Posts tagged: arm bar

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 RivaA�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.

YouTube Preview Image

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.

YouTube Preview Image

Webb’s Pick: Submission of the Year

Arm bar. Guillotine. Kimura. Crucifix Neck Crank.

If you’re a fan of mixed-martial arts, these words are music to your ears; for these are among the greatest submission holds that a viewer can view and a fighter can perform. Not all submissions receive acclaim, however. Thus, I present my pick for submission of the year. I have taken into account the fighters, the stages and the circumstances of the fight. And the winner is…(drum roll)…

YouTube Preview Image

Rear naked choke. UFC 101. A fight for the Lightweight belt. Bad news for Kenny Florian, great news for you. Let me tell you why.

B.J. Penn had it all. That also meant he had it all to lose. Born in Hawaii, Penn trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Ralph Gracie, the Brazilian martial artist known not so affectionately as “Pitbull,” and only gained ground from there. In 2000, he became the first American-born winner of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship in the black-belt category. Penn received his first MMA championship in 2004 at UFC 46. Penn jumped up in weight classes to challenge the five-time defending UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes to fill a title contention slot.A� Heavily favored to win,A� Hughes lost the fight four minutes into the first round by what would become one of Penn’s signature moves, the rear naked choke.

Penn lost the title in 2006 when Georges St. Pierre defeated him by unanimous decision for the welterweight title. By 2008, Penn had thought his career as an MMA fighter was coming to an end. He had plenty of wins under his belt, but the losses were starting to mount. A stint on The Ultimate Fighter 5 as a coach helped boost public appearance, but Penn missed his fighting days. Determined to prove to himself and the world that his reign wasn’t over, Penn stayed at lightweight to challenge Joe Stevenson at UFC 80 for UFC Lightweight Champion. And guess what? Penn won. He became only the second person to win a title in two different weight classes (the other being the immaculate Randy Couture).

Kenny Florian only had seven fights under his belt prior to his fight at UFC 101. Penn had thirty-three. Penn had everything to lose in this fight. It was a crucial part of his comeback: defending the title. Being what Sherdog and MMAWeekly calls the best lightweight fighter in the world, Penn deserved this win after four long rounds.A� Winning two titles in two different weight classes is one thing. Defending that title and defending it successfully, well, that’s something that I deem worthy of submission of the year.

McLovin’ the Heat in UFC 106

UFC 106, set for November 21, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada, will host a battle at welterweight up for much discussion.A� Dustin a�?McLovina��a�? Hazelett (12-4) will fight Armenian Karo a�?The Heata�? Parisyan (18-5).

Parisyana��s last contest, in UFC 94, was determined a�?No Contesta�? by NSAC after he tested positive for banned painkillers during a drug screening post-fight.A� Parisyan stated that he had a prescription for the drugs due to back and hamstring injuries.A� Prior to this overturn, he won with a split decision over Kim Dong-hyun of South Korea.

Because of his hearing which ruled the decision a�?No Contesta�? and suspended Parisyan for nine months, Hazelett will be his first match up since the incident.A� Can Parisyan come back with enough strength to pick up a win, fair and square?A� Or will Hazelett prove to be the better man after his last match up?

Hazelett last faced off against Tamdan McCrory in UFC 91.A� Hazelett won by submission using a painful-looking reverse arm bar.The match is shown below.A� Watch as Hazelett uses his legs and arms to secure McCrory’s arm and then begin twisting it until he submits.

YouTube Preview Image

He was set to fight in UFC 96 but had to withdraw because of an injury.A� He will return to the octagon in his match up against Parisyan.A� Can Hazelett set himself up for an arm bar, a popular move winning him submissions in the past? Or will Parisyan have a few tricks up his sleeve to prevent it?

Both fighters have 9 wins by submission and have gone almost a year without a fight.A� This fight will be particularly interesting to see whose comeback can win the match.A� Parisyan will have to watch Hazeletta��s arm bar as it has won him Submission of the Night honors in past match ups including in UFC 91.A� Hazelett might have to watch as Parisyan has the stamina to last an entire match.A� They two will prove to be a solid match in UFC 106 this November.

WordPress Themes