Submissions – Guillotine Chokehold

Stemming from various forms of martial arts and Brazilian Jujitsu, the guillotine chokehold is one of the most common types of submission in the MMA world, today.

One of the most frequent mistakes a fighter can make that will make them susceptible to the hold is when putting his/her head on the outside of the opponent’s body while going for a takedown. This will fare extremely dangerous, and sometimes calls for a quick ending to what could’ve been an even matchup for many fighters.

There are two types of ways that can cause the tap from the guillotine: the blood choke and the air choke.

In a blood choke situation, the blood flow to the brain is cut off, causing much pain in the victim, which will most likely cause them to tap early, or, if a fighter is stubborn, it could cause him to pass out due to a lack of blood flow. This can happen in a matter of seconds. The blood choke is performed by placing pressure on the arteries in the opponent’s neck.

An air choke constricts the air flow from the lungs by compressing the windpipe. It is the harder of the two to apply, and it also is five times less effective than a blood choke, where unconsciousness comes a lot quicker. The pain is much more intense in an air choke than a blood choke. The air choke is performed by putting pressure on the windpipe with the forearm.

The guillotine can also be performed in another two ways – standing or on the ground.

From the ground, the opponents head should be lower than yours when you place your armpit around the back of his neck, locking your wrist and hand in a tight grip, around his throat. Once secured, the pressure should be applied up into the neck. Wrapping the legs around his waist will drive his hips lower and applying more pressure around the throat. Submission is inevitable at that point.

The standing form puts a smaller fighter at an advantage to a larger one. As the attacker lunges at you, spread your legs into a wide base stands and grab the neck, as in the ground version of the chokehold, holding the wrist. Moving forward and then arching your back will allow the forearm to slice the throat and apply the necessary pressure. Too much of an arch can put you in a defensive position and make you susceptible to a takedown.

From the standing position, you can certainly bring the opponent down to the ground and use the ground position. The best line of defense is to be aware of your head placement. Never be lower than your opponent if you are not strong enough to counter an opponent’s chokes.

Inside The Guard, A Versatile Position

Usually the starting point of grappling action in MMA matches, the guard is often overlooked by fans and even fighters, but a fighter using proper technique can prove the position dangerous.

Ortiz inside the butterfly guard of Griffin

The goal of the top fighter in the guard is to utilize ground-and-pound striking while aiming to improve their position. The top fighter also has the option of opening the guard and going for submission attempts.

The goal of the bottom fighter in the guard is most commonly to attempt various submissions off of their back or to escape using sweep techniques to return the fight to their feet. However, there are a few effective strikes from the bottom as well.

There are two basic forms of the guard: the closed guard and the open guard. In the closed guard the bottom fighter has their legs wrapped around the top fighter’s back, as well as their arms in cases. The aim of the closed guard is for the bottom fighter to keep the top fighter’s body as close to theirs as possible, limiting range in order to prevent devastating strikes and set up submission attempts.

In the open guard the bottom fighter uses his legs to control the opponent with the goal being to keep the opponent further away rather than close, because the bottom fighter becomes more vulnerable to strikes. The open guard can be used by the bottom fighter to set up submissions, but is most commonly used to create a sweep in order to return the fight to the feet or transition to the top position.

Alan Belcher trapped in Jason Day's rubber guard at UFC 83. Day lands 10 elbow strikes and 17 unanswered punches

There are various forms of the open guard such as the butterfly guard, the rubber guard, the x-guard, the spider guard, De la Riva guard and 50-50 guard. Arguably the most common in MMA are the butterfly and rubber guard.

The butterfly guard is a position in which the bottom fighter’s legs are hooked with their ankles inside the top fighter’s thighs. This allows for good control of the top fighter’s movements and distancing and allows for effective sweeps.

The rubber guard, created by Eddie Bravo, is gaining popularity and becoming more common in the MMA world. The bottom fighter uses a leg to trap the top opponent in their guard, opening up possibilities for submissions, sweeps and even effective striking from the bottom. Dream lightweight champion Shinya Aoki has developed one of the most effective rubber guards in MMA along with UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn.

