Posts Tagged ‘juji gatame’

GSP vs Hardy UFC111 – Analysis of Juji Gatame Submission Attempt

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013
Georges St-Pierre won his championship match against Dan Hardy at UFC111, going the full five rounds and the decision awarded unanimously to GSP. Georges was disappointed in the win, though, because he had wanted to win by submission. He had tried a juji gatame (cross arm lock) at the end of round one and a Kimura (ude garami – entangled arm lock) in round three, neither of which were successful. In this article, I will dissect the juji gatame attempt to determine why it didn’t work and how to make it successful.

The juji gatame, ude hishigi juji gatame formally, is an armbar in which you as tori use your legs to control uke while you hyper-extend his elbow into an armbar. The juji can be accomplished from a variety of positions, from the ground, from standing, etc. In the case of this fight, the positions were classic with Hardy on his back on the floor and GSP at about 90 degrees from Hardy and on his back as well. The object is to apply pressure to the elbow, extending it to the point that you achieve a tap out. In order to get the arm bar, the pressure must be applied to the elbow and the arm must be straightened out completely. When we teach this technique, we talk about pointing the thumb to the sky. That position works for the most part, but there are some versions of juji in which that statement doesn’t apply. Tori must be aware of where uke’s elbow is and turn the arm such that the elbow is the joint that is having the torque placed to it. The elbow has to be against your body, the thumb away from your body. In GSP’s attempt at the juji gatame, Hardy managed to move his arm so that he could bend it.  GSP did not control Hardy’s upper body or his arm, so that eventually Hardy turned over and got free. 

Initially GSP had his left leg over Hardy’s face and the right leg over Hardy’s upper torso. GSP had Hardy’s right arm extended to the right maintaining grips on Hardy’s wrist and hand. This is the first screen shot of the position: 

juji1 - GSP attempts Juji Gatame on Dan Harding - UFC 111

juji1 - GSP attempts Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC 111

In the photo above, GSP has Hardy’s arm in the correct position, but the leg on Hardy’s face should be extended and be pushing down, squashing his face. But even more importantly, GSP should be squeezing his legs together around Hardy’s arm while pushing down with both legs.  Closing the gap between the knees immobilizes the arm so that uke cannot move his arm from the juji position. Pushing down on the face and torso enables tori’s control over uke’s shoulder and upper body. Squeezing the legs together is the most crucial element, though.

If you look closely at the video (you can see it better than with just the few photos we’ve included), you can see Hardy’s arm twist and turn between GSP’s legs, allowing him the range of motion to resist the arm bar attempt and ultimately escape.

juji2 - GSP attempts Juji Gatame on Dan Harding - UFC 111

juji2 - GSP attempts Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC 111

By the 18 second mark above, Hardy has begun to turn onto his side and his arm has moved, his elbow slightly bent such that GSP cannot apply the arm bar – the elbow is pointing sideways here, so Hardy can actually bend his arm to relieve the pressure.
At the 17 second mark below, Hardy is fully on his side and GSP is straining to achieve the submission, to no avail. 

juji3 GSP attempting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

juji3 GSP attempting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

At the 16 second mark below, the grimace on GSP’s face shows his effort, applying all his strength. It was in vain, though, because Hardy managed to move onto his side, having lifted GSP’s hips right off the floor. If GSP were in control of the arm bar, Hardy would still be on his back, and GSP would lift his OWN hips to further hyper-extend the elbow. Hardy’s elbow is away from GSP and his thumb is now pointed toward the floor instead of the ceiling, enabling him to use the larger bicep to bend his arm. 

juji4 GSP attmepting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

juji4 GSP attempting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

juji5 GSP attempting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

juji5 GSP attempting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

One second later, at the 15 second mark above, GSP’s left foot is completely under Hardy; Hardy is turned onto his side and is moving his arm away from GSP. Georges spent all his effort on Hardy’s arm, but had not managed to stabilize the arm. 

juji6 GSP attempting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

juji6 GSP attempting a Juji Gatame on Dan Hardy - UFC111

By the 14 second mark above, Hardy was on his knees and about to escape from GSP’s grasp completely.  Had he squeezed his knees together at the beginning of the arm bar attempt, we believe Hardy’s arm would have been immobilized and the submission would have been successful.

