Andy Hug Vs. Mirko Filipović; who has better kicking technique?

Discussion in 'MMA Forum' started by ikrasevic, Jun 28, 2024.



who has better kicking technique?

This poll will close on Jun 28, 2034 at 3:15 AM.
  1. Andy Hug

  2. Mirko Filipović

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  1. ikrasevic

    ikrasevic Good people of all countries, unite! Full Member

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    IMHO Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic kicks harder, but Andy "Samurai" Hug has better kicking technique.
    Specifically in this fight, Andy "forced" Mirko to fight with his hands.
     
  2. ikrasevic

    ikrasevic Good people of all countries, unite! Full Member

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    @Samart'sTeep
    Waiting for your assessment, because I think your assessment is valid.
    How Andy Hug Became K-1 Champion:
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  3. BCS8

    BCS8 VIP Member Full Member

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    This is a good question. Hug had more kicks and more unusual kicks in his arsenal but I feel that Mirko's best kicks were better than Hug's best kicks. His high kicks to the head are legendary. On the other hand, I still might prefer Hug's repertoire because he was unpredictible and might do anything. Good comparison and both these guys were fabulous imho.
     
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  4. Samart'sTeep

    Samart'sTeep Active Member Full Member

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    I agree with BCS8's assessment. I’ll preface this post by saying that Cro Cop is one of my favorite fighters, whether that be in kickboxing or mixed-martial arts. However, he was a very one-dimensional fighter in both sports. His entire style revolved around three main weapons. His left cross, his left roundhouse kick to the body, and his left roundhouse kick to the head. Cro Cop was one of those fighters who had an extremely low output but would try to take you out with one perfect shot. He was a sniper.

    In mixed-martial arts, he combined those with lateral movement and world class level sprawl to defend takedowns. In kickboxing, he had a few more dimensions. He would stand his ground more and sometimes pressure his opponent backwards. He could would mix in some left leg feints to set up front kicks. He was a much better combination striker in kickboxing, using shots to set up a lead right hook. He would feint with the jab to draw reactions and set up attacks. The fear of the takedown really limited his game in mixed-martial arts. Although, he was obviously still a great mma fighter in his prime.

    However, despite his limited arsenal, he absolutely perfected that left roundhouse kick. There’s a reason his headkick is still known as one of the most dangerous weapons in combat sports history. If he landed that on you, you were done. Unless you were Mark Hunt. He was extremely fast and explosive with that technique. When he threw that left head kick, he would often turn his hips over during the last split second before it landed. This would change the angle and trajectory of his kick causing it land on the temple or the top of the head while sailing above his opponent’s guard.

    He was also a master of using his left cross to set up his head kick. He would throw some left crosses down the middle, conditioning his opponent to expect that. Then he would extend his left arm while throwing his head kick to drawing out his opponent’s parry. This would leave the right side of their head totally undefended as he landed his head kick. This was how he knocked out Igor Vovchanchyn. This is also how he hurt Remy Bonjasky in their fight with his head kick which led to the finish. In Cro Cop’s kickboxing fight with Hunt that you recently linked, he feinted twice with a double jab causing Hunt to try to counter with his right cross before stopping short when he realized the Croatian had already pulled his head back out of range. Then Cro Cop feinted again with that left hand by sticking it out to draw Hunt’s parry, while he was in the motion of throwing his left headkick. Hunt slipped to the outside as well and moved right into the kick.

    He also dropped Mike Bernardo by missing with a right jab and left cross, backing him up, but then landing the right hook followed by a devastating left head kick. So, he was more willing and able to use punches to set up his kicks in kickboxing than he was in mma.

    Andy Hug, on the other hand, had an incredible diversity and repertoire to his kicking game. He might have had one of the most diverse offensive arsenals of any fighter in any combat sports.

    He would counter his opponent’s punches sometimes at close range by landing lead leg switch kicks to the head. He would do this from an orthodox stance even though he was a natural southpaw. He also was capable of landing his left rear roundhouse kick from close range as well while using his arms to guide his opponent’s into the kick. That is extremely difficult to do without getting jammed and missing your target. Not to mention risking opening yourself up to your opponent's counter punching.