The main goal of the top fighter in the guard is to advance his position. However, striking can be effective. Tito Ortiz is among one of the most effective strikers from the guard in MMA, in great part due to his devastating elbows. Elbows, hammer fists, closed fist strikes, and even Royce Gracie style palm strikes can cause damage from the guard.

Mousasi KO's Jacare via up-kick

Fighters inside an opponents open guard also have the option of standing in the guard to attempt various leg locks, such as knee bars, heel hooks and achilles locks. However, this can make them vulnerable to commonly the most devastating strike from the bottom guard.

Up-kicks have proven to be extremely effective in MMA and are a good tool for fighters on their back. Strikeforce light-heavyweight champion Gegard Mousasi knocked out Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza in dramatic fashion with a single upkick in the final round of the Dream middleweight grand prix at Dream 6 on September 23, 2008.

The bottom fighter has a clear advantage in the submission game from the guard. The most common submissions pulled off from guard are the guillotine, arm bar, triangle choke and kimura. Other popular submissions are the omoplata and gogoplata, but these techniques are most often used as a sweep to simply transition to the top or a standing position. However, they can be very effective when used from the rubber guard.

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The top fighter must aim to improve his position above all else while in the guard. A ground-and-pound fighter must move out of harms way against a submission specialist rather than being contempt to strike from the guard. Mark Coleman learned this lesson not once, but twice when he was submitted from within WAMMA and former Pride heavyweight champion Fedor Emelianenko‘s guard during Pride FC competition in 2004 and then again in 2006.

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Fists and Comedy – A Strange Mix

He may be known best for hosting the show that everyone loves to cringe at, Fear Factor. Or maybe its his role as the pseudo-conspiracy-theorist and electrician-handyman Joe Girrelli on the 1990’s sitcom NewsRadio? It couldn’t be his questionable follow-up performance as one of two replacements for the hilarious Adam Carolla and Jimmy Kimmel on the final season of The Man Show… He’s an actor, a game show host and a comedian.

But Joe Rogan is also a color commentator for Ultimate Fighting Championship, which is, of course, where we know him from, today.

Throughout his career, Rogan has always had a little fight in him. As a stand-up comedian, he feuded with multiple popular comedians of the 2000’s, including Carlos Mencia and Dane Cook. These criticisms cost him some shows and participationin the Comedy Store agency in Los Angeles, Cal. However, it doesn’t stop there.

It’s an important issue in this growing sport… How can an actor and a game show host and a comedian turn around 180-degrees and end up involved with mixed martial arts? Some people ask for credibility. Rogan has it.

His list of potential credits begins as a teenager, where he began developing skills in Tae Kwon Do. In the state of Massachusetts, he was named the Full Tae Kwon Do Champion four consecutive times.

By age 19, Rogan won the United States Open Tae Kwon Do Championship. He also went on to defeat middle and heavyweight title holders as the lightweight champion, which resulted in him being awarded the Grand Championship.

He is currently working towards a black belt in BJJ, and is training with Eddie Bravo. Convinced yet?

Rogan believes himself to be the total package as far as self-defense goes – both physically and verbally. From an interview done in 2008 with San Francisco Stand Up, Rogan explains his thoughts on comedy and fighting.

“Well I think it all comes from the same place. The defense mechanism is also wanting to get people to like you. You know, that insecurity- that same insecurity is what leads people to martial arts, because you don’t want to be at the mercy of an attacker. You don’t want to worry about somebody physically dominating you. So I think it’s very similar in the motivation to get involved in it in the first place. What real martial arts is about, is not really about fighting- it’s more about developing your human potential. Martial arts really applies to comedy in that way. In comedy, the real deep stuff, when someone is really searching their own mind, their own soul, their own mortality, their own view of the world, they’re not just saying something to try to get some heehees and hahas out of a group of strangers. They’re digging deep and creating some art out of their own introspective thought.”

