The jab could quite possibly be the most underutilized offensive weapon in all of MMA. In fact, it's so rare that I couldn't even find a good .gif of MMA guys using the jab in a fight! Nah, I suppose if you are making .gifs(something I need to learn how to do) you are choosing moves that are pretty exciting and usually the jab isn't. However, the jab is an offensive weapon that more fighters need to make use of in my opinion. If fact, an effective jab can flat out win fights if fighters use it properly. All you have to do is watch the Miguel Torres/Yoshiro Maeda fight at WEC 34. Torre's pumped that jab in Maeda's eye for three straight rounds causing it to close completely, making Maeda unable to defend himself properly. The result was a TKO victory via doctor's stoppage.
I have two .gifs for your viewing pleasure, with one showing an unorthodox superman jab by GSP against BJ Penn at UFC 94. Check it:
Now this is a little different than the traditional jab, but it serves the same purpose and could be slightly more powerful. For those of us that watched this fight, GSP pretty much dominated BJ Penn standing and on the ground. Since GSP was able to land the jab and other strikes when he wanted to, that essentially opened up the take downs he executed during the fight. BJ Penn is very difficult to take down, but GSP pretty much did it at will during this fight because of his success standing. I have another .gif for you guys after the jump. It essentially shows you how fighters react to an opponent that has an excellent jab. Check it.
Remember me mentioning Miguel Torres and his jab? Well, here he is against Manny Tapia at WEC 37. Torres had pretty much been landing his jab at will throughout this fight. In the .gif you see him feint the jab, and watch Tapia's reaction to the feint. He immediately pulls his head back to try to avoid the jab he thought was coming. This caused him to lose his balance and allow Torres to close the distance and tee off with the left-right combo that put him down.
The jab allows you to score points, establish range and set up more powerful punches, as well as set up transitions into a take down. There are a few fighters out there with excellent jabs, Torres and BJ Penn come to mind immediately. Who are some other fighters that have good jabs in MMA?
Also, if you have missed the first 3 parts of the series...you can find them below:
Part 1-Knees To The Body
Part 2-The Two Strike Combo
Part 3-The Trip Into A Take Down