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Takedowns in MMA

Posted: April 20, 2013 in Articles
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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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TRT is prescribed to lessen the effects or delay the effects of male aging.

Sonnen, Henderson, Rampage,Mir, Duffee, Marquardt,Griffin and now Vitor use it off the top of my head.

Mir,Duffee,Marquardt,Griffin are some of the bigger men in their weight classes.

Frank Mir claimed to have testosterone problems after building that 30lbs of muscle in 4 months. He built the muscle because he wanted to close the weight gap VS the 265ers.

Todd Duffee is a tank and one of the biggest men in the UFC. When you see him, you immediately think of steroids. He was approved for TRT after the record setting KO in his UFC debut.

Why these guys need TRT is beyond me. If they’re bodies can’t produce proper levels, how did they get so jacked? You could make the assumption that it is all steroid related.

Correct if I’m wrong here because I’m not a doctor but when one uses steroids for an increased period of time, their body stops producing as much testosterone because it’s coming in from an unknown source. Your body will get confused and raise estrogen levels causing an imbalance. When you stop the steroid cycle, your regular testosterone doesn’t show up to play.

Marquardt  refused a pre-fight blood test in 2011 even after getting his Testosterone Use Exemption. He came out later saying he was privately getting TRT. He was also cut from the UFC in 2005 for using nandrolone in his debut. After fighting Woodley, Marquardt was asked about his TRT and he said he was not on it anymore. How can you not be on it anymore if you took it in the first place because your body stopped producing correct amounts. I figured it was a life choice.

Same deal with Sonnen. It isn’t mentioned until he manhandles Silva for 4.5 rounds and hits a 7:1 test ratio. Sonnen claims if he stops taking it, he dies. This is much different than the above Marquardt statement. Same treatment, completely different outcome.

Quentin Jackson began using it before UFC 144. His quote on the subject was “I started hitting it up pretty good, I still gotta take care of my knee but I feel like a 25 year old again.”

Dan Henderson started getting Testosterone Replacement Therapy back in ’07 just before his UFC Debut. This probably is a link to male aging but I feel if you can’t compete naturally then stop competing. I do not wish championship status on Hendo because he is a fighter who has been honing his skills for 15 years and is now taking something to make him feel 25.

Vitor Belfort, who tested positive for 4-hydroxytestosterone after Pride 32, recieved a TRT exemption for the Bisping fight! BIggest Middleweight ever!

Michael Bisping has had 3 #1 contender bouts in his UFC career. All 3 were losses against TRT users; Chael Sonnen,Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson.

For all I know, TRT affects everyone differently. It hasn’t seemed to help out Forrest Griffin in the least but as stated above,users seem to be the bigger fighters in his division.

The synthetic testosterone used for TRT can be cycled just like a steroid. You just have to come down by fight time. Sonnen and Marquardt failed to do so.

I’m calling it now. Alistair Overeem applies for a testosterone use exemption in late 2013.

That’s my 2 cents.

Heres some TRT users for you. Vitor’s is a before and after.

MIR TRTNATE TRT  VITOR TRT

Demian Maia fighting at Welterweight

Maia came into his fight with one thing on his mind; submitting Jon Fitch. Fitch has possibly the best sub defense in the world and Demian Maia spend 3 rounds trying to break it. Maia spent 15 minutes clinging to Jon Fitch like extra strength velcro, but it seems Jon Fitch is a safe that can not be cracked. Maia completely nullfied Jon Fitch’s game plan, getting  himself the unanimous decision and is now part of the very few men to beat Jon Fitch.

Alistair Overeem is not a Legend

Bigfoot Silva VS Alistair Overeem was supposed to happen in Strikeforce, but when the fight got pushed forward a week, it interfered in Overeem’s “schedule”. After failing a surprise drug test and hitting a testosterone level of 14:1, Alistair was suspended for a year regardless of “not knowing it was put in his system”. During his suspension, Overeem went on a “Clean Fighter” rant and submitted repeated clean tests. After his suspension was up, this matchup was put together. Overeem came into it with considerably less muscle definition, less punching power and a cocky defense. He was efficiently put in his place with a flurry 25 seconds into round 3. The legend is no more and the UFC’s Top Heavyweights can happily carry on without him. Let’s have Junior Dos Santos check that chin if he wants a comeback fight. Joe Silva, make it happen!

