Hiromu Yoshitaka is unknown outside of Japan, but he's a former champ of Shootboxing (kickboxing with throws and standing submissions). He evaluates many MMA fights in magazines. I trust his views and they've affected me a lot. My views on striking owe a lot to him, though I also have my own views.
When I watched Diego Sanchez fight Joe Stevenson, I told Jordan Breen that Diego used his footwork better than Joe. Afterward, Yoshitaka wrote about the fight on his blog and said basically the same thing that I had said to Breen.
What I mean is that I got a lot from Yoshitaka, but I still form my own opinions when watching fights.
Let me talk about Fedor vs. Arlovski. What was the most important thing in that fight? Freddie Roach coaching Arlovski and giving basic strategy. Like Roach's other boxers, Arlovski was using a basic 1-2 combo on Fedor. Arlovski is faster than Fedor, so Fedor backpedaled, and a fighter usually loses stability when stepping backward.
Why do elite K-1 fighters like Badr Hari get KO'd by MMA fighters? Because MMA fighters push them. When you step backward, you should be using your arm to balance. Because of this, almost every fighter lowers their guard.
Because he doesn't use equipment to build muscles, Fedor has a very soft body. He can weave to avoid punches and he doesn't lose his stability. You can see how awesome Fedor's balance is when he avoids Arlovski's takedowns.
Arlovski did succeed in putting Fedor near the corner. Then Arlovski tried the jumping knee, which Fedor countered beautifully. What was so good about the punch? His angle.
Fedor's counter to the flying knee didn't come from boxing. Fedor has a soft shoulder because of his judo background, and that's where the counter came from. It's hard to predict that move, so you can't blame Arlovski for trying the knee.
So, I know it's taboo, but what if Arlovski didn't try the flying knee and just kept pouring on the straight 1-2 combos? My thought is that Fedor would have showed just how deep his game was in this fight. People talk about how game Big Nog is, but Fedor may be even more of a gamer, and he sure can show how deep his skill runs when he's being beat.
But basically, Arlovski is a fast guy who kept Fedor on the move. We should thank him for doing the best he could.
In the future, I hope that even better competitors will summon Fedor's deep abilities.
Big thanks to Chris Nelson (from Bloody Elbow) for English and editing.