How Tony Ferguson Disrupts Fighting
We’re seeing everything in fighting being disrupted.
But that doesn’t mean anyone can just make shit up.
You got to train and learn from decade or decades because there are some fundamental truths in everything. For example:
- Gravity is real.
- It hurts to get punched in the face.
- If you can’t see, it’s hard to fight.
There’s always some fundamental truths. But there are also structures around fighting that people built, and we’re starting to see people work outside of them.
If you see that this world we’re all in is in a constant state of flux, and you see there’s a trend towards disruption everywhere, then you better be part of that trend.
You better accept that as real, accept that these massive changes will happen.
There are rules in fighting that have been believed forever. Here are some quick examples:
- “Those body shots are gonna add up in the later rounds”
- “He can’t take too many of those leg kicks”
- “He can’t take all this damage, he’s gonna slow down”
- “When there’s too much blood, you can’t submit a guy.”
Go to a kickboxing class, and they will tell you, “You can’t lean. You can’t overextend.”
“Coach, why can’t I?”
“You just can’t. You’ll get knocked out.”
And later, you start training in different scenarios, and you see that the norm is to work from a place where your weight is always evenly distributed. Those are good fundamentals.
But once you get to a point that these things are natural to you, the natural thing to do is start to experiment, go beyond.
“Why can’t I overextend? What do you mean I can’t?
“What do you mean my foot has to be outside their front foot?”
All of these things that we repeat as truth, these are all the things that people are going to disrupt.
If you go to fight Holly Holm and you believe that you have to keep your left foot outside of the front of her right foot, she’s gonna knock you out cold, you know?
You don’t have to keep your foot outside their front foot. So why would anyone believe that?
Because THEY heard it, a lot. Because it’s a novice truth. It’s not a real truth — it’s a truth you followed when you were a novice fighter.
Look at what Tony Ferguson is doing.
Tony is extending.
If I stand and my hips are above my feet and my chest is above my hips and I reach out, I cannot touch your chin at the same distance my foot can touch your waist.
So what if lean? What if I lean my body?
My feet are still in the same place, but my hips, torso, shoulders or all of them have now progressed. Thus we’ve got four ranges. I can land kicks and punches from here.
Why can I can punch from here?
Because my shoulders are at the distance to hit you, my hips are at the distance to hit you, and my feet are at the distance to hit you.
What if I leave my feet planted, but move my torso and body?
Again, now I’m able to hit you. It’s really simple.
Moreover, this happens because Tony does it, and it works because (according to the novice truth) you’re not supposed to do it. You’re not supposed to lean.
This is just one example of what all the disruptors are doing right now. They’re breaking all those rules, because they were never really rules to begin with.
So what do we do now?
Do we go, “Okay, so boxing 101 rulebook is bullshit. I’m just gonna go in and do whatever I want when I fight. I’m gonna just go in and make it all up.”
Sure… and you’ll get your ass knocked out.
Listen, you have to start somewhere. Start with the fundamentals. But the people who can disrupt, who can innovate, they’ve mastered it all.
If you work long enough, hard enough, learn the structures, develop the skills and are willing to fail and so on to mastery which will take you a decade, decades, or months, depending on what the thing is.
Here’s what Tony said. He said, “Why do most people not lean? Oh, there’s the risk. My jaw is out there. Oh, I’m extending. So that’s the risk. How do I minimize that risk?”
His ability to bring his body back, and when you watch him breakdance, a lot of that, he had to create the connection between his upper and lower body in such a way that he can bring himself back in ways that are too fast for you.
He changed his body, changed the way he moves his body, changed his relationship with his body.
Tony solved a lot of the risks. Now other people will start to figure it out, and Tony has to stay on the front end of it. He has to continue to evolve.