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Rogan began his commentary career in 2002 with Pay Per View venues and Spike TV coverage of the UFC, and still works in the field today, even hosting the syndicated show “UFC Wired.” It most notably shows that well-roundedness and outspokenness can get you places in the entertainment industry.

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A Legend is Stopped, Others Rebound at UFC 110

Rising star Cain Velasquez defeated the legendary Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira in dominating fashion in the main event of UFC 110 on Saturday to secure a spot as a top contender for the UFC heavyweight title.

Velasquez v. Nogueira

The two ground specialists exchanged in a brief standup battle in the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.  Velasquez landed a combo, which sent Nogueira to the canvas and he quickly followed up with vicious ground and pound that left Nogueria unconscious.  Referee Herb Dean called for a knockout stoppage, putting an end to the contest at 2:20 in the first round.

“We’ll see what happens with Mir and Carwin – see who wins that – and if the guys come out unscathed, they’ll fight for the title,” said UFC president Dana White at the post-fight press conference.  ”If not, then Cain Velasquez will get that spot.”

Velasquez’s performance earned him “Knockout of the Night” honors along with a $50,000 bonus.

The co-main event featured another legendary brazilian fighter and Pride FC champion in Wanderlei Silva, who squared off against Michael Bisping.  The contest saw both fighters standing and exchanging for the majority of the fight.

Bisping took Silva down several times in the first and second rounds, but was unable to keep him down once on the ground.  Silva caught him in a tight arm-in guillotine off of a Bisping takedown attempt with about 15 seconds left in the second round, but was unable to force a tap.

Silva v. Bisping

Bisping landed two fouls which briefly stopped the action in the middle of the third round: first a kick to the cup of Silva and then a finger to the eye.  Silva took the offensive, coming out swinging for the fences in the last two minutes of the fight.  Silva rushed Bisping and landed a right hook to drop him just before the final bell.

Silva was awarded a unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the contest 29-28 in his favor.

Bisping disagreed with the official decision. “It’s a close fight, but personally, I thought I won rounds one and two,” he said during the post-fight conference.  He also stated that he would love a rematch with Silva in the future.

Australian native George Sotiropoulos defeated Joe Stevenson by unanimous decision in a thrilling and extremely technical match.  Sotiropoulos controlled the fight on the feet, dropping Stevenson in the second and put him in several dangerous situations on the ground utilizing his superior submission game.

All three judges scored the contest 30-27 in a dominant victory for Sotiropoulos.  The match was named the “Fight of the Night” and earned both fighters a $50,000 bonus.

The Ultimate Fighter season eight winner Ryan Bader took down and controlled Keith Jardine on the ground in the first round of the second main-card fight.  Jardine controlled the second round with strong punches and leg kicks and was able to stuff the takedown attempts of Bader.

Bader landed a right hand that hurt Jardine in the third and quickly followed up with a flying knee to the body and a left hook, which dropped Jardine to the canvas.  Referee Josh Rosenthal called for a knockout stoppage, putting an end to the fight at 2:10 of the third round.

Cro Cop v. Perosh

In the first main card fight Croatian legend and Pride FC champion Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic faced overmatched Australian native Anthony Perosh.  Cro Cop was originally scheduled to face former IFL champion Ben Rothwell who was forced to withdraw just days before the event due to illness.  Perosh took the fight on two days notice.

Cro Cop controlled the fight, landing devastating strikes in the standup and denying Perosh’s numerous takedown attempts.  Perosh continually went for the takedown only to end up in Cro Cops sprawl and to receive brutal ground and pound.

Cro Cop landed a powerful elbow from inside the guard, opening up a cut above Perosh’s eye with about a minute left in the second round.  Cro Cop was awarded a TKO (cut) victory at the end of the second round after a dominant performance.

The “Submission of the Night” along with a $50,000 bonus was awarded to Chris Lytle who countered a takedown from Brian Foster to lock in a kneebar, putting an end to the preliminary card bout at 1:41 of the first round.