Rashad Evans’ Gameplan

I don’t know what Rashad Evans’ gameplan was, but I assumed he would come in with the same plan Ryan Bader and Phil Davis used to best Nog; striking mixed with constant takedowns. This was not the case. Evans’ boxing was very sloppy and uncoordinated. He tried to counter Rogerio’s jab with his own so many times that Nog started to see it coming. He continuously backed up instead of weaving and ate a bunch of straights for his troubles.

The point of weaving is to get around your opponents strike and leave them wide open for a counter.  There were many opportunities for Rashad to use a weave to close the distance. He chose to once, got inside the pocket, but never capitalized on it.

He went for 3 takedowns that I noticed and did not mix striking into their set up causing them to be very telegraphed and basically stuffed. Huge credit to Rogerio Nogueira for getting a W over Rashad but I’m pretty sure Jon Jones broke his will. The Evans that showed up tonight would’ve been easily KOed by Anderson.

Aldo and Edgar

This Super Fight played out much differently than I had imagined. I expected Jose Aldo to take out Frankie Edgar in the 1st or 2nd round but the uppercut finish never came. Instead, Frankie went toe to toe with Jose Aldo, without the hesitation that other fighters have shown. I expected a split decison but in the Judges’ eyes, Aldo got the better of Edgar for four of the rounds. Four 10-9’s was enough for him to keep his Featherweight Title away from Frankie Edgar. Most thought the fight was much closer than that.

Where does Edgar go after losing his 3rd straight title fight in a row? He could make Featherweight his new home and climb to an Aldo rematch or he could go back to Lightweight. Either way, he was very upset at the post fight interview.  I hope he isn’t contemplating retirement because I can’t think of any Jose Aldo fight where I wasn’t sure if he won or not.

I don’t think many are left for Jose Aldo at Featherweight. I can think of 3 men; Ricardo Lamas, Dustin Poirier and Chan Sung Jung. If Aldo can get past them, he should move to Lightweight.

That’s UFC 156 for you! Here come 157!

ALDO EDGAR MMA INVASION BREAKDOWN

Photo courtesy of http://www.sherdog.com

Frank Mir seems to have a curse following him. Any fighter who gives him a loss gets one of their own and caliber and talent do not seem to be a factor. If you handle Frank Mir, you get handled. This curse has destroyed prospects and champions alike. Here’s the breakdown.

Ian Freeman finishes Frank Mir and gets knocked out cold by Andre Arlovski in his next bout, 1 minute into the 1st round.

Wes Sims finishes Frank Mir, bringing his record to 6-1. He loses his next 4 of 5 fights and is cut from the UFC.

Marcio Cruz beats Frank Mir and loses his next two fights, snapping his undefeated record.

Seconds before Brandon Vera finishes Frank Mir with a knee uppercut combo, the commentator speaks of his very promising future. Vera goes on to lose his next 3 of 4 fights.

Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar knockout Frank Mir and fight each other. Carwin destroys Lesnar in the 1st round and Lesnar comes back and embarrasses Carwin in the 2nd with a sloppy arm triangle. The curse applies to the losing fighter in each round.

Junior Dos Santos‘ last victim of his reign of terror before receiving a one-sided beatdown via Velasquez was Frank Mir.

Daniel Cormier has called out Frank Mir and the two will officially fight at UFC ON FOX 7. Let’s see if the curse holds up.

MMA INVASION FRANK MIR

Anthony Pettis finishes Donald Cerrone

Despite Donald’s impressive record, Pettis finished him like a nobody. Just after the 2 minute mark, Cerrone was folded over by repeated body kicks and dropped to his knees. The only other time Donald Cerrone has been stopped was back in 2010, at WEC 48, by a Benson Henderson guillotine-choke. As soon as the referee stopped the fight, Dana White tweeted “Pettis =AMAZING!!!! Ok I’m sold”. I think someone’s getting a Title Shot.

The dismantling of Rampage Jackson

Glover Teixeira is not well known to the casual MMA fan, but believe me, this man is a wrecking machine. Sporting a record of 20-2, his corner’s gameplan was to take Rampage down. Ignoring the advice of UFC’s Chuck Liddell in his corner, Glover wanted to stand with Quentin and stand he did. Teixeira had Jackson on the run for a large portion of the fight, landing a whopping 103 strikes to Jackson’s 54. Though Glover succeeded in all 5 of his takedowns, the story of the fight was how many times he staggered the former King of the Light Heavyweight Division. Say what you want about Quentin Jackson, but he is a survivor. I’d like to see Glover Teixeira get a step up in competition. A fight with Alexander Gustafsson would be a good test, and if he finishes that, give him Rashad Evans.

