The flying knee is a devastating finish that will make the crowd go nuts if it results in a knock out like Cory Sandhagen pulled off against Frankie Edgar.
Revgear’s Alex Wright goes to get more technical details from one of the best in the business. ONE Championship Muay Thai fighter Juan Cervantes is the UK number one, a world champion and has a heavy flying knee game. Juan gives us a step-by-step guide to this show-stopping knock out technique.
Juan tells us that anyone who can jump can make the flying knee work for them and if it does land, it’s a potential knock out. His personal brand of flying knee works particularly well against boxers and any opponent who is good with their hands.
This flying knee is a rear leg strike that begins with the back leg loaded and the heel up off the ground. Juan jumps straight up in the air and turns his rear hip in, tucking both his heels as he does so. He lands in a switch stance, so he has to be prepared to fight from that position of the knee doesn’t land.
This is a technique that you can’t throw while sparring, so you have to drill it on the pads or Dutch-style drills with an experienced partner. Either Thai pads or mitts will work well for drilling the flying knee. The Thai pads are held similar to how you would hold for an uppercut, but out further so the padman doesn’t catch a knee to the face.
A good variation is to us the rear hand to push down on the pad to simulate grabbing the back of the head while throwing the knee. It is also good practice to throw a left hand or elbow upon landing in case the rear flying knee doesn’t land. Setting up with a one-two hook is also good, as it causes the opponent to shell up, leaving them blind to the knee. It also works well off the left hook to the body.
The flying knee, when performed the way Juan prescribes is an unstoppable force that will leave your opponent on the canvas and your hands raised in victory.