UFC 110 marked the organizations first trip to Australia and proved extremely successful for the UFC.  The event saw the second-fastest ticket sell-out in the 16-year history of the UFC.  Dana White announced his intentions to return, to Melbourne, Australia for an event in 2011, during the post-fight press conference.

UFC 110 – FULL

Silva Looks to Rebound at UFC 110

This Saturday Brazilian striker Wanderlei Silva will meet Michael Bisping (18-2) in the main card of UFC 110 in Sydney, Australia.  Silva hopes to rebound from his recent losses in UFC competition and reform himself as an elite middleweight fighter.

Wanderlei Silva

Silva, known as “The Axe Murderer,” “Cachorro Louco” and “Mad Dog,” will make his middleweight (185 lbs) debut this weekend.  Previously fighting in the light-heavyweight division (205 lbs), Silva is the former IVC light-heavyweight champion, the first even Pride middleweight champion (205 lbs) (2001-2007), the 2003 Pride middleweight grand prix tournament winner, and was named the 2004 fighter of the year by Sherdog.

Fighting out of Curitiba, Brazil, Silva developed his devastating muay tai striking at Chute Box Academy under Rudimar Fedrigo.  Upon moving to the United States in 2007 to compete in the UFC, he has trained with Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas.  Silva is currently training for his upcoming fight at his newly opened facility, Wand Fight Team Academy based in Las Vegas.

Silva holds a professional MMA record of 32-10-1, 1NC coming into his fight at UFC 110.  Despite his impressive record, against top-level opponents, he has lost five of his last six fights, including his last two inside the octagon.  However, Silva hopes to transform himself as a middleweight fighter.

With a strong background in muay tai as well as a black belt in brazilian jiu jitsu under Carlos Gracie Jr., Silva is a complete MMA fighter.  His muay tai skills have proven pivotal and at times devastating throughout his career.  Of his 32 career wins, 20 have come by way of knockout or TKO.

UFC 110 Open Workout

Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Quinton “Rampage” Jackson knocked out Silva in their third professional meeting on Dec 27, 2008 at UFC 92.  Jackson landed a quick left hook that sent Silva to the canvas, leaving him unconscious, in the first round (3:21) of the light-heavyweight battle.  Silva was victorious by way of knockout and TKO in their first two fights, which took place in Pride Fighting Championship.

His next fight proved more competitive as Silva lost a unanimous decision to former UFC middleweight champion RichFranklin on June 13 in the main event of UFC 99.  It was a back and forth battle featuring both fighters on their feet striking for the majority of the fight.  The contest, which won fight of the night honors, was fought at a catchweight of 195 lbs.

Despite his reputation as a distinguished striker, Silva’s striking defense has been his most noticeable weakness in recent fights.  In his last six fights he has faced three knockout losses.  Of his 44-fight career Silva had never been knocked out and had only ever been TKO’d twice before this point, one due to a cut.

Silva’s muay tai skills will be extremely relevant in his fight with Bisping and will likely be utilized as often as possible.  Bisping is a striker as well, and is known for keeping the fight standing.   Of Bisping’s 18 career wins, 11 have come by way of knockout or TKO.  The match will likely be a stand-up battle, featuring two talented strikers relatively new to the middleweight division.

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Live pay-per-view coverage of UFC 110 will begin at 10 p.m. EST

Countdown To UFC 110 Video

Bisping-Silva Should Impress

Michael Bisping (ufcmedia.com)

Australia is currently the hotspot for MMA action, as we get ready for UFC 110, which will occur in Sydney. Highlighting the Main Card is the much anticipated Nogueira vs. Velasquez. However, there is another fight that may draw more attention.

Only separated by three years of age, middleweights Wanderlei Silva (33) and Michael Bisping (30) are more dramatically separated by eight years of professional experience. With his first professional bout in 1996, Silva has risen to become not only a great fighter at 32-10-1 (1 NC), but also a great leader and teacher, starting his own fight team (Wand) in Las Vegas, Nev.