Ryan Bader’s finish of Vladimir Matyushenko

Ryan Bader had a lightning fast guillotine-choke finish against Vladimir Matyushenko, just before the 1 minute mark. He proceeded to call out Shogun in the post-fight interview. This is a smart move by Bader, as far as trying to keep up in the ranking. Shogun’s weakness is wrestlers with a heavy top game. I don’t see Ryan Bader making a successful Light Heavyweight Title run either way. He is destined for the middle ground.

Ricardo Lamas finishes Eric Koch

After a close first round that probably went to the bigger Koch, Lamas opened him up with an elbow and administered some ugly ground-and-pound for the TKO finish. I don’t hear this guy’s name much but let’s go over his fights since his UFC debut. He is the only man to beat Cub Swanson in the UFC. Cub went on to amass a 3 fight KO streak and is being considered the next challenge to Featherweight King, Jose Aldo. Ricardo then defeated Featherweight contender,  Hatsu Hioki, by Unanimous Decision. Hioki was offered a shot at Aldo previous to this fight but chose Lamas instead.  Eric Koch was set to face Jose Aldo but had to drop out due to injury. Ricardo Lamas seems to be the #1 contender killer and nobody is noticing. Give him Jose Aldo!

Jon Fitch VS Demian Maia at UFC 156

We will have to see if the old Fitch or the New shows up for UFC 156. Discussed in my previous entry “Highlights of 2012”, Jon Fitch came into his fight with Erick Silva as a new fighter. He went for the finish more then once and put on a relentless, awesome show. It looks like that punch from Hendricks woke him up. This will also be Maia’s biggest test at Welterweight. He has been nothing but dominant since his Welterweight debut, finishing Rick Story and Hyun Kim in the first round. This is the fight I’ll be waiting for.

Alistair Overeem being a clean fighter

I’d like to see if Alistair “I am a clean fighter” Overeem shows up at 265lbs. If he beats Bigfoot Silva, I’ll talk Velasquez VS Overeem.

Overeem-Timeline1

Lets call this timeline…questionable.

Alistair Overeem after winning K-1 “I am a legeeeeend!”

EDIT: OVEREEM AT UFC 156 WEIGH INS VS UFC 141 WEIGH INS!

[IMG][IMG]

Alistair Overeem has lost most of his muscle definition. He longer has the solid abs and pecks. Also, his face holds more fat.

That’s what to watch for in the UFC of 2013!

MMA INVASION

Chan Sung Jung VS  Dustin Poirier

This Fight of The Night was a back and forth battle of pure technique. The 1st round was close with the 2nd being all Jung. The 3rd looked like Dustin had turned the tables on “The Korean Zombie” by working his jab and range but Jung took control with a flurry before the round ended. The 4th saw Jung land some solid strikes followed by a flying knee that dropped Poirier long enough to lock up a D’Arce choke causing Poirier to pass out because he didn’t tap. Could this be the man to challenge Aldo?

Joe Lauzon’s Fight of The Nights

Lauzon had 2 Fight of The Night bonuses this year against  Jamie Varner and Jim Miller. The Varner fight had both men wobbling one another repeatedly in between submission attempts. Varner taps to a triangle after over committing to a takedown late in the 3rd.

The Jim Miller fight had blood. Lots of blood. Miller owns the first 3 minutes with strikes and flurries. After the 1st flurry he tries to secure a standing arm triangle. At this point, blood POURS out of Joe Lauzon’s forehead and he is checked on as soon as they break apart. The gash on his forehead is massive but the medical examiner let’s them go. The 2nd round is a back and forth ground battle with the 3rd being all Miller until the last 15 seconds where Lauzon tries to lock in a flying ankle lock and changes to a guillotine-choke. As the buzzer sounds, Miller can be seen taking a deep breath and saying “Oh Sh*t”.

Jon Fitch VS Erick Silva

I don’t know if this is on anyone else’s list but if you want to watch a Jon Fitch fight, watch this one. Fitch actually did something beside wrestling his opponent for 3 rounds. The rumour at the time was that Jon Fitch was broke. I’d assume he doesnt get paid too great because a Jon Fitch fight is nearly impossible to sell.

