Archive for December, 2009

UFC 107

Tuesday, December 15th, 2009

UFC 107 contained some very strong submissions, stunning knock-outs and so-so fighting:

Frank Mir versus Cheick Kongo – Mir struck Kongo, partially putting Kongo out and then, from his back, applied a front guillotine. Mir had to tell Herb Dean that Kongo was unconscious. Dean lifted one of Kongo’s arms and watched it fall.Hadaka Jime – Front Naked Choke

When Kenny Florian fought Clay Guida, Florian struck a left and right and Guida went down. Florian grapevined him and applied a rear naked choke. Hadaka Jime – Rear Naked Choke

Damarques Johnson almost lost his match against Edgar Garcia when Garcia applied what is commonly called a Peruvian Necktie, a variation of a front guillotine. In this case, Garcia had his head to the floor, face down, and his legs at Johnson’s upper chest. Johnson fought the choke amazingly and managed to escape it. Later in the round, Johnson applied his own choke, Sankaku Jime – Triangle Choke, from the guard. He first up-kicked Garcia’s head, rocking him, and grabbing an arm, did a figure-of-four with the legs and Garcia tapped out. Submission of the Night.

The Knock Out of the Night went to T. J. Grant in his bout against Kevin Burns. Burns came close to knocking Grant out early in the round, but just before the buzzer for the end of round 1, Grant kneed Burns several times and then struck him on the jaw to knock him to the ground. Grant jumped on Burns and struck him four more times.

The B. J. Penn match against Diego Sanchez had the potential for fantastic ground game. Penn almost ended the match seconds on as he rocked Sanchez with a heavy strike, just as Joe Rogan talked about Penn’s striking abilities. He rocked Sanchez again near the end of the round. Sanchez was determined to take Penn to the ground, but Penn stuffed every attempt, and there were many – so many that the audience booed eventually. The single-leg take down attempts were consistently unsuccessful, but Sanchez continued to try them.

By the fifth round, Sanchez had many facial wounds, one of which was a vertical cut on the bottom lip. As with all the other rounds, Sanchez tried the single leg take down. He also dropped, but Penn sprawled his way out of the take down. When standing, Penn threw a kick to Sanchez’s face, striking him on the left forehead. This opened a huge gash, causing blood to gush down his body. TKO referee stoppage.

The Fight of the Night was a slugfest between Alan Belcher and Wilson Gouveia who stood toe-to-toe trading heavy strikes until a right upper cut by Belcher knocked Gouveia out.

My Opinion: If I were awarding the Fight of the Night, I would have given it to Johnson and Garcia. The men showed a variety of skills, standing and ground, were evenly matched and had an exciting bout. After Garcia struck Johnson successfully several times, Johnson actually gave kudos to his opponent during the match. It was fun to watch.

ayjay

December 15, 2009

How To Escape from Kata Gatame – Escape #1

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

In a previous article I talked about How To Do Kata Gatame – Shoulder Lock or Hold/Arm Triangle. This article will cover the first Escape from Kata Gatame, a seemingly easy manoeuvre which very few people attempt. 

Assume someone has you in Kata Gatame:

1) Grasp your own trapped arm, with your free hand, at or above the elbow. (Note: you may have to suffer a few seconds with the hold/choke.)

2) Still grasping your arm, push against your opponent’s body with your trapped arm. Simultaneously, bend your knees and “walk” yourself away from your opponent. You will not be moving him if his hold on you is strong, but you will be able to move yourself a bit. This will enable you to generate some space between your trapped arm, your neck, and his shoulder, giving you the opportunity to breathe a little easier and work toward the next part of the escape. In addition, your walking away from him will cause his body to flatten out making it even more difficult for him to continue the ground hold.

3) Now that you have created the small gap between your arm and his trapezoid and shoulder, while continuing to push against your opponent with your previously trapped arm, use your free arm to grab your opponent’s elbow (the elbow of the arm which is under your neck). Vigorously and quickly pull it over your own head to escape. 

