The CW40 Gameplan

March 8, 2011

Ive been talking up a lot of the game planning stuff we have been doing recently and for good reason. We have had a lot of success with figuring out opponents and implementing gameplans. What Id like to do is show you an example from CW 40 and my fight with Andreas Bernhard hopefully you can put together something simalar if your a fighter or have a better idea of what a coaches role is if you arent actively competing.

Part 1.Opponents details and Stuff to watch out for.

Andreas Bernhard is a 5’1 Judoka with a 7-1 record.

Notable wins: Jesse Bjorn Buckler and Timon Esposito

Notable Losses: Ben Boekee 11-1 by triangle but he was dominating that fight till the last round.


Very fast overhand right which has dropped a lot of guys. Its thrown usually as a counter to the right leg kick or knee (dont throw right leg without a set up) it lands well as opponents have to punch down towards him. Great high level double leg (no need to level change). Bit of a grinder on top but seems to mess guys up. Stays in guard and chips away mixing up high and low posture to good effect. Small stature makes it difficult to get feet on hips or knee shield in the way. Good at preventing guys from standing up out of Guard. If he can get on top he can stay there and steal the round.

Probably quite strong, seems durable at least two guys have lost due to gassing out trying to kill him in the 1st round.

Part 2. Opponents weaknesses and stuff to exploit.

Covers up well but tends to take a lot of shots (elbows and knees through guard good option dont spass out). Hasnt thought in a cage or with elbows in last few bouts so take advantage of that. Left High kick even if he covers it should keep him off balance, left teep also an option. Doolan’s cutting of the cage and  long knee stuff against the cage should work well here.

Not great of his back if I can get him down should be able to work the same old crap standing pass to mount to strikes to back mount and choke. Single leg or single to Double leg Gunni Nelson sequence against the cage is probably best bet trying to throw him from clinch probably a wank idea.

Has a tendency to get tired in later rounds and as we are playing with five rounds that could be something i could work with.

If he clinches go to Seans overhook barrier and knee and elbow the crap out of him, and break dirty.

If he gets top position he has a tendency to post his left arm on the floor SWG (Sean williams guard to armbar, triangle and omoplata) the shit out of it and be ready to upkick, single leg or knee bar when he stands out of the submission attempt.


Part 3. Fight Gameplan

Round 1

Use jab and left kick to feel him out this round. Gauge his range and be aware of the overhand right and high level double. Use aggressive footwork and head movement to back him into the cage. If his heel makes contact with cage thats when I land long combos when his stance is fucked. Halfway through the round clinch up and prevent the takedown (to mess with his confidence) and go to work with elbows and knees (try to the body as I havent seen him hit there that often). With 10 seconds to go break the clinch and land a long combo for the judges.

Round 2

Use footwork and Jab to back him up again. When the clinch is initiated (probably by him) drive to the fence and go Double- single -double try to finish the take down in side control. Look for the beatdown and finish. Allow him to turtle and either Guillotine or back take attempt. Look for the finish in this Round from beatdown or from back mount with strikes.

Round 3

Keep this round standing up, to regain cardio after Round 2. Use foot work to make him miss and alternate between stepping off and pressuring him to the cage to land bigger shots. Spend this round trying to make him walk on to the right uppercut. Lots of double jabs and lead crosses. No takedowns this round. Land one or two flash techniques to keep the judges interested flying knee or pettis kick.

Round 4

Try to put him away standing. Still being aware of the overhand start being more aggressive. Lots of knees and elbows standing. Against the cage land shots to the body and try to overwhelm him with strikes. You will have done 8 5min rounds against fresh for this camp a few times 5 5 min rounds should be cake. Try to keep the majority of the combos along the fence line landing big hooks when he steps off the cage.

Round 5

Start this round with a big low level double and either finish it open or along the cage. Work into half guard with an overhook and pressure him into the cage throw strikes and look to finish or snatch a guillotine when he gets to his feet. Last chance to finish the fight keep work rate up and overwhelm him. Do not stop hitting for this entire round look for beatdowns constantly.



Apart from getting twatted with a big left hook and throwing a shit spinning back kick the game plan panned out really well. I was constantly working him towards the cage and defended his takedowns well. Landed some good shots standing but didnt manage to finish the round with the combo I wanted.

Remembered to switch up the gameplan in the second round while he was tiring and from there manged to trap him in mount and finish the bout.


Game plans usually dont go this well, but having one gives you something to focus on as opposed to the sense of immenint doom and excitement that usually precedes a fight. Prior to the fight i think of it like project management, I have a job to do and a plan of how to do it, the fun part is implementing the plan. All the hard work should be done in the weeks prior so that you can deal with your opponents unique traits and exploit weaknesses.


Hopefully this hasnt sounded to much like an ego chug and you get something from it.

Failing to plan is planning to fail and all that baws.



On Sunday I picked up my 19th career win at Cagewarriors 40. My opponent Andreas Bernhard had been mauling boys in Germany and was a great opponent to find after David Arranda was unfortunately injured.

I have been fighting on CW shows since my career began. It’s kinda freaky to think that I fought on CW3 and this was CW 40. The promotion was excellent, everything from the venue to the hotel to the commentators to the runners. The fights were pretty awesome too.

When you compete on a show that is this slick and professional you almost feel that you have to step up your game.

The fight itself panned out pretty much as expected and I was able to follow the gameplan well. I’ll outline the specific planning we did in a subsequent blog post.

What was significant about this fight for me was the change in clarity. In the past I’ve had a tendency to spass out and react to whatevers happening as opposed to implementing my own game. This time with a solid gameplan behind me I was able to take my time and pick the techniques that were appropriate.

If you are fighting without a gameplan you really are doing yourself a disservice. When Rosi was warming up for her bout with Roxy I saw at least five different things she used during the fight.

If you have analysed the opponent, trained appropriately and have the correct mind set the fight itself should be the easy part.

Obviously no plan will survive contact with the opponent 100% but it’s way better than winging it and hoping for the best.

Thanks to Graham, Ian and Clare at Cagewarriors.

Ez sports and sports therapy Scotland for all the help.

And Danny Mitchell as if it wasn’t for him I’d be fighting in a baw guard.

Dammit pressed publish instead of save I’ll do the editing later.