The most entertaining fights in combat sports are the ones that showcase two fighters letting their hands go and ‘swinging for the fences.’ The moment you see two fighters letting their hands go, you better not leave your seat because someone is going to get knocked out.

Why are these fights so exciting?

Because of this…

Nothing is more exciting than watching two guys walk straight up to each other and letting their fists go wild.

While this might be a great way to entertain fans, it is not a great way to have a long fighting career.

Please see my article on the lasting effects of concussions in Muay Thai

While casual fans want to see blood and guts, giving the crowd what they want often means sacrificing your brain cells for the entertainment of the audience.

The problem with swinging for the fences is you start leaving your fate up to chance. Instead of relying on skill and technique to win, fighters might as well flip a coin and hope they get lucky.

Even though some fighters are good at brawling, these fights are usually blessed with a really strong chin which will start to deteriorate towards the end of their career.

There is a reason why you will never see high-level fighters like Saenchai, Sudsakorn, Jomthong, or Pakorn swinging wildly at their opponents. The best fighters know the importance of minimizing yourself to risk, which is why they fight using their heads.

Why Do Fighters ‘Swing for the Fences?’

Most fighters don’t go into a fight with a strategy of letting their hands go. What often happens is a fighter is either down on points and trying to hunt for a knockout or a fighter is hurt and his survival instincts have kicked in.

This clip showcases Simon Marcus desperately trying to knock out his opponent after the referee just deducted a point away from him. If he doesn’t knock out Joe Schilling, he loses the fight. 

Both fighters are letting their hands go in this sequence that showcased one of the best knockouts of 2014.

Another scenario that occurs is when one fighter starts letting his hands go, and the other fighter joins in on the fun. These are the fights that showcase two guys who throw all caution to the wind and are hell bent on knocking each other out.

Once the crowds starts roaring, both fighters have already committed everything into their offense. Even though their coaches will be yelling at them to keep their hands up, they will continue to brawl. At this point in time, their brains have been turned off and both fighters are working off instincts alone.

Tactics Commonly Seen in MMA

I can’t tell you the countless amount of MMA fights that you end up seeing where two guys end up just swinging. These fights are the true definition of entertainment because you really don’t know who is going to end up knocked out on the canvas.

As a fight fan, these are the best fights to watch. However, as a fighter, you cringe whenever you watch people drop their guard and just slug it out. It is not an intelligent way to fight.

In this clip both fighters have thrown caution to the wind and are just swinging wildly. It makes for a very entertaining 8 seconds before one fighter manages to go down.

When two fighters are swinging wildly at each other, you might as well flip a coin and pick heads or tails to see who lands the first punch on the chin. Heads or tails?

Good Fighters Will Make You Pay

While you might get away with swinging for the fences as a beginner when you run up against better competition they will be able to exploit holes in your defense. Even if you leave yourself exposed for a brief moment, good fighters can capitalize on those moments.

This clip showcases Nieky Holzken facing the very tough Joseph Valtellini. At this point in the fight Bazooka Joe is down on points and is trying to mount a comeback against his Kickboxing opponent. Unfortunately for Joe, Nieky is a very high-level boxer who took advantage of Joe letting his hands go.

Nieky Holzken showcases exactly what you should do when someone is swinging wildly at you. Notice how he shields himself and waits for the right moment to strike.

This clip also showcases a Chinese Muay Thai fighter swinging wildly at the skilled Jomthong Chuwattana. Even though the Chinese fighter tries his best to land his punches, Jomthong takes advantage of openings and capitalizes with a knockout punch.

Jomthong blocks his opponents strikes and finds a way to land a short left hook on his opponents chin. Beautiful knockdown punch by the Thai fighter.

Fight Using Your Brains, Not Your Brawn

Fighting is about taking calculated risks. Everything you do in the ring should put you in a better position to win the fight, without sacrificing your defense. ‘Swinging for the fences’ trades in your defense and replaces it with offense, leaving yourself exposed.

While you may get away with brawling tactics in the early stages of your fight career, better fighters will be able to exploit the holes in your defense later on.

It is important to remember that control and balance are two staple ingredients for a Muay Thai foundation. You should be able to attack and defend from every position. Letting your hands fly gives your opponent big opportunities to counter-attack you, especially with elbow strikes or punches.

This is why it is important that you choose the right Muay Thai Strategy when you step into the ring. A good strategy will not only give you the best chance of winning a fight, it will also give you the best chance of walking away without a concussion.

If you enjoyed reading this article then you should read my latest book called Muay Thai Strategy. This books talks about everything you need to build a complete game from the ground up.