Click here to link to our videos on juji gatame - traditional version, and our modified judo4MMA version of juji gatame.

ayjay,

April 4, 2010

It’s The Little Things – Pt 2

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

Ground holds look relatively simple: one guy is on the bottom, another on the top, and the guy on top holds an arm or squashes a chest or some other body part.  In reality, they are complex placements of tori’s body on uke’s. If one or more of the placements is wrong, the ground hold doesn’t hold. An example: if tori is holding uke with kesa gatame (scarf hold), with or without a gi, and doesn’t have the arm just so – tightly above the elbow — uke can bend his arm and get it free, the first step to an escape.

The little things are vital during application of chokes. While applying okuri eri jime, for instance, if you don’t have your thumb deeply inside the collar — to the back of uke’s neck, even — the choke may not come on, or will take longer and more effort on your part to apply. 

Arm bars are very difficult to learn for the novice. In juji gatame, the thumb has to be up, your hips have to be almost on his shoulder; you try to bring your knees together, and so on. If some of the individual elements are missing, the arm bar may not work or take too long to work, and in a match, time is limited.

And so, we work on the little aspects of the technique in order to perfect it and make it part of the student’s arsenal.

We may study a technique dozens of times over a year. Partly that has to do with new people, but as senior members of our club, we still practice the techniques we’ve been using for years. Every once in a while, there’s something new that someone has figured out, some little element which makes the technique better. This applies to everything in traditional judo or MMA judo, right down to the breakfalls.

We are not sport judo people and only one member of our club attends (and wins at) tournaments. We like the learning and the practicing. There’s lots to learn.

Click here to go to It’s The Little Things – Pt 1

Click here to go to It’s The Little Things – Pt 1 Addendum

Click here to go to It’s The Little Things – Pt 2 Addendum

Click here to go to It’s The Little Things – Pt 3

ayjay

December 12, 2008

Counters to Juji Gatame

Friday, May 18th, 2012

We had an additional classes during the holidays, taking advantage of the fact that the club was closed. Among the techniques we covered was Ude Hishigi Juji Gatame , the counters to juji, and counters to the counters. Of course, there are many variations of the joint lock and of the counters. This article covers only a few and only for the prone position.

Ude Hishigi Juji Gatame, commonly called Juji Gatame, or even juji, to the irritation of traditional Japanese judoka and the Kodokan, is Cross Arm Lock, a very strong arm lock which can be applied from the ground lying prone (facing up or down), kneeling, or even standing.

A previous article coveredBreaking the Hold in Juji Gatame.  To break the hold, tori must move uke’s arms in order to change the hand grip. There are multiple ways to break the grip so that you can extend uke’s arm and get the joint lock and the tap out.

A counter to the joint lock: Assume you know your opponent is about to try the juji on you. You are prone, on your back. He is in the process of putting his legs on you, but has not yet grabbed your arm securely or placed his leg over your head.

With the arm that he would lock out, grab your other arm above the elbow (on your bicep), and bend that arm, lifting it up above and close to the side of your head. As your partner moves his leg to place it over your face, your arm causes his leg to slide off. Immediately grab that leg and pull it under your head and put your weight on it. His leg is now trapped. Even if he manages to get your arm to attempt the joint lock, he no longer controls your head and the joint lock becomes ineffective as you can now move your head and torso, turning towards him and onto your stomach, escaping the lock.

Another counter is so simple it’s unbelievable. Mike showed this one to me as we practiced the various techniques. You are lying prone again. Your partner is about to try the juji on you. Take the hand which he would grab to do the joint lock and place it flat on your chest UNDER the leg which is on your torso. As he grabs your arm to lock out the joint, your hand is stuck like glue to his leg so that he is lifting not just your hand and arm, but his own leg as well. He might not even realize what is happening as this is such a subtle technique. It may not last for long, just long enough for you to manoeuver into another position and out of danger.

Click here to go to the video of Breaking the Grip in Juji Gatame

ayjay

January 4, 2009

Breaking the Hold in Juji Gatame

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Our classes normally begin with lots of grappling to warm up (not your standard warm-up, for sure). I was watching two guys, one a lightweight, the other significantly bigger, maybe middleweight, as they went from one move to the next.  Lightweights move so quickly, but patience can pay off.  The lightweight had the beginnings of a juji gatame on the other fellow, but couldn’t break the hand hold and gave up immediately, moving on to something else.

When Dave asked if there were anything we wanted to cover after all the grappling, I suggested breaking the grip of your opponent in order to effect the juji. (Chris had had kakure garami applied to him during his match with Dave, so he wanted to cover that: click to see Kakure Garami, our version of kesa garami).