4) After you have removed his arm from around your neck, roll into your own ground hold or arm bar (our video shows waki gatame – armpit arm lock).

Click here to see the video of How to Escape from Kata Gatame – Shoulder Lock or Hold/Arm Triangle – Escape #1.

Click here to see the video of Escape #2 from Kata Gatame

ayjay

December 11, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 Finale

Monday, December 7th, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 Finale proved to be a lot of fun – people with differing skill sets and nearly everyone at the top of their game.

If you remember Marcus Jones‘ tirade in the previous episode (click here to go to the details), it came as no surprise that Jones was to fight against Matt Mitrione. This bout was Mitrione’s debut in the UFC; Jones had a record of 4 and 2 coming in. Even though Jones was three inches taller, Mitrione had a two inch reach advantage.

Jones was on the attack from the start, grabbing Mitrione for take down after take down. At one point he attempted a guillotine, but Mitrione escaped. Mitrione, in response to the take downs, used the cage to stand up. In a clinch, Mitrione dealt shoulder shots, a high knee and a knee to the gut. The men traded jabs and the occasional knee, but Jones was the aggressor throughout the round with his many take downs.

Joe Rogan talked a bit about Jones’ stand up style, or lack thereof, and how elementary it was. Jones has been doing MMA for under three years, so everything is new. This limited experience with stand up fighting was a crucial aspect as round two began.  Jones rushed Mitrione and Mitrione did a straight right to Jones’ face. As Jones was falling, he followed up that shot with another. KO.

Frankie Edgar had the next fight against Matt Veach. Edgar is a freestyler and Veach, a brawler, with comparable records (Edgar 10-1, Veach 11-0). Although they were within a pound of each other, Veach looked much bigger, very muscular.

The bout was indicative of Veach’s strength: he picked Edgar up multiple times and slammed him to the floor. All that brute strength had its toll as Veach would take huge breaths when they were separated. Edgar tried his own take downs, but they were stuffed. Edgar went in for strikes, here and there, but Veach’s were far harder.

Round 2 had Veach trying for a single leg take down which Edgar stuffed. Both men used combination strikes until Edgar clipped Veach, causing Veach to drop to the floor. Edgar jumped on him, did some ground and pound and arear naked. Tap out. Fight of the Night.

The weirdest fight of the night was between Kimbo Slice and Houston Alexander. Alexander is known to be an extremely tough opponent, having decimated Keith Jardine in 48 seconds of round 1. Rogan said that Alexander’s tactic was to attack Slice’s lead leg, the one without the cartilage. In order to do this, Alexander circled the octagon, with Slice in the center, for basically the first round. Nothing happened for almost three minutes, save booing and boredom. Slice eventually moved in closer; Alexander did the occasional leg kick to Slice’s lead leg.

At the 2:10 mark, Slice managed a clinch and both men were striking. Slice connected, but Alexander went back to the leg kicks and circling.

Round 2 had Slice getting in closer and accomplishing a take down and full mount. Alexander stood up, but slipped, enabling Slice to grab him and do a huge, frightening body slam. Slice tried for a choke as well. He had another take down and did some ground and pound. When Alexander turned, Slice had his back and grapevined him, trying another choke. Kimbo Slice has some ground techniques. Nice.

All the while that Slice was trying new techniques (new to him), Alexander did the circling and leg kicks. Almost all the kicks were inside, but an outside leg kick in the third round took Slice’s leg out from under him. When on the ground, Slice was in control. Standing, Alexander did his kicks and Slice would come in to strike. Both men were slow to do anything in this round. Slice won by unanimous decision.

Alexander’s tactics to destroy Slice’s leg worked, but made for a boring fight; however, it was fun to see Slice with his new skill sets.

Mark Bocek fought against Joe Brammer in a lightweight match up. Bocek is a BJJ black belt with a record of 7-2 in the octagon. Most of his wins are by submission. Brammer was 7-0-1 coming in to this fight. He is a jeet kune do guy who favours chokes and unorthodox strikes.

