In the mid-19th century, introduction of the Minié ball and rifle changed modern warfare forever. The effects were notably present on the battlefi elds of the American Civil War, where the superior range and accuracy of the improved weaponry proved deadly to commanders and infantry still adhering to the Napoleonic tactics of a previous era. The ability for cavalry to ride headlong into the fray with expectations of overwhelming a defenders line was effectively nullified—too often at a sobering cost.
Striking at will, while reducing one’s own exposure to punishment, is a tactic employed with more and more frequency among today’s top-tier of MMA fi ghters. Here in the offi ce, we’ve often discussed the idea that—as counter-wrestling becomes a more widespread ability—elite strikers with physical attributes that bolster their range and have the ability to keep the contest standing, should begin to see more success. Sharpshooters like Anderson Silva and more recently, Nate Diaz, seem to support this idea. This month, Reed Khun takes a statistical look at some other attributes we hadn’t considered. Southpaw, reach, height—it’s interesting to see who shakes out on top, and who possesses which traits. Turn to page 66 to check out the results.
To say that tall, rangy fighters are the pinnacle of modern MMA would be a foolish presumption. After all, the evolution of the sport is based on breaking paradigms. One fi ghter who is single-handedly (often overhand-right-handedly) proving that compact brute force is still as dangerous as ever, is former Bellator Middleweight Champ, and newly acquired UFC star, Hector Lombard. One glance at our cover this month and it’s easy to see that Hector possesses as formidable an appearance as you’re likely to find in the sport. For his opponents, a 32-2 record, with a 20 fight win streak and 17 KO’s is formidable as well. On page 52, we shine some light on the lesser known side of Hector as he prepares for his fi rst test in the UFC, “The All-American” Brian Stann. Call it a hunch, but something tells me that neither Brian nor Hector will be intimidated. On August 4, I hope you’re ready, because the battle lines have been drawn. This one’s gonna be a war.