When it comes to engaging someone in a spar or fight you have to remember to work the angles. It isn’t just about moving forward, back, left, or right. Fighting is like an art and sometimes you have to use your creativity to adapt to your challenge.
Incorporating angular movement into your strategy will most likely result in you discovering more opening and weaknesses on your opponent. Cutting (angles) movement will also remove you from the center line of attack, making it more difficult for your opponent to strike you. These are things that even I still need to work on. It is easy to get caught in the heat of a fun spar and get dragged into a brawl fest.
There is nothing wrong with a rough and gritty fight, it is just smarter to utilize those angles to work your training parter. If you use your angles well enough you could find yourself receiving less strikes, getting less fatigued, and maybe even landing more strikes.