Former BAMMA Middleweight Champion and recent UFC signee Tom Watson (15-4) knows a thing or two about striking. The brash Brit—known for his entertaining entrances to the cage—has seven career wins via (T)KO. In this installment of MMA 101, Tom and striking coach Mike Valle take a break from training at Warrior’s Legion MMA (Brian Stann’s new gym in Alpharetta, GA) to shows readers how to “spin to success” with two spinning elbow combinations.
LEG KICK COUNTER TO SPINNING ELBOW
Tom and Mike begin in orthodox stances. Mike throws a right leg kick that Tom catches with his left hand. As Tom closes the distance by taking a step forward with his right leg, he reaches across with his right arm and grabs Mike’s right leg, which blocks Mike’s right arm to the inside (this keeps Mike from throwing a right hook). Pivoting on his right foot, Tom makes a 180-degree turn while throwing his left elbow toward Mike’s head. It’s important to work on the fluidity of this leg-kick counter, so Mike can’t create the angle to throw his left hook.
ONE-TWO TO SPINNING ELBOW COMBO
Tom and Mike begin in orthodox stances. Tom throws a left jab. As Tom throws his straight right hand, he closes the distance by stepping forward with his right leg. Pivoting on his right foot, Tom makes a 180-degree turn while throwing his left elbow toward Mike’s head. It’s important to work on the fluidity of this combination, so Mike never has a chance to reset his feet and counter the attack.