Rory MacDonald v Tyron Woodley Post Fight Breakdown: Takedowns and Striking


“Let me Bang Bro” vs Scouting

Because Rory MacDonald lost his fight to Robbie Lawler fight and Tyron Woodley was on a tear dispatching both Condit and Koscheck, Tyron was the favorite with the bookies heading into UFC 174. This was a surprise to me as watching his fight with Robbie Lawler, I was sure that Rory would be able to use the same footwork to avoid the counter takedown tactics of Woodley against the cage as well as the big overhand. I guess bookies tend to look at “who you last beat” more than the actual stylistic clash when making the lines.

In any case, the fight played out the way I was thinking and looking at what transpired it seemed clear that Rory was very aware of Woodley’s tactics heading in. I thus thought a video on how Woodley was scouted would make a good study. I did however notice Rory doing some particular things in the striking department in addition to not playing into Woodley’s baiting tactics that I needed better eyes on. Luckily, striking analyst Lawrence Kenshin was on tap to provide valuable insight that I am most grateful for.

As the video was developing, Firas Zahabi was also kind enough to give his stamp of approval as well as provide a kind introduction which was much appreciated! It’s nice to know these videos somehow make their way to the top gyms and from Firas’ feedback it’s good to know I wasn’t thinking crazy when I was making my pre-fight observations on how Rory might deal with Woodley’s game.

Top gyms are scouting out their opponents way before the fight and given how MMA is so multi-facted, tactics and counters are a much more complex mesh of striking/wrestling/grappling which requires a great coach to not only know the techniques but also how to effectively plan for a fight. Unlike a BJJ comp where you should ideally be the best version of yourself when you show up against the field, you should be the version that most effectively beats your specific opponent on fight night.

Enjoy the video, and if you have any questions for Lawrence or Firas, do leave them in the comments below on Youtube. Thanks all.

This was a collaboration with striking analyst Lawrence Kenshin whose insight I am most grateful for. Do check him out at: (tons of striking technique breakdowns on his channel there)

Thanks to my sponsors Combat Skin and Fightware Asia!  (please do contact me for advertising opportunities!)


Fightware Asia








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  1. Ruben July 3, 2014 Reply

    You’d have a bright career as a fight tactics strategist.

  2. Brendan September 14, 2014 Reply

    Great video. Are you going to do any more striking breakdowns in the future or just stick to BJJ?

  3. ddd October 7, 2014 Reply

    good video

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