Overhand right punch in MMA

 The Overhand Right Strike

Chuck Liddell on the receiving end of an overhand right

An iconic punch that is seen so often in a mixed martial arts fight is the overhand right. This strike can be delivered with great power and when it lands more often than not it ends in a knockout blow. This punch gets its power from a combination of rotational speed and a downward angle to the striking motion. UFC mixed martial artists like Dan Henderson and Chuck Liddell are known for using this powerful punch with devastating consequences.  

I refer to the strike as an overhand right but is technically a rear arm overhand strike that is described throughout.They achieve maximum power through a swinging motion that looks oddly similar to throwing a baseball when practiced. As with other power punches the power comes from rotation of the orso through core strength. It is also critical to follow through on the punch; stopping a strike and not punching through the opponent leads to much decreased power. The video below is Chuck Liddell demonstrating his overhand right technique.

Proper Time To Strike

The Overhand right is a mid-range strike that give you a little more range than a hook because of the extended arm rather than it being bent at a ninety degree angle at the elbow. Also the long arcing striking motion can be used to essentially punch around an opponent’s guard. This makes it a good strike to throw when your opponent is taking a defensive approach. The powerful less straight forward attack could break the opponent’s defense briefly to allow for different attacks.

Against a quicker opponent this might not be best to lead with this strike. If the opponent sees this not so discreet of quick punch coming he can circle out of its range. However if taking the opponent to the ground is a viable option; you can use your momentum to go from an overhand right to a take down attempt when the opponent circles away from the punch. Also he could dodge it or duck underneath it and put himself in a great position to strike you when your defenseless after a missed striking attempt. Click Here for a video of some simple overhand right counters.

To turn the tides on an opponent trying to counter your overhand attack, use the overhand itself as a counterattack for some thrilling results. When you throw overhand you can use the natural motion of your hips dipping and head turning away to dodge a punch while throwing the overhand right as well. This takes more finesse and confidence in your own striking ability becuase it does put you clearly in striking range of the opponent if executed incorrectly. Trully a high risk high reward option.

Why Choose the Overhand

This punch is truly designed to be a knockout strike to the opponent. The arc of the strike makes it more difficult to block. The strike is aimed for the side of the jaw or the temple area, the classic spot for a knockout punch. For a power striker in a mixed martial arts fight an overhand right is a deadly strike to master.

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