    He loved the spinning wheel kicks as well. He dropped multiple people with spinning wheel and hook kicks to the head. He also loved spinning backfists as well which were just as deadly. He would land spinning heel kicks to the legs as well. Something you just never see people even try. He even finished Mike Bernardo, a world class heavyweight kickboxer, with one of those. Insane. He also would mix in some spinning back kicks to the gut, too.

    And, of course, you can’t mention Andy Hug without mentioning his trademark axe kick. How often do you see a fighter who throw an axe kick effectively in a real fight, yet alone make it a staple in their game? There’s a reason it’s an extremely rare technique in fighting. Look at this kick in sport karate that he landed at 3:53 in the Andy Hug highlight video below. He feints a wheel kick by turning his body inward as if he was going to spin. But instead, he readjusts his stance and throws his left leg directly up and axe kicks his opponent in the face.

    But even if his unorthodox kicking game didn’t work, he would always fall back on a more traditional karate style if he needed to. He would throw left roundhouse kicks to the body that could drop people. He would hurt people badly with these leg kicks and regularly scored knockdowns as well. He would often set them up with punching combinations to get them going backwards. He even dropped Mike Bernardo with a little lead leg kick. Again, something that is very rare.

    If his opponent blocked his left roundhouse kick to the head, he would sometimes throw a left cross while he was still in motion of retracting his leg. This opposite reaction created a ton of power and caught his opponents by surprise.

    So, to answer ikrasevic's question, I think Andy Hug was the most diverse and more skilled kicker overall. However, Cro Cop’s left head kick was a more dangerous singular weapon than anything Hug had in his arsenal. It’s also worth mentioning that Andy Hug beat Cro Cop in their fight. Andy dominated the kicking aspects of the fight while Cro Cop had most of his success with uppercuts and hooks from close range. Plus, Andy Hug won a K1 tournament championship which Cro Cop sadly never accomplished. For what it's worth, I do think Cro Cop was faster and the more explosive athlete.

    Both guys are legendary heavyweight kickboxers and great kickers, though. The 1990s was the golden age of Heavyweight kickboxing, and the fact that neither of these guys really reached the very top shows how stacked the division really was.

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    Last edited: Jun 29, 2024
  5. ikrasevic

    ikrasevic Good people of all countries, unite! Full Member

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    I have never received such a good answer to a question I have asked on this forum.
    And that's why I think your opinion is valid; anyway your opinion is more valid than mine.
     
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  6. It's Ovah

    It's Ovah I'm your huckleberry, that's just mah game Full Member

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    Very hard to top samartteep's comprehensive and excellent answer. Most of what I'll say will probably just be parts of his post reworded.

    So yeah. Filipovic had the harder single kick, one of the most devastating moves in combat sports history, while Hug had the most varied kicking style and was all round a much better technician. There really wasn't a single kick Hug threw poorly; everything was done with crisp precision, great timing, and excellent form. He could drop and hurt fighters off either leg, to any scoring target, and his hands were good enough that he could use them to bait an opponent into expecting a punch and receiving a kick, or vice versa. He could also get fighters to react massively to simple turns, because the moment Hug began to turn he could hit you with any of a spinning high kick, spinning thrust kick to the body, Hug tornado or spinning backfist (a very underrated weapon for him). He could also feint a spin then launch his axe kick with the leftover momentum (something I think was mentioned above). And of course his ability to throw a roundhouse to the body or head then follow through with a punch off the same side caught more than one fighter sleeping.

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    Filipovic lacked that variety. His best kick was undoubtedly his LHK (though he could hurt with the right as well), followed probably by his left body roundhouse then his leg kicks. He occasionally threw an axe kick but it wasn't very good, and I can't recall him throwing any spinning kicks with any great effect. I recall his thrust kick wasn't bad though, and kept Aerts from closing into clinch range against him; pity he didn't use that more. As such though, any evaluation of him is likely going to focus predominantly on his LHK. So what made it so good? Huge power generating from his long powerful legs, explosive speed, great accuracy and technique, angle of strike, setup and insane timing. It was thrown almost like a Brazilian kick at times, but a much faster less exaggerated one than say Feitosa used to throw. Look at the slowmo of the kick that took out Bernardo in the 99 GP prelims and you'll see what I mean, the way it loops slightly right at the apex and comes over Bernardo's high guard.