Bisping, on the other hand, began his professional career in 2004 at Pride & Glory 2: Battle of the Ages, in which he won the fight in 0:38 with an armbar over Steve Matthews (2-4-0). Since then, Bisping has generated an 18-2 record – his only losses occurring within the past two years. He was undefeated with a record of 14-0 until a loss to Rashad Evans (14-1-1) in 2007 at UFC 78 on a split decision.

More recently, Bisping, also known as “The Count,” added his only other loss against United States wrestling specialist Dan Henderson. Prior to the fight, which occurred at UFC 100 in Las Vegas, Nev., Bisping and Henderson squared off in a different venue: The Ultimate Fighter: United States vs. United Kingdom. Bisping coached the UK’s team, as he grew up in Clitheroe, Lancashire.

In a fight with implications of a shot at Anderson Silva for the Middleweight Championship Belt, Bisping looked to improve his record to 15-1 and contendership, but Henderson had other plans. In what seemed to be an evenly matched first round, both fighters exchanged blows using their hands and feet, which is not surprising, beings that Bisping’s style indicates a background in kickboxing, BJJ and Muay Thai.

By the end of the round, it was quite obvious that Wolfslair MMA Academy’s own, Bisping, was fatigued, and at 3:20 in the second round, after another match of punches and kicks from both fighters, Henderson landed two big punches to defeat Bisping via an absolutely ruthless knockout.

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Bisping would rebound nicely, as he ventured off to his homeland of England where he would face off against Canadian BJJ specialist Denis Kang at UFC 105 in Manchester.

The fight would win Fight of the Night honors, and featured a much different Bisping. Contrary to Bisping’s prior fight, his opponent gained complete control of the first round, mounting Bisping twice in the early-going.

Bisping followed with a statement kick to the head, which grazed Kang, and then followed up with two of his own takedowns. After a few jabs and another takedown, Bisping mounted Kang and finished him off with punches and knees. The referee stopped the fight at 4:24 of the second round, declaring Bisping the winner by TKO.

So, will Silva’s quick and aggressive Muay Thai and BJJ style, paired with the extra eight years of professional experience, bode well for the 18-2 Bisping? Bisping certainly thinks so, especially after tweaking his defensive posture, according to an interview on Bisping’s website.

Bisping vs Silva (mmafight.com)

“I’ve been working a lot of my defense, obviously since the Dan Henderson fight,” he commented. “I had no choice. I got knocked out there, and I’m not in a rush for that to happen again. I’ve been working on my defense, and I’ve got no qualms standing with Wanderlei.”

UFC 110 will air on February 21, 2010, and we will find out if Bisping has what it takes to handle a veteran and rank among the top middleweights in the world.

Velasquez, Rising Up the Ranks

Cain Ramirez Velasquez, one of  the UFC’s rising stars in the now stacked heavyweight division, looks to prove himself as a top contender for the title with a win this Saturday at UFC 110.

Cain Velasquez

The main event of UFC 110 will feature Velasquez, 27, facing off against Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira (32-5-1, 1 NC) in Sydney, Australia.  Velasquez holds a perfect professional MMA record of 7-0, with six of his wins coming by way of knockout or TKO.  He holds a 5-0 record in UFC competition.

Velasquez first developed his strong wrestling base at Kofa High School, located in Yuma, AZ, where he became a two-time 5A state champion.  He went on to become a two-time All American collegiate wrestler at Arizona State and a Junior College National Champ at Iowa Central Community College.

As an American MMA fighter based out of California, Velasquez strongly embraces and takes pride in his Mexican descent.  He is currently fighting out of American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, CA.

Velasquez’s lone decision victory came in his fight against French kickboxing ace Cheick Kongo (14-6-1) on June 13 at UFC 99. Velasquez dominated the fight on the ground scoring a unanimous decision: 30-26, 30-27, 30-25.

Despite the one-sided nature of the judges’ scores, the fight did reveal weaknesses in Velasquez’s game and was perhaps his only professional MMA fight to do so.  He was caught with big shots, which seemingly hurt him and forced him to go for the takedown at the beginning of each round.

