I think I must’ve watched the video two dozen times to see what exactly happened. Every Fedor fight is like that, master gamesmanship, even more so than from Randy Couture, who himself is an incredible tactician. Most people watching including 100% of journalists probably just saw an incredibly fast flurry of punches and a choke. The first and real key to Fedor’s quick win, though, was not the athleticism, the heavy hands, or immediately putting the hooks or choke in (grappling 101). After reviewing the video closely many times, it looks like Fedor proactively knocked Tim’s left arm down and out of the way using a circular punching motion to start his entry that continued with a flurry to gnp and sub.

This first punch was very smart and hard to catch. Well disguised, I think. Looks like just another punch but I’ll bet he practiced that tactic again and again as it was clearly not aimed at the head or the torso but Tim’s slightly downward slanted lead hand. No way any normal sized person could reach Tim’s body or head with that big arm there. Tim should not have dropped that guard. The entry is made to look almost like the beginning of brawling (the reason everyone is fooled into thinking Fedor initiated with a left) but the southpaw – oops, not southpaw – cross – against the long lead left worked perfectly. In the interview with Big John Fedor simply said he always tries to end his fights early and did everything he wanted to do. Probably one of the only clues the whole thing may have been his planned tactic to get to gnp and sub. He is too intelligent (possibly the most) a fighter for that punch to have been random. I also read on a blog that Fedor thought Tim has weaknesses but couldn’t talk about them. Others have commented clearing the lead hand is a sambo move. Clearly there was some plan about the long jab and probably the kind of plodding speed Tim would use. The amazing thing is, like any magician, he doesn’t reveal how the trick worked. He simply smiled that Cheshire Cat grin afterwards and said very little. I think that was the trick (plus flawless execution of every element afterward). I almost feel guilty analyzing the magic trick but it’s just one of countless genius things he does and no one is going to be able to stop his execution regardless. I will probably try to analyze every one of his fights as well as Randy’s now. They are the only two fighters with this kind of mental chessmaster “ring generalship” in every bout, only Fedor’s tricks are much harder to spot and tell if it was practiced or spontaneous genius. This one trick is one I plan to use as I learn some real striking.

Fedor is the only pro fighter I’ve seen do anything resembling JKD’s HIA (hand immobilization attack) or trapping. I’ve been wondering why HIA is missing in MMA but this is the second time I’ve seen Fedor use it (each time a fleeting fraction of a second). It happens so fast it doesn’t look like HIA but that’s what cleared some space. By the time Tim is nailed by Fedor’s left he doesn’t realize his left hand was moved downward out of way of Fedor’s right hand coming in and grabbing behind his neck. He is too rocked. It must be a feeling of “wtf just happened?” which is pretty much summed up by Tim’s quote afterward that he’s not sure Fedor is human. I don’t think any other fighter or camp even thinks to try this method. Just one of many small details hard to catch even after reviewing Fedor’s fights many times that separate him from every other elite mma fighter, and make him the greatest. Other fighters need to go review everything in the JKD body of knowledge. Sambo is known for its pragmatic take on whatever works (sounds like “accept what is useful” straight from Bruce). Happens a few seconds after Big John says “this is the kind of fight you live for” (dang right) at about 4:48. It’s clear poor Big Tim didn’t land anything.

Just amazing. The mental game is as amazing or more amazing than the incredible physical abilities and execution. I’m not sure what was better, this win or Tiger Wood’s US Open win earlier in the year. Probably this one because I like mma much better than I like golf. But same kind of amazing mental and physical feat.