other with almost identical simple combinations.
How did they pull this off? Why is their UFC/Bellator/pro team 10-0 in the last month? Simple striking and relentless pressure.