MMA DFS Strategy: How Do You Kill a Zombie Chin?
Kicking off the 1st inaugural strategy series for DailyRoto will be the chin health of the fighters. Here, you see several examples of different various types of chins, and yes, there are different kinds of chins in MMA! It’s what protects every fighter during any and every striking exchange, their true last line of defense that can only be complemented by the other attributes. Chins can quite literally make or break the match-up versus anyone who can throw some sort of strike. I mean, think about it! This is a fighting sport! You don’t get knockouts by sneezing on them or stubbing their toes! Well actually, you could probably win by sneezing versus certain fighters, which I’ll talk a little bit at length later on. The point is, everyone gets hit. EVERYONE. Always keep in mind in what category every fighter’s chin belongs to, and use it in addition to their other attributes to make a smart, concerted decision on who to roster for your DFS lineups. Yes, there will be many GIFs detailing each category of chins, and yes, they will be glorious.
Ah, zombie chins. A fellow MMA fan brought up the issue of zombie chins to me in a small discussion about whether to enlist a particular fighter who had finished every single opponent on record but was facing someone who just couldn’t be knocked out no matter how hard he got punched. I eventually sided with the knockout artist, but lo and behold, the knockout artist ended up losing a decision despite battering the zombie chinned opponent repeatedly in the 1st round, gassing out and getting taken down in the later rounds. Foiled by that damn zombie chin! I still made decent profit that night, but that one specific zombie chin ended up costing quite a penny in profits in the end. A sad story indeed, but nevertheless a lesson learned in the process.
Zombie chins are just that, undead apparitions that cannot be destroyed, only hacked at and chopped up to lessen their undying soul so you can pierce it with a garlic-infused stake. Wait, that’s vampires isn’t it? A silver encrusted stake! Yeah, that’s it, as long as you aim for the head. These men with chins of steel can endure even the harrowing of situations as they are usually involved in brawls and firefights, edging out their opponents by their ability to take damage in order to dish out their own devastating counter.
These brave men are the most dangerous fighters to corner, as their courage and hardiness cannot be underestimated, fighting back viciously like a wild animal that’s got its back to the wall. Fighters must be proactive in their strategy as they approach such majestic beasts, taking notice of their other weaknesses and how to exploit them flawlessly. Unless of course, they’re one of those rare talents with such finesse and power that they can pierce even the strongest of defenses with a single blow. Alas, such a breed is rare these days indeed, and zombie chins will forever live in infamy. Let us take solace in the fact that there are few of these phenomenal full chinned fighters, as the always merciless Father Time continues to shred even the best of the zombie chins’ sturdiness into something that closely resembles flotsam. You probably should Google that word. Some purty examples of zombies chins incoming!
Some names you should always remember as the zombie chins of the UFC: Junior Dos Santos, Chris Weidman, Jorge Masvidal, Gian Villante, Diego Sanchez, Robbie Lawler, Travis Browne.
ROCKED BUT I’M OKAY BRO!
RBIOB for short, these mystical creatures of the MMA world are rare but they do exist. These men have the uncanny ability to get hit hard as they expose their defensive deficiencies, fall down or teeter backwards, and recovering instantly before their opponents get the chance to beat them senseless. Their chins aren’t necessarily terrible, nor are they easily exposed (well, most of them anyways), but during their small windows of weakness, they can be badly damaged momentarily and seemingly hurt to the point that the commentators will begin screaming “OH AND HE GETS HIT!!! HE LOOKS BADLY HURT!!! THIS IS SO AND SO’S MOMENT TO POUNCE ON HIM AND WIN THIS FIGHT! ASDFDDGFHFJKYBDG!!!” – Sorry Joe Rogan, but the chin is a lie.
These RBIOB fighters are some of the hardest chins to gauge, as many of those who belong in the category have tremendous willpower, a fire that roars inside their stomach that cannot be quenched, fighting their way back for the massive comeback. That man’s name is Eddie Alvarez! Ahem. Alvarez just recently won a comeback split decision victory over Gilbert Melendez after getting smacked around in the 1st round by Melendez’s jabs and vicious rights, including an elbow that opened up a nasty cut on Alvarez’s left eye, rendering Eddie into a Cyclops. Alvarez made the best of the situation, controlling Melendez and taking him down en route to the split decision win. Damn him! 2 quick examples of how Alvarez overcame an early round hit and came back in the following rounds in a thriller versus Michael Chandler during his time at Bellator.
