From Pedro Rizzo to Edson Barboza, an elite few have terrorized the UFC with their ferocious leg kicking assault. Rizzo may have been first, but Thiago Alves has been lumberjacking for well over ten years in the welterweight division.
Feast your eyes on his artistic Muay Thai technique. “Pitbull” possesses some of the most unique, beautiful, violent kicks in the sport.
Thiago Alves Leg Kick Highlight
It’s hard to believe, but Thiago Alves has been rocking the same general techniques for the majority of his UFC career. Joe Rogan has mentioned Alves believes in “being brilliant at the basics.” However, it’s a stretch to call some of his go-to combinations basic.
The rear superman punch to switch inside low kick, for example.
But in volume, Alves loves a skipping lead leg kick with a jab behind it. It’s the beginning of a series he starts to string together as his opponent plants to counter him. When he really gets moving, Alves might hit the lead leg kick to the jab, turn and throw a stiff right hand with his shoulders high, and time a chopping left hook across his opponent’s face.
Alves has been left hooking UFC fighters for a decade. As many know, the left hook is one of the best leg kick setups in kickboxing. Your hips are already primed to uncoil in the other direction, and you use that momentum to swing hard into your kick.
Thiago Alves is truly unique in how he torques his body into low kicking techniques. You won’t see the angles he brings with that kind of power from anyone else. At times Justin Gaethje has replicated some Alves specials, but the technical proficiency is night and day.
Love Leg Kicks?
On our radar is Edson Barboza, the last prolific leg kicker in competition yet to be featured. After Barboza, a retrospective Pedro Rizzo feature could be in the works. But who will be the next leg kicking phenom? Stay tuned, and #StayChoppin
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