Although you don't see it often in the cage (like the shoulder strike in the clinch), the superman punch is a well-known technique used by mixed martial artists to surprise their opponent, and it has led to several devastating knockouts. Some notable superman punch KOs include like Anthony Pettis' win over Stephen Thompson and Travis Browne’s KO victory against Stefan Struve.
But a superman punch isn't exactly easy to land. It requires some planning as to how you're going to set it up and fire it to make sure that you catch your opponent off guard. Luckily, Former UFC world champion and MMA legend Georges-St-Pierre has shared his technique on how to throw a superman punch. In this article, we'll be going through the superman punch technique with the help of a short video from GSP to help you understand how to properly throw a superman punch.
GSP is still considered the most dominant welterweight in UFC history. With the likes of Matt Hughes, BJ Penn, Tyron Woodley and Kamaru Usman in the welterweight ranks, that's a huge accomplishment. GSP’s well-rounded striking complimented his dominant wrestling skills, which contributed success inside the cage and are what made him one of the greatest fighters in MMA history.
The superman punch was one of St. Pierre's favorite moves during his fighting days in the UFC, and it led to the defeat of Matt Hughes – who defended the UFC welterweight title for the second time against the Canadian at UFC 65. GSP hurt Hughes with a superman punch at the end of the first round during their second fight. Hughes was saved by the bell, but the damage was done and GSP was able to finish the welterweight champion in the second round to secure the championship.
In this brief video by Evolve MMA, GSP dissects the superman punch and gives some pointers about how to throw a superman punch to catch opponents off guard.
HOW TO THROW A SUPERMAN PUNCH - GSP EXPLAINS
GSP explains that the way to catch an opponent with a superman punch is to set it up with kicks. The kick shifts the opponents focus to try and defend future kicks, which can open them up to a devastating superman punch.
“To set up a superman punch, what I like to do is I, I set up with a kick. I pretend to push the leg,” St. Pierre explains. “At first, I push the leg. And then I’m faking the same thing with my leg, and I go with the punch."
When performing a superman punch, it's natural to want to cock your arm back like you would for a standard punch, but GSP thinks that that's a mistake. He thinks that when you cock your arm back, your opponent can see it coming, which takes away some of the element of surprise that makes the superman punch such an effective knockout technique.
GSP wants you to sell the kick. Make the opponent think that you're laser focused on their leg. Throw a few kicks to shift their focus and think that they've properly recognized your technique. Then, when you're confident that they won't see it coming, throw the superman punch.
“The mistake that people make is they try to telegraph too much,” GSP adds. “If I go like this [cocks arm backward], my opponent will see it coming. So, I keep my elbow tight.”
GSP also stresses some key technicalities. He believes that you should kick with the leg on the same side that you will be throwing the superman punch from. Kick with your right, superman punch with your right. This makes sure that the opponent is set up properly.
When the superman punch is set up appropriately, it can be clinical. Many fighters have been stopped cold with a perfectly times superman punch - Matt Hughes, Stephen Thompson, Stefan Struve - to name a few. However, it's important to get the proper technique down so that your chance of landing and stopping your opponent is higher.
With GSP's tips, you should be able to practice setting up and connecting with the superman punch - that way, when the time comes, you'll be ready to let it loose.