Brammer started the match with two big kicks from the southpaw stance. Bocek almost immediately attempted a take down. When he succeeded, he grapevined Brammer in a body triangle. Brammer got to his feet, but Bocek remained on his back, getting his hooks in. Bocek (while on Brammer’s back, hooks still in, back to the cage) then began a rear naked choke. It didn’t look as though the arm was under the chin, but that Brammer’s head was cranked to the side, the jaw was trapped and the Bocek’s arm tightly around. Tap out.  Submission of the Night.

Matt Hammill‘s fight against Jon Jones promised good things: both were collegiate wrestlers (with Hammill on the Olympic team, I believe). Jones came in undefeated with an astounding 8 1/2 inch reach advantage. He also has fantastic spinning back fists and kicks.

Jones began with high head kicks; Hammill answered with low kicks and jabs. Hammill tried a take down, but Jones threw Hammill with an o soto gari, I think. He then had full mount and did some vicious ground and pound, striking from about 18 inches to Hammill’s face. Hammill did not attempt to lift his hips or shrimp out. His nose had a huge gash and blood was flowing into his eyes. As Jones continued the G and P, the referee jumped in to stop him – he had done a downward elbow strike to the face, which in UFC rules is illegal. One point was deducted and then the fight was deemed over as Hammill could not continue. Due to the illegal strike, Jones lost the match due to disqualification. To top it off, Hammill dislocated a shoulder during an exchange.

McSweeney and Schoonover, from The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10, had the next match. McSweeney showed far more abilities than in his fights during The Ultimate Fighter. He tried a rear naked choke when in the grapevine position, ground and pound during one of their sessions on the floor, a huge slam for a take down and strong kicks and knees from standing.  Schoonover is talented, but this was not to be his night. Although Schoonover countered with strikes, knees and kicks, rolled McSweeney, moved constantly when on the ground, McSweeney ended the match by a flying knee, head kick, right hand and knee to the face. Schoonover dropped.  TKO referee stoppage.

The semifinalists of The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10, Brendan Schaub and Roy Nelson, had their final bout. Schaub was the taller, by four inches. He had won all his previous matches by knock out. His background is tae kwon do, jiu jitsu and boxing, having been a Golder Gloves champion. Nelson is a black belt in jiu jitsu and the IFL heavyweight champion. His specialty is ground and pound.

The first round began with Nelson attempting a take down. Schaub answered with combos. Nelson did a little ankle throw when in the clinch and ended in Schaub’s half guard. He then tried an ude garami without success.

After Schaub got up, he throw a number of combinations, most connecting. Nelson countered and then threw an overhand right to Schaub’s left temple. Knock out. Knock out of the Night.

Nelson went into The Ultimate Fighter boasting of his abilities, although most of these guys do that. He bragged to White but White was “not impressed” until the semi final bout. Considering that Nelson is so experienced a fighter, despite his girth and his looking out of shape, it isn’t a surprise that he won overall.

ayjay

December 7, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 – Ep 11 – Pt 2 of 2

Friday, December 4th, 2009

The semi-finals matches for The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 were between Roy Nelson and James McSweeney and Brendan Schaub versus Marcus Jones.

Dana White said that Nelson had “impressed himself” with his bouts in The Ultimate Fighter. As for McSweeney, White said he was smaller than Nelson (but who isn’t?), but wants the win more and would outwork Nelson.

Rashad Evans commented that Nelson had pretty good stand up and great ground technique, whereas McSweeney had great stand up and not so great ground work.

Nelson’s preliminary bout had been with Kimbo Slice (click here to go to the article about this fight). His quarter final match was with Justin Wren (click here to go to that match).

McSweeney was at the center of the controversy in this episode. He wrote a derogatory comment on Zak Jensen’s head (Jensen was too trusting) and then blocked the bathroom door when Jensen was inside. Jensen told the camera that he was claustrophobic. When he was released from the bathroom, he went after McSweeney, who promptly put Jensen in a front guillotine.  Jensen is the fellow whom all the others had been picking on, who seems to lack social abilities. They even had a pool as to when he was going to go insane. McSweeney treated him poorly, probably thinking it was all a joke.