This demonstrated a weakness of Velasquez leaving himself too open to strikes while looking for the takedown, or poor striking defense in the stand-up in general.  However Velasquez weathered Kongo’s devastating blows and took the upper hand, which demonstrated a phenomenal chin.

In his next fight Velasquez ran through a top-level opponent and showed unquestionable progression as a complete MMA fighter.  Velasquez took down Ben Rothwell (30-7) with seemingly little effort and battered him on the the ground  for a TKO victory on October 24 at UFC 104.

Velasquez controlled Rothwell on the ground and in the clinch, reigning down blows until the fight was stopped in the second round (0:58).  Rothwell had very little response or defense to Velasquez’s game plan.

Velasquez’s strong wrestling skills were undoubtedly the most pivotal part of his game in his last two octagon appearances.  However, his takedown offense and strong ground game may not be as relevant in his upcoming fight, as they may present dangerous situations for him against submission specialist Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira.

Nogueira holds a black belt in both brazilian jiu jitsu and judo.  Velasquez holds just a purple belt in brazilian jiu jitsu.  Nogueira’s technical ground game and particularly his strong submission skills will pose a challenge to Velasquez’s wrestling game.

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Of Nogueira’s 31 career wins, 20 have come by way of submission.  Velasquez will likely break away from his normal game plan and possibly even change his training regiment in order to counter this threat.  It would not be out of the ordinary to see a stand up battle between two ground experts.

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Another title shot for Nogueira reigns possible

As Ultimate Fighting Championship hits Australia for the first time viagra cheap at UFC 110 on Feb. 20, 2010, heavyweight Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira looks to add his 33rd win in MMA competition.

Nogueira vs Velasquez will occur at UFC 110

Nogueira (32-5-1, 1 NC), 33, represents Brazil as he takes a trip to Sydney to highlight the main card at UFC 110 against undefeated heavyweight United States figher Cain Velasquez (7-0-0).

Despite Velasquez’ winning record and fierce wrestling style, Nogueira, also known as Minotauro, brings experience to the table with a black belt in both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Judo.

Although Nogueira only has five losses, one of those losses came in one of his last two bouts, and was not pretty for the Vitoria da Conquista, Brazil native. UFC 92 (12-27-2008) in Las Vegas, Nev. marked the end of a reign for Minotauro. When 3-1 underdog Frank Mir took the octagon, he immediately took control of the fight, knocking down Nogueria twice with boxing moves. In the second round, Nogueria tried to establish his jabs, but Mir continued to land the big shots, finishing off with back-to-back left hands and the referee stopping the fight. With 1:54 in the second round, Nogueria lost the bout and the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship.

Nogueira would fare better in his next fight, which occurred Aug. 29, 2009 at UFC 102. The event would have taken place about one year earlier had Randy Couture not retired in Oct. 2007. In the meantime, Nogueira would win the UFC Interim Heavyweight Championship and become the first fighter to ever hold both PRIDE and UFC belts.

Couture and Nogueira squared off in what would be known as the “loser’s bracket” of the UFC’s mini heavyweight tournament. However, the fight also highlighted the event, being named “Fight of the Night” when all was said and done.

Couture opened the fight strong with some great avoidance and defensive tactics to remain in the stand up game. Eventually, Nogueira’s fists took advantage, taking Couture to the ground and allowing him to get a tight brabo choke on Couture. The second round saw Couture in one of his weaker states, the half guard, for most of the round. Finally, things slow down as Nogueira slowed down his offensive attacks in round three. Despite Couture’s late round efforts with some ground blows, it was not enough. Nogueira took the fight with a unanimous decision: 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.

Looking towards UFC 110, Nogueira sees that a win will likely earn him the right for a future title bout – an honor that his undefeated opponent, Velasquez, will not let go easily. Velasquez has built a reputation to be one of the most talked about heavyweights in the mixed martial arts world, today.

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If Velasquez has any chance of winning this fight, it is with a technical and sound game. Nogueira on the other hand would be best suited to stick to his normal routine, where he has proven that he can win over 80-percent of the time.

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