Dave showed two methods to break the opponent’s hand grip: one I can describe; the other, although perfectly effective and easy to execute, is too complicated to explain. It is, however, on the video clip link at the bottom of this article.

The simplest method of breaking your opponent’s hand grip to get a juji gatame:

You are on your back (perpendicular to your opponent) with one or both legs on your opponent, applying as much weight and pressure as you can. Your hips are as close to his shoulder as is possible. You have both arms grasping his near arm and are trying to pull his arm straight. You can’t have a better position for this arm bar; however, your opponent is no fool and has clasped his hands together and is holding on for dear life. What happens is that as you pull his arms, his clasped hands and arms are effectively in a straight line, ninety degrees from yours, and his hands remain together. Try it.

What you need to do is break the straight line. This can be accomplished in a few ways, the easiest being to let go of his arm with one of yours (making sure your other arm keeps his solidly hooked); then use your free arm to reach for his far arm and pull his arm strongly towards you.  Next, place both of your legs, slightly crossed, at about the far tricep to ensure he doesn’t move his far arm back into the old position. Now his arms are no longer in a straight line, his hands are not grasped anywhere near as securely as before and his arm cannot move back to the previous position.

In addition to pulling your own arms toward your chest to attempt to break his grip, you can fall to your side (generally towards his head). This also breaks the straight line aspect of the hand hold. Once his hands are loose, you can pull his arm away and straighten it for the juji, moving from your side to the standard juji position. When pulling the arm straight, ensure that you have his thumb pointed to the sky.  If he has his thumb pointed to the side, you are fighting his bicep, one of the strongest muscles in his arm. Turning the thumb to the sky, causes the forearm muscles to work, smaller and weaker muscles. Click to see the basic Ude Hishigi Juji Gatame technique.

In order to break the hold in juji gatame, you need not be stronger than your opponent, but to apply simple strategies to enable his hands to separate.

Click here to go to the Breaking the Grip in Juji Gatame video

ayjay

February 16, 2009

Why We Still Practice Judo

Saturday, January 8th, 2011

Those of you who have read our biographies, real and fake, found elsewhere on this website, will know that Dave, Chris, Mike and I have been at judo for years. I am the novice at just under seventeen years; Chris and Dave joined our old judo club over twenty-one years ago. Mike joined the club a couple of years after Dave and Chris. Our personalities are quite different from one another. What we have in common is learning, and working at, judo.  

Dave learns techniques by watching them. He then practices them until they become muscle memory. I envy this ability. I have to practice, read, read some more, and practice many more times before the techniques become ingrained. Judo lends itself to both ways of learning, whether the techniques are throws, joint locks, ground holds, or chokes. The common denominator in both methods of learning is the practicing. In order to have a throw happen fluidly and spontaneously, or a ground technique easily contribute to a win, you have to do the technique many, many times.

We have some of our MMA no gi videos on YouTube. Some of the comments have stated that no one would ever do that technique or put himself in the position where this technique could be applied. The purpose of the videos and learning any technique is to have that technique, whatever it is, available to you when you are in a match, in your club or in a tournament. After practicing something, a difficult throw or choke, over and over, next when you are next fighting someone, that throw, that choke, whatever, is available to you without thought or hesitation. You’ve already done it in practice dozens (hundreds?) of times; you don’t have to think about it – it’s just there. 

A perfect example of this is kakato jime, with judogi, and without .  (Check out our own version of this choke for something a little different! kakure kakato jime) Looking at this statically, you might consider this an impossible position to get in: your opponent wouldn’t let this ever happen to him. In fact, we had a comment asking what stops uke from getting up to his knees. Granted Dave is showing the choke and his uke is letting the choke be applied. In reality, last Sunday, Dave was doing groundwork with Mike and managed to get a tap out using this very choke. He said they rolled around and around with Dave’s fighting to finish with juji gatame, and suddenly, the opportunity presented itself. Mike was fighting the arm grip and forgot about Dave’s legs. Dave had his legs in the correct position, and he was then in perfect kakato jime position.  Dave didn’t have to think about what to do with Mike’s arm, with his own legs; he knew instinctively what to do.