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    If we're talking great HW kickers then Hoost and Aerts deserve to be in the discussion as well. Hoost made the leg kick an art form while Aerts was in his prime one of the most deadly kickers and kneers in the game. And the aforementioned Feitosa, and his stablemate Filho, are worth mentioning too. So many great kickers from that period. Even second-tier guys like Musashi and Nick Pettas would be considered first rate kick technicians today.
     
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  7. ikrasevic

    ikrasevic Good people of all countries, unite! Full Member

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    Thanks for the explanation.
    I'm obviously not as knowledgeable as you and Samart'sTeep, but I didn't think I was that far below you either.
    I judged this well for Andy Hug, but for that it was enough for me just to watch the fight Andy Vs. Mirko.
    In my layman's slang, I call Ernesto Hoost "the perfect kickboxer".
     
  8. Samart'sTeep

    Samart'sTeep Active Member Full Member

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    No problem. I love talking about kickboxing and muay thai. And this was a really thought provoking question. Both Mirko and Andy were fan favorites for a reason. Incredibly exciting fighters for very different reasons.

    I forgot to mention that Andy was dying of leukemia when he beat Cro Cop in that fight. He died three months later. I can't imagine the kind of mental and physical resolve it would take to beat a fighter of the caliber of Mirko Filipović when you're literally on death's door. He really was an unbelievable guy.
     
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  9. Samart'sTeep

    Samart'sTeep Active Member Full Member

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    I think the reason Peter Aerts gets underrated is because he just doesn't look the part. He was probably the most unathletic of that crop of great heavyweights. At cursory glance, his style almost looks clumsy and uncoordinated. However, that belies his true genius and skill as a fighter. He was a master technician.

    He had so many different tools for setting up his headkicks. He could feint or measure with a left jab to set up his left switch kick to the head. He could use his lead left hooks to herd his opponents right into his right roundhouse kicks, whether leg, body or head. Left hooks and right kicks work very well together in combinations. He would create frames with arms while stepping off at an angle to guide opponents into his kicks. Incredibly advanced stuff. He could counter his opponent's strikes with head kicks as well. He could land head kicks off of clinches. He knew how to use body kicks and leg kicks to set up kicks upstairs. He could use a standard left jab, right cross or right overhand to set up headkicks as well. He had all the tricks.

    He was an awesome fighter. If he could have just sharpened up his boxing defense, he would have been very difficult to beat.

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2024
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  10. It's Ovah

    It's Ovah I'm your huckleberry, that's just mah game Full Member

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    I know what you mean. Aerts has always had a sort of ungainly lumbering (no pun intended) look to him, like he's about to lose his balance any time he throws a kick or even on occasion a punch. But his timing, his setup, his shot selection, and overall ability to land fight ending blows was phenomenal. So many top level fighters succumbed to him over the years, and the fact he was able to remain competitive well into his forties spoke of his ungodly ring iq.

    At his peak I'd consider him the greatest HW kickboxer to have ever lived. It's a toss up between him and Hoost at any rate, and I think Aerts was always just that tiny bit better.
     
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  11. ikrasevic

    ikrasevic Good people of all countries, unite! Full Member

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    This is the problem of the new age and the modern world.
    Cro Cop is either:
    1a.) won k-1 tournament
    2b.) did not win the k-1 tournament
    there are not 62 options of truth, but ONLY TWO.

    If you ask Croats, Cro Cop won the K-1 tournament in Zagreb in 2013, and in that case, @Samart'sTeep made a wrong statement.
     
  12. Samart'sTeep

    Samart'sTeep Active Member Full Member

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    You're right. My mistake. I forgot about the the K-1 World Grand Prix Final in 2013 when he returned to kickboxing. I definitely wasn't trying to disparage him. Like I said, he's one of my favorite fighters.

    Even before that tournament, he's beaten fighters like Aerts, Greco, Bernardo, Hunt, Bonjasky, Le Banner and Sefo. So, he was obviously elite. I stand by what I said about Hug being the better kicker, and the better overall fighter.
     
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  13. ikrasevic

    ikrasevic Good people of all countries, unite! Full Member

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    It's not a problem, we all make mistakes.
     
  14. TMLT87

    TMLT87 Active Member Full Member

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    Hug was one of the most technically skilled and dynamic HW kickboxers ever. The problem imo was he was on the smaller side for HW and found himself just physically outmatched and outgunned at times.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2024 at 5:03 AM
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