There are a lot of tricks in the fight game that can enable you to control your opponent. The more experienced your opponent is the harder it is to do but never the less it can be done and is an exceptional skill if you can master it.

One that I’ll go over now is your tempo; tempo is the speed that the fight is fought at. Taking control of the pace of the fight puts you in charge of what’s happening. This without a doubt is one of the most important things to try and do when you’re in the squared circle.

I don’t mean you have to go 110mph from the word go as it may be that you need to take the tempo down a bit. At times during a fight you may need a little breather, so this is the perfect time to slow the pace down.

This may sound daft but if you stay in control you won’t really feel tired throughout the contest. You generally only start to feel tired when you’re put under pressure or haven’t trained. Even then I believe if you’re strong minded and don’t put pressure on yourself for not having trained and can remain in control of the fight, you probably won’t feel the pace at all. However I must stress you never try this theory out, always train and prepare accordingly!

If you’re fit enough to go 110mph for five rounds then go for it, there are some fighters that can do this and are very successful with it.

Speeding the fight up, as you can guess, is very straight forward. You basically just pick the tempo up, attack more; press forwards etc slowing one down is more tricky.

I’ve been brought to the centre of the ring many times and been face to face with all types of personalities from very nervous to very confident and those who just want to go berserk on me.

A trick for the ones who you can tell will come steaming into you is to literally start the fight slow whilst staying calm.

This will generally bring their tempo down; they will start the same as you. This sometimes won’t happen; they may still fly at you. Again remain calm, don’t panic and just start going mental back as you will be putting them in control of the fight; if you need to move then move.

For myself I will asses how I’m being attacked, if it’s with their hands I will wait for an opening and bang in a few hard shots to make them step off. I still remain at a slow tempo except when I attack, as long as my positioning remains slow and I’m in charge they will slow down.

Same principles apply for any technique not just hands. Just make sure your defence is tight and return to your position after each attack, controlling the pace and maintaining the speed that you wish to fight at.

When the contest is in full flow there are subtle tricks to slow them down. If you just stop completely then you will get swarmed on, so you have to keep busy within reason. As I said you can use this time to get breathers, it wouldn’t be much of a rest if you were doing too much.

Slight faints, occasional jabs or front kicks will still give the illusion you’re dangerous. This stops them from being over confident and wading in, enabling you to bring the fight down to a pace you’re happy with until you’re ready to step it up a notch.

A lot of my training is based on recovery so these split second breathers I grab are enough, sometimes that’s all you need.

There are hundreds of tricks of how to control your opponent, a lot of them you’ll find out through experience yourselves but I’m planning on highlighting some of them from time to time.

Remember the fight game is uncertain so if you’re a one trick pony then you’re going to struggle; it’s important to have a few tricks up your sleeve and I’ve certainly picked up a few over the years.

Please feel free to add your own experiences to do with this, as I’m always interested and open to new ideas. I believe you will never stop learning.