Click here to go to the articles about McSweeney’s preliminary and quarter final fights.

The semi-final between Nelson and McSweeney began with McSweeney applying a leg kick and Nelson’s countering with a strike. McSweeney changed stances, fired off kicks and strikes of his own. Nelson then rushed into McSweeney’s guillotine at the fence, but popped his head out.

McSweeney did some jabs and another leg kick and then started showboating, indicating to Nelson that Nelson should strike at his chin. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like this. The guy drops his hands, struts about, says, in effect, come on, try it. Well, as in all other cases, Nelson did — he hit McSweeney with a hard right and rocked him.

Nelson then slammed McSweeney to the ground and moved from half guard to side control. He used the same technique that defeated Slice, grabbed the far arm, put his giant, fat belly on the opponent’s upper torso and face, trapped the near arm under a leg and used his fist to apply feeble little punches to the bit of head that’s exposed (generally the top of the guy’s head which he has no ability to defend against)  — in this case twenty-two bops. TKO referee stoppage.

White said that Nelson finally impressed him. After McSweeney’s antics, I’m glad McSweeney lost.

The remaining bout was between Marcus Jones and Brendan Schaub. Both these guys had been professional football players, but approached MMA differently: Jones has only been in MMA for two years and is extremely competent on the ground. He is also bigger than most people. Schaub is a tae kwon do and jiu jitsu guy with strong boxing skills.

Evans talked about Schaub’s “explosive punches” and Schaub said he would just let his punches go on Jones. Jones planned to take Schaub to the ground and do ground and pound.

In both of Schaub’s previous matches, he was taken down and worked from the bottom (click here for Schaub’s matches — preliminary and quarter final). The quarter final match was ugly and he should have been penalized for grabbing of the fence and his opponent’s shorts.

Marcus Jones impressed everyone with his preliminary bout against Wessel and quarter final against Schoonover.

In this semi-final, Jones took Schaub down immediately after a strike. He then went from half guard to full mount. Schaub moved from the bottom, managing to return to half guard and then to get up. A knee by Jones looked as though it would end the match, but Schaub struck out with his right hand and Jones hit the ground. Six shots followed while Jones was on the mat and the match was over.

Rampage Jackson went into the octagon to see to Jones, probably the first time he did that for any of the people on his team. He told the camera that if he had been alone, he might well have wept over the loss.

The finals of The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 are on Spike on Saturday, the 5th of December, between Roy Nelson and Brendan Schaub.

ayjay

December 4, 2009

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 – Ep 11 – Pt 1 of 2

Thursday, December 3rd, 2009

Episode 11 of The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 contained the last two quarter finals matches between Matt Mitrione and James McSweeney and Marcus Jones versus Darrill Schoonover.

Although Dana White wanted Kimbo Slice to fight instead of Mitrione, Slice amazingly turned down the fight. His knee is missing cartilage and he refused to have injections to alleviate the pain.

Mitrione spoke with his doctor and told everyone that the doctor had OK’d his fight against McSweeney. Mitrione admitted to the camera that he’d played with McSweeney so that McSweeney wouldn’t know with whom he was fighting until the last minute. Schaub suggested that Mitrione’s unorthodox fighting style warranted some respect.

A major confrontation in this episode revolved around Mitrione: He had inadvertently poked Scott Junk in the eye during their preliminary match. The result was tears to Junk’s retina, requiring surgery. Also the doctor suggested that Junk’s MMA career would be over. When Marcus Jones heard this, he proceeded to go quietly berserk. By the time he saw Mitrione, he looked as though he was about to take Mitrione’s head off. (Mitrione didn’t have a clue what was causing Jones’ outrage, but didn’t back down either.) Jones was irrational and hysterical for some time, eventually calming down, partially due to Jackson‘s comments. (Junk was later given the news that he could fight in two months’ time, although the doctor did not recommend it.)

