YES and NO
It really depends...
Please allow me to explain, I don't compete anymore, but I was an undefeated amateur boxer, I won the Florida state games and regionals multiple times, I fought on the Marine Corps boxing team, with tons of bouts, and about twice as many streetfights. And, I was almost always...
Best answer: YES and NO
It really depends...
Please allow me to explain, I don't compete anymore, but I was an undefeated amateur boxer, I won the Florida state games and regionals multiple times, I fought on the Marine Corps boxing team, with tons of bouts, and about twice as many streetfights. And, I was almost always shorter than my opponents, so I know quite a bit about this topic.
There are advantages and disadvantages to being tall and short, both in boxing and in streetfights.
ADVANTAGES TO BEING TALL: When a fighter is taller than his opponent, in general... he likely also has longer arms. This means he can use straight punches like the "jab" and "cross" to strike his opponent from a distance where he can hit him, but his shorter opponent cannot hit him back! That can be extremely helpful! Also, if a fighter is taller than his opponent... when his opponent punches at him... he has to "punch-up" (against gravity) to hit him, this decreases the power and the reach of his punches, likewise... taller fighters have to "punch-down" to hit shorter opponents, hence working with gravity, increasing the power of their punches.
DISADVANTAGES TO BEING TALL: Taller fighters only have advantages if they can keep their opponents away from them, and create and maintain a distance where they can hit their opponent, while their opponent cannot reach them. However, this falls apart at closer ranges. When shorter fighters close the distance, they have the advantage, because they can create more power and leverage on their punches than a taller/ longer-armed puncher can at that distance. The height and longer arms means that their punches are smothered at that range, so they can be hit with hard shots, but aren't able to deliver back shots as hard at that distance. Taller fighters are also longer, and hence less compact than shorter fighters, meaning that there is more body to hit when it comes to body punches, and it is harder to protect yourself from body punches. However, the biggest disadvantage to being taller than your opponent is that YOU HAVE TO PUNCH DOWN to hit him, this is a BIG PROBLEM because it leaves your face completely vulnerable to a big counter punch over the top! I have knocked out all of my opponents because of this simple fact! I wait for them to throw, slip the punch, and throw a left hook, or an over-hand right over the top, and rock him!
ADVANTAGES TO BEING SHORT: Assuming you are similar in weight to your opponent, which is likely in combat sports (MMA and Boxing) since you have to fight within weight classes... odds are that if you and your opponent are the same weight, but he is taller than you, then... you will be stockier and hence physically stronger than you opponent! This can be extremely helpful! Especially because you can man-handle them. As I pointed out earlier you are also much more effective with your punches at close range! And, you are difficult to hit since your opponent has to lean in, and punch down to hit you, leaving him wide-open for heavy counters over the top! Being shorter than your opponent also means that you are more compact, meaning it makes you less of a target, since there is a shorter body, and its easier to protect yourself from body attacks.
DISADVANTAGES TO BEING SHORT: If it is a streetfight, often if they are taller than you, they are also heavier giving them a size and strength advantage over you. This means you might get man-handled. Also, they can hit you from distances, where you cannot hit them back! Meaning that you have to close the distance, which leaves you vulnerable to powerful punches raining down on you as you come in! You also loose power punching upwards against gravity at them! Having to punch upwards at them also means that your punches loose range/distance too. Understand that if you hold your arm out, its reach longest when it is horizontal with the floor, tilting it up or down means that you are loosing reach for height. This means you have to get in even closer against him in order to be able to hit him. Because you have to get so close, this means that often you will have to clinch, so if it is MMA or a streetfight, you better know how to grapple, and if it is a streetfight and the guy is taller and heavier than you, grappling with him may be very challenging, unless you are very skilled at it. Because you will be so prone to clinching and grappling against taller fighters, you... more than them... will need training in wrestling and/or Jujitsu/Judo! Obviously, unless it is a boxing match. However, if it is a boxing match... you will be separated anytime you clinch, forcing you to have to close the distance again, and again, and again AND DURING you having to close the distance... you are especially vulnerable to powerful punches, and once you are close, he can wrap you up, forcing the referee to separate you again! So you have to make the punches you land at close range really count!
IN SUMMARY.... being TALL or SHORT in a fight have their advantages and disadvantages! Overall it comes down to how good you are at creating and maintaining the optimal distance for you to be most effective. Whoever is better at that "distance management" will likely win the fight! If two untrained fighters fight... and one is significantly taller than the other, I would think the taller one has the advantage. Once training and preparation happens, the height and reach advantage becomes less helpful, and can be turned into a big disadvantage against a smart opponent. For my whole amateur career, I was always the shorter guy, and I knocked out every single guy I fought, because they had to lean forward, and punch down to hit me... by staying low, and popping up, slipping the punch, and throwing heavy counters over the top I chopped them down like trees! Mike Tyson was one of the shortest heavyweights in modern times, but in his prime he was considered unbeatable, and absolutely annihilated very TALL guys with lots of reach on him! In his prime, Tyson was very good at doing what I said, and was amazing! Joe Frazier definitively beat the much taller Ali in their first fight, by doing the same thing!
It comes down to making your opponent fight YOUR FIGHT... tall guys like Lennox Lewis, Klitscko, and Ali were great at keeping their opponents on the outside, and taking them out from a distance! It just depends on your ability to manage distance comparable to your opponent. Stefan Struve is am MMA fighter that is SEVEN FEET TALL, but he gets knocked out all the time by short guys, because he doesn't manage the distance very well, yet Jon Jones who is quite tall and rangy has never really been beaten because he is so good at managing distance! The same thing is true for short MMA/UFC fighters! If they are better at managing the distance than their opponent, they are probably going to win. Look at the most recent UFC Heavyweight Championship fight! Stipe Miocic was the UFC HEAVYWEIGHT Champion, considered the BEST UFC HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF ALL TIME, Stipe Miocic is 6ft 4inches tall, and he just got KNOCKED OUT by the 5ft 10 inch tall Daniel Cormier! And, it came down to distance! Derrick Lewis who is 6ft 3, was getting his butt kicked by Alexander Volkov who is 6ft 7in, the whole time Alexander Volkov kept him at a distance, using his height and reach well... UNTIL Derrick Lewis successfully closed the distance, and knocked him out cold! It all comes down to distance management!!!
1 day ago