Takedowns in MMA

Posted: April 20, 2013 in Articles
Tags: , , , , , ,

A takedown is the technique of getting your opponent off balance and taking them to the ground, generally landing on top. This is most often done by taking their legs out from under them after driving in like a football tackle. This is known as “shooting”.

Other takedowns include body locks and leg trips. These are also used frequently but you are most likely going to see a fighter “shoot” for the takedown rather then attempt a leg trip.

GSP’s takedowns are nothing unique. They are very explosive but they are still just a takedown. GSP focuses on making his opponents off balance before attempting the takedowns. He baits them into thinking they are having a striking contest and he shoots in. A good example of this is when he fought Thiago Alves. GSP threw an out of range jab so Alves would lean back to avoid it and he capitalized on Alves off balance position and drove in for a successful takedown.

Jon Jones is an entirely different animal. He uses a lot of clinch takedowns, throws and leg trips. Having the size,strength and technique advantage helps too. He dislocated Hamills shoulder with a leg trip, and a good one at that. Hamill flipped near upside down, landing on and dislocating his shoulder. This of course led to Jones illegal elbows and his only loss.

Judo is not a big part in MMA because it doesnt translate well into it. A few have failed to stay at the top using this art. The one person who has been continuously successful with Judo is Ronda Rousey. Ronda uses hip throws and leg trips to get her opponents to the mat and then its the same old story. Rousey doesn’t have much in the way of striking offense or defense, so her judo has been the deciding factor in every fight.

Josh Thomson uses a leg trip that I never see coming. Since it is successful most of the time, I guess his opponents don’t either. He used it most recently in the later rounds of Melendez 3 and is successful, it also secures the round for him.

Scoring takedowns in MMA is a controversial subject that always seems to end in argument. Some say if you can put your opponent on his back and nullify him, you deserve the round. Others say holding is not winning.

Cain Velasquez is known for his relentless takedowns and ground-and-pound. Never a dull fight, he doesn’t give his opponent a second to breathe. Wrestlers such as Ben Askren, Jon Fitch and occasionally GSP are hated due to their “blanket” style, keeping the opponent warm until the buzzer sounds. They have had fighters so gassed by Round 3 yet refuse to go for the sub. It is fighters like these that cause the arguments. They will be losing the battle on the feet,drag the opponent down and keep them there for the majority of the round. When the opponent finally gets back up, they go for an immediate takedown.

I can only imagine the hardship for the judges. I’ve always wondered what their criteria is for takedowns.

Many fighters complain about the decisions. “I guess a couple BS takedowns go a long way!” In the end, this is the fight game and if you have something that works..use it.

MMA INVASION

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