Dana White felt that Mitrione would win the bout against McSweeney if he fought as he did against Scott Junk. Click here to go to the article containing that fight(Mitrione versus Junk).

Click here to go to the article about McSweeney’s preliminary match with Wes Shivers.

Round 1 began with McSweeney applying a low leg kick. Mitrione followed up with right and left shots. The men were circling one another, with Mitrione looking for the opening. He caught one of McSweeney’s kicks and followed up with multiples strikes.

McSweeney used some combos and tried a take down. Mitrione dropped near the fence and, with McSweeney following him to the ground, attempted a leg lock.

McSweeney had side control and when Mitrione turned over and got up on his knees, McSweeney clung to his back. Mitrione began to stand, but McSweeney had his neck in an hadaka jime. My first comment was, “Don’t you tap out!” and Mitrione did! He didn’t attempt to move McSweeney’s arm or elbow, or his own head. He could have taken a fraction of a second with the choke on to try to escape. Oy.

The last quarter final match was between Marcus Jones and Darrill Schoonover. Jones is four inches taller and has a four inch reach advantage over Schoonover. Schoonover said that his plan was to get up immediately if taken down by Jones.

Click here to go to the article about Schoonover’s preliminary fight.

Click here to go to the article about Marcus Jones’ preliminary fight.

Round 1 had Jones beginning with a leg kick and an immediate take down. He obtained side control without difficulty and shoved his forearm into Schoonover’s face. He then took the leg closer to Schoonover’s head and placed it over Schoonover’s head (an interesting move – your opponent can’t move his head and you are in control of his upper body) and punched his head multiple times. Jones then tried an arm bar (ude garami/Kimura).

All this time Schoonover moved to his knees when able and then his back again. He went from full guard to rubber guard. Strangely, Jones let Schoonover get up and then pounded him on the ground again. Eventually Schoonover’s head bounced on the mat and he was out. Total domination.

Rashad Evans was gracious about Marcus Jones (who wasn’t on his team) and his abilities.  

The quarter finals are completed and now on to the semis for The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF 10. The semi-final matches are set between Nelson and McSweeney and Jones and Schaub.

ayjay

December 3, 2009

How To Do Kata Gatame – Shoulder Lock or Hold/Arm Triangle

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

Kata Gatame is commonly called shoulder lock or hold or, in recent years, arm triangle. When applied, it can be painful, can choke and smother, and can result in a tap out.

The basic ground hold is straightforward:

To do a right-sided kata gatame,

1) Place your right arm under uke’s head at the same time as you take his right arm and move it across his face.

2) Put your head down beside uke’s, as close to the floor as possible, holding his right arm in place.

3) Grasp your left hand with your right. Do not interlace your fingers. Place your left hand palm up and put your right hand into it. (You can also do the hand clasp which involves the right thumb between the first and second fingers of the left hand – a very strong grip.)

4) Bring your right knee up to his waist.

5) Post your left leg out straight (on your toes) about 90 degrees from uke’s body. The higher up toward his head you can get your leg, the less likely he is to be able to escape. Make sure that your butt is low to the ground. If you need to flatten your right leg, do so, but without moving the knee from the waist of your opponent. The objective is to hold your opponent securely and still have as much of your own body weight away from him to ensure that he cannot topple you.

6) Take your right arm and torque it such that the side of your wrist bone is jutting into his spine under his neck. This is where the pain comes in.

7) Maintaining a strong grip with your hands and arms, move your arms together toward the left just a few degrees and move your body forward into uke to tighten the hold.

Uke’s own right arm aids in blocking the carotid artery on the right side of his head. Your right bicep will block the left carotid. On occasion, you might find that uke cannot breathe because his arm is covering his mouth and nose.

If uke manages to move a bit to attempt an escape, move your body, changing leg positions if need be, but once you have control again, go back to the correct position.

Kata Gatame is one of the first ground holds we learn in judo and one of the most powerful.

Click here to go to our Traditional Kata Gatame video

Click here to go to our video showing a transition from Kesa Gatame to Kata Gatame

ayjay

December 2, 2009