Where does punching power come from? Is it simply a natural thing you’re born with or can it be technically learned? It’s an eternal argument in the world of combat sports. What’s not debatable is that it is very true that some fighters have it and some, no matter how much they train, just don’t. Take Forrest Griffin, a huge light heavyweight with decent technique, yet just doesn’t seem to have that natural ability to put an opponent’s lights out.
Hailing from Brazil and training at Nova Uniao with the likes of Jose Aldo and Thales Leites is Marlon Sandro a featherweight that possesses enormous punching power. Sandro has sent his last 3 opponents out on stretchers and that’s not some philosophical or metaphorical statement, it’s a reality.
Now there are ways to improve your punching power, some claim Plyometrics help, but really what needs to be improved is footwork and accuracy which amplifies power. Now Sandro doesn’t have the greatest technique, which is all the more incredible, but he does know how to get inside and setup his shots. He’s also very adept at picking the right moment to unload that power punch, which in Sandro’s case is usually a devastating uppercut. Let’s take a look at his last three stretcher jobs.
Sandro vs. Masanori Kanehara at Sengoku 13
After forcing Kanehara back with a decent right straight, Sandro gets low and in on Kanehara’s body to unload the uppercut at a great distance for maximum impact. Kanehara doesn’t help his cause by throwing a looping left and basically ducking right in to the punch. (3:45 into the video)
Sandro vs. Tomonari Kanomata at Sengoku 12
Almost a carbon copy of the Kanehara fight, getting inside an opponent’s body and setting up the distance for the quick uppercut. Sandro is not without speed either which only intensifies his power. (20 seconds in)
Sandro vs. Yuji Hoshino at Sengoku 11
In this fight Sandro does get a little wild with a flurry after hurting Hoshino with a left, but it’s still somewhat controlled. As Sandro flurries he manages to land that uppercut, but really flattens is opponent by finding his distance with a right hook. (9:45)
Now obviously we would all love to see Sandro fight Jose Aldo in WEC, unfortunately they are teammates and won’t fight each other. Still bring this man to WEC and let fight Faber, Brown etc. because he is not just some super puncher he is also a high level grappler. Just a great MMA fighter that is exciting to watch. Hopefully, Sengoku will put together the match we’ve all been wanting to see, the subject of my last “Inside the Fights”, Hatsu Hioki.
Now I don’t claim to be any kind of expert on the subject of punching power. These are my observations and opinions simply based on years of watching combat sports. While I certainly believe that a fighter like Sandro is born with face melting power we still wouldn’t be talking about him if he didn’t understand things like setups and distance. In the end what a fighter really wants is natural power plus brilliant technique, you know, like Anderson Silva.