I think it is fair to say that everyone is thoroughly impressed with Ghita's knockout of Hesdy Gerges and his performance in general. Gerges is an incredibly tough fighter whose defenses are usually air tight. If you need an example of that, go no further than watching the controversial bout between Gerges and Badr Hari in 2010 where Badr Hari was throwing everything that he had at Gerges but Gerges would not go down. It led to one of the "Badr Moments" that we will all miss so much where Badr Hari pushed Gerges down and punted him in the face. After the beating that Badr put on Gokhan Saki, you should be able to appreciate just how good Gerges's defenses are against powerful hands.
So the marvel is that Daniel Ghita, the man who we have all labeled as the guy with no hands went ahead and took Gerges out of the game with a marvelous three-punch combination. Watch the fight again. The game plan for Gerges early on was to not allow Ghita to get into a rhythm with his kicks. Ghita quickly walked Gerges down into the corner and began his barrage of kicks, which Gerges was able to check or defend while keeping his hands up near his head to defend against possible punches. Ghita then began throwing combinations while in the corner, mixing it up just enough to begin cutting away at Gerges's defenses. Ghita's jab became incredibly important all of a sudden, as he was using it to set up the low kick, and then other times he was not. So now every time Ghita was throwing the jab, Gerges had to wonder if the low kick was going to follow, or if Ghita was just going to jab.
The first shot that did the damage was a left hook from Ghita. It was unexpected due to the nature of the combinations that Ghita was putting together. The first left that Ghita threw was blocked by Hesdy, who assumed a kick was coming and went for a left hook of his own, but was too slow on the draw as Ghita's hand was already in motion and connected flush on his jaw. Ghita swarmed but Gerges's defenses were air tight, so he went for a clinch to throw a knee, which was blocked and Gerges was able to push Ghita off of him and then immediately follow up with a low kick to ensure that Ghita kept distance. At this point, Ghita is beginning to throw body shots into the mix and follow up on leg kicks with an immediate jab and Gerges has fought out of the corner but has no comfort zone at this point. His hands are beginning to dance up and down as he is unsure what Ghita will throw next, will it be a jab, a hook, the double jab, a body shot or a kick? All of the while Gerges is piecing together his own smart combinations against Ghita, but they are simply keeping Ghita at a distance for the time being.
At this point Gerges has pushed into the center of the ring finally and has had some luck with his right hand, connecting a few times and forcing Ghita to step back a bit and begin defending more. Gerges is finally beginning to feel comfortable opening up and begins piecing together combinations with his hands and knees. The "One-Two" is starting to find its mark for Gerges, so he begins throwing the jab out more, doing as Ghita did before of sometimes following through with the right, but sometimes not, and when he does land the right, he follows up with a kick. Ghita sees the opening, though, as Gerges is dropping his right hand when he throws, leaving an opening for the left hook. Ghita is able to connect with a grazing hook and Gerges is showing no sign of slowing down.
It finally all comes together for Ghita when he sees the right opening in Gerges, he is able to telegraph the same combination from Gerges with the jab of his own, but this time instead of following up the jab with the left like he has been doing before, he follows up with a right, which Gerges quickly moves to defend, dropping his guard on the right side leaving room for Ghita's left hook to connect flush on his jaw and put him out. [GIF Source]
Dave Walsh has been covering MMA and Kickboxing since 2007 before changing his focus solely to Kickboxing in 2009, launching what was the only English-language site dedicated to giving Kickboxing similar coverage to what MMA receives. He was the co-founder of HeadKickLegend and now LiverKick. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico where he works as a writer of all trades.
His second novel, Terminus Cycle, launches on March 24th.