Personally, I still kinda pick against the RBIOB fighters on the off chance that one of these days, their instantaneous healing powers just doesn’t happen as quickly as usual. A chin is a chin, after all….isn’t it? Whatever. Look at how sneaky Fabricio Werdum is with his fake chin!
That damned liar! Some RBIOB fighters to keep in mind: Cathal Pendred, Eddie Alvarez, Michael Bisping, Fabricio Werdum, Cain Velasquez.
Woo hoo! My favorite chin category! Mostly cuz the knockouts can be fun and hilarious GIFs for my own personal amusement. Well, I guess yours too. Much like the title says, glass jaw fighters tend to get knocked out more often than not and by anything, really. Attacking and taking advantage of fighters with glass jaws is a key part in building your DFS lineups, but how can you know if a fighter has a glass chin or just happens to get suckered into devastating punches or kicks? Easy! Look at their competition and how a knockout happens, whether it was a KO or TKO. Even a submission loss can be due to getting rocked or knocked down and quickly submitted on the ground. Donald Cerrone is a master at employing this strategy. Check out his submission win over Edson Barboza and his glass jaw.
Some glass jaw fighters can literally be knocked out by ANYTHING. It would be wise to always check out each individual knockout loss to see what exactly happened. This is not a glass jaw, but a vicious knockout.
This is a glass jaw.
See the difference? It’s okay, you don’t have to always do the exhausting research and watch every single fight in each glass chinned fighter’s career. I already do that!
The heavyweight division is loaded with glass jaws, and it’s one of the biggest (probably the sole reason) why I almost always use a heavyweight in my lineups, despite the fact that there are usually two results in a HW match – sloppy, gassed fats who hold each other for terrible decisions or someone goes to sleep in the 1st round. I’m a glass half-full guy, so I always hope for the latter.
Old veterans are also some of the widely known glass jaws, as some of these grizzled veterans usually have the terrible fate of going through the change. What’s the change, you say? Going from a zombie/RBIOB chin to a glass jaw as Father Time continues to be their worst enemy. Some zombie chin veterans can also be their own worst enemy, as all the years of punishment absorbed by their steel chins pile up and start to catch up to them. Gray Maynard and Sam Stout is a depressing example of such misfortunes. Old age can accelerate that process, but not all old veterans are created equal. Mark Hunt is a combination of age and untold damage taken over the years catching up to his chin. Dan Henderson is yet another example, though both of these guys are in their 40s, so I probably shouldn’t use them as examples. Still, you get my point, right? Right?
So, target the heavyweights who consistently get knocked out by nothing or just have really bad overall defense (Antonio Silva, Brendan Schuab, Frank Mir) and make sure the old guys you roster aren’t longtime veterans that may be on a downward spiral at the end of their careers (Nate Marquardt, Gray Maynard, Mike Pyle). Rostering zombie chins can be a genius ploy if they are the underdog, as they can have a rousing comeback after their opponents gas out, making them an easier target to hit. Gian Villante has a freakin’ zombie chin and KO’d Corey Anderson with 40 seconds left in the 3rd round of a fight he was decisively losing in, as Anderson was gassing out badly and still striking back for whatever reason. Avoiding zombie chins can also be a good thing, especially if the guy they face doesn’t quite have the knockout power to at the very least do some damage. I usually avoid the RBIOB fighters as I’d much rather just look at the other attributes and see if that matches their chins or not, instead of just assuming he or she’s a tough warrior who can get the late round wins. I prefer the zombie chins in good match-ups where they can get enormous amounts of significant strikes.
Whatever the reasoning you use to roster a fighter, always be mindful of their chin health. On the weeks that I do write up an article, I’ll be sure to include chin health if it’s a major sticking point under the bullets, so keep an eye out on that. Thanks for reading! See ya next week with Striking Offense and Defense!