A quick analysis of “Triple C”
Ever since his split decision loss to Joey B, Henry has changed his standup and stance to a wider, karate-esque stance. The benefits of this stance is that it allows him to move in and out more fluidly and helps him to blitz inside to initiate punching exchanges.
Once he starts throwing combinations in the pocket he will often shorten his stance by dragging his back leg closer so that he can load up his hooks.
Pressing the action:
Henry is a much better fighter when he is pressing the action and pushing the pace on the opponent. He makes use of his incredible athleticism to force the opponents to put their back to the cage and then he follows and attacks them as they try to circle out.
His very bladed stance makes it quite easy for opponents to circle out past his lead shoulder so to compensate for this he will often switch stances as the opponent circles past his lead shoulder and then try to get them to move into a rear leg high kick. The purpose of the kick is not to primarily cause damage, it is just to prevent the opponent from regaining the centre of the cage and to discourage the circling.
Simple but effective footwork:
Henry’s footwork is very deceptively simple. He is often credited for his movement and his ability to switch stances but honestly both of these aspects of his game are extremely basic and limited.
Henry moves pretty well outside of punching range but only on straight lines, he rarely cuts angles and doesn’t move well laterally. Once he enters exchanges he often plants his feet and just swings 2-3 alternating hooks before moving straight back to disengage.
His stance switching is even more limited, Henry is a significantly worse fighter from the southpaw stance and is much more vulnerable to attacks. His own attacks from southpaw are also extremely limited and very predictable.
Despite his bladed, karate-esque stance, Henry rarely makes use of the techniques common to this style of fighting, namely the lead leg kicks and linear kicks. Henry almost exclusively throws rear leg round kicks.
He only really alternates between the head and the body, with the majority of his kicks being aimed at the head. His most frequent use of kicks is to corral the opponent onto the fence and prevent them from circling out.
Another aspect of his kicking game that shows up quite regularly is the open side body kick. Whenever Henry finds himself in the opposite stance to the opponent (particularly when the opponent is southpaw), he will throw a nice round kick to the body.
One dimensional boxing:
In both his boxing and kickboxing, Henry is a very right side dependent fighter. He very rarely uses his left hand and leg to attack while standing. While in the orthodox stance, he almost never jabs or initiates attacks off his left side.
Almost all of his entries into boxing range can be summed up by either a right overhand or a wide, looping right hook, regardless of his stance. Once he is in the pocket he almost always ducks his head down and exposes the top of his head to his opponent.
Cejudo very rarely shells up but when he does he uses a traditional double forearm high guard. He often lowers his head in the pocket which causes opponents to hit the top of his skull, which doesn’t cause much immediate damage to him.
He often paws at the opponent’s lead hand with his own to neutralise their jab, but this leaves him open to the lead hook as he extends his hand to paw. He is very adept at ducking under rear hand punches and will often shoot for a takedown or come up into the clinch once he has ducked a big shot.
He does not defend his body or legs particularly well. Moraes and Johnson both had success when they kicked him in the body or legs. His main defence to low kicks is usually just to move backwards.
Henry’s most common entries into the clinch come from either snapping on the double collar ties as the opponent ducks or more commonly, by ducking underneath a shot and grabbing the hips before coming up into the clinch.
Obviously the former was on display in the Moraes fight as Henry battered Moraes with knees from the double collar ties, but it has also made brief appearances in his other fights such as the Johnson rematch, but DJ was fresh and fast enough to escape before Cejudo could do any damage.
The second entry into the clinch is on display more and is a good testament to Henry’s speed and technique.
Henry’s best takedowns in my uninformed opinion, are his single leg takedowns and his inside trip from the clinch. He tilts and pivots extremely well and quickly with his single leg takedowns and makes it nearly impossible for the opponent to stay on their feet.
His inside trip from the clinch is also a gorgeous takedown that Cejudo performs quickly and flawlessly. He most often uses his right leg to trip and tries to land in the opponent’s half guard.
In conclusion, Henry Cejudo has quite a rudimentary striking game but his athleticism, his durability and the threat of his wrestling often makes up for the holes in his stand up.
I suspect once he fights a bantamweight who is comfortable stopping his shots or comfortable on the ground, Henry will get exposed on the feet. I feel his style is particularly vulnerable to the big strikers with good grappling at 135 like Aldo, Sterling and Sandhagen.
If you like what you’ve read please follow me on Twitter @StitchedUp_Blog
Also don’t forget to check out my site; stitchedupblog1.wordpress.com