Jon started off with a takedown and it began to look like an average Fitch fight but once Silva got to his feet, the clinch was initiated and Fitch started throwing uppercuts and knees. Good ones at that. They fight for a dominant position against the cage and Silva breaks away but eats a right from Fitch that wobbles him. Fitch gets the takedown and the round ends with him throwing punches from back control.

Round 2 starts as a brawl after a missed backfist by Erick Silva. Fitch gets the better of the exchange until Silva executes a beautiful trip and gets back side control. Silva pounds on Fitch until a reversal to stuffed takedown has both men back up. Fitch gets cage control only to have Erick Silva slip behind,gain back control once again and almost submit Fitch with a rear naked choke. Fitch hasn’t been submitted since his very first professional fight over ten years ago and is still holding strong. Fans and commentators alike thought the choke was sunk but Fitch unhinged the arm from around his neck.  Jon escapes and starts with some ground-and-pound to back control to an armbar. He has it locked in but the buzzer sounds to signal the round end. Jon Fitch has been known to win on points and never go for finishes. I guess Jon “Broke” Fitch is a better fighter than the one who’s been fighting for 10 years.

Round 3 is all Jon Fitch. A brutal ground-and-pound beating that makes it to full mount. Erick Silva escapes with 10 seconds left but mounts no offense.

Knockouts of the Year

I’m giving Knock Out of The Year to 3 fighters. Jose Aldo, Edson Barboza and Anthony Pettis.

Barboza KOed Terry Etim with a beautiful wheel kick. The only wheel kick KO ever in the UFC.

Photo courtesy of http://www.mmajunkie.com

Aldo KOed Chad Mendes with a knee to the face to stop a takedown.

Pettis landed a brutal headkick on Joe Lauzon and put him out.

Submissions of The Year

The sub of the year is the one that makes you cringe! Here we go.

ROUSEY ARMBAR

Ronda Rousey’s armbar on Meisha Tate takes Submission of The Year in my books.

OLIVIERA SUB

Charles Oliveira’s calf slicer on Eric Wisely. Feel the pain.

Biggest Upset of The Year

Jamie Varner’s TKO victory in round 1 over the undefeated Edson Barboza. Fight fans alike thought this would be another highlight reel KO for Edson Barboza. It was a highlight reel KO for sure, just not for Barboza.

The bout started with Edson Barboza throwing some damaging leg kicks at Jamie Varner. Varner caught one of Edson’s many kicks and took him to the ground administering savage ground-and-pound. Barboza made it to his feet only to eat two solid right hands and drop to the canvas. A few more Varner punches and Mazagatti had seen enough.

Jamie Varner’s post fight comment – “Im back!”

HAPPY NEW YEAR AND ENJOY 2013!

MMA INVASION

HENDRICKS

The definition of One Punch Power is to be able to knock your opponent out cold with a single punch. None of this dropping them to one knee trying to finish stuff. I’m talking about one huge right hand that puts them out cold and on their face. A pile of MMA fighters have this quality and it has kept their careers going.

Here’s a list off the top of my head;

Junior Dos Santos, Shane Carwin, Dan Henderson, Mark Hunt, Chris Leben,Daniel Cormier, Quentin Jackson, Alistair Overeem, Jake Ellenberger, Johnny Hendricks, Glover Teixeira, Chuck Liddell, Vitor Belfort, Melvin Guillard and Paul Daley.

The above list have made a career out of their punching power. Dan Henderson, Roy Nelson, Shane Carwin and Vitor Belfort basically just aim their right hand and land the KO. One hit KO power is the only reason these four keep getting the W.

Other fighters with very little KO power such as Edgar,Fitch or Maynard have to rely more so on other techniques rather than the 1 well aimed punch and its had them on the wrong end of some decisions.

The Championship level seems to be all about knockout power. Santos,Jones,Silva,GSP,Henderson,Aldo.

Though GSP and Benson aren’t knocking people out these days, GSP has his lunging jab sending people airbourne and Benson scores plenty of knockdowns. Santos,Jones,Silva and Aldo are all finishers mostly by strikes. Johnny Hendricks isnt in the Champion list but he has knocked out his last 2 opponents in 1 punch. 2 excellent chins in Kampmann and Fitch.One day he might even be champion. You never know.

Do you have punching power?

MMA INVASION