When learning throws, the white belts learn the basics. All other belts, though, do the same throws. They are refined and applied in conjunction with other throws, but they are the same throws. The difference between the white belts and experienced judoka is the practicing and refining, understanding what your body is doing, or needs to do, what uke’s body needs to do, in order to accomplish a beautiful throw. After having thrown your fellow judoka hundreds and thousands of times with throws and variations of those throws, the throws become available to you when you need them. Those foot sweeps are a surprise both to you and your opponent, they happen so easily; the kneeling ippon seoi nage is successful because you are under uke so quickly that he has nowhere to go but over your back. None of this would have been possible without the practice sessions.

Practicing techniques day after day, week after week, is hard work. The white belts sometimes complain that they have already learned that technique. Those of us who have been around a while know that judo is a lifetime’s learning, with always more to learn, another technique to practice and refine. Having a technique which is unusual, such as the kakato jime, or the kneeling seoi nage, or one of my favourites, yoko wakare, come to you as you are  fighting in randori or ne waza, is a great feeling, a moment of perfection, that “Wow!” moment, which makes all those practice sessions worthwhile and helps to explain why we come back to practice yet again.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 – TUF12 – Episode 1

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 – Episode 1 aired last week. Georges St-Pierre and Josh Koscheck are the coaches of these light weight fighters. As with last season, there will be seven preliminaries and the eighth fight will be between two losers to get the last slot.

The episode consisted of elimination fights, some shown in detail, others given the outcome only.

We had several rear naked chokes (hadaka jime), including one standing version:  Jeffrey Lentz, Alex Caceres (calling himself Bruce Leroy), Kyle Watson and Dane Sayers (the standing version)  all won by this technique. Alex Caceres came out in a yellow one-piece jumpsuit, looking like Bruce Lee in one of his movies. Koscheck said that Caceres looked like a banana, but he most likely didn’t get the point. Dane Sayers fought against a Gracie student who had a 76 1/2″ reach. Sayers over-extended himself  early on, but managed to complete the standing hadaka jime to win.

Cody McKenzie won his match with a guillotine.

Mike Budnik, a former pro-skater, threw his opponent, Nam Phan, with a kneeling seoi nage, not something we see often and one of my favourite throws. Phan won the match, though, with a painful-looking body shot.

Jeffrey Lentz, who won by rear naked choke, also threw his opponent with an harai goshi. We love those judo throws.

Andy Main won his match with a juji gatame.

In addition to these matches, we had a knock out, wins by ground and pound, and by decision for the remainder of the competitors.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 12 TUF12 is on Spike at 10 p.m. Wednesday.

ayjay

September 21, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 – Ep. 8

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Episode 8 of The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 had friends Kyle Noke and Kris McCray fighting.

Ortizsaid that Noke was the better fighter, McCray being just a young guy, presumably lacking experience.

In fact, we felt McCray dominated the entire match. It went to three rounds, but could easily have ended in two. McCray had many take downs,  including a huge one in round two and tried a guillotine in round 1. Noke attempted a Kimura in rounds 1 and 3 and a rear guillotine in round 2, none successful. After the take downs, McCray did some ground and pound, but mainly showed his control over Noke. Decision to McCray.

Dana White said afterward that Noke needed to work on his wrestling “big time”.

The next match was between Seth Baczynski and Brad Tavares. Round one began with Baczynski rushing for a single leg take down attempt and then succeeding with a ko soto gari. He then had Tavares in a body lock from the back. They rolled a bit and applied strikes. Baczynski tried but lost a rear guillotine and the body triangle.

Baczynski then attempted a juji gatame from the ground. Tavares picked Baczynski up twice and dropped him. While striking, Tavares slipped and, his knees still on the ground, Baczynski kicked a soccer-like kick to Tavares’s head. Disqualification.

Ortiz was determined that the kick was to the chest, but on instant replay, Tavares was kicked to the head.

In addition to the fights, we had Ortiz backing out of the fight with Liddell due to spinal injuries which require surgery.

ayjay

June 2, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 is on Spike at 10 p.m. E.S.T. Wednesdays.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 – Eps. 1 & 2

Friday, April 9th, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 began with more fights (or partial fights) in one hour than we’ve seen to date. For people unfamiliar with MMA, there were good varieties of techniques and skill levels. We also had injuries, lots of blood and a couple of boring bits. All ’round, it was one of the best episodes of The Ultimate Fighter that I’ve seen. Nothing was on long enough to cause me to want to change the channel and there was something new in the next five minute segment.

In episode 1 we had 28 competitors and fourteen fights. Those fourteen winners will be fighting in the next few weeks to come up with the final seven. In order to have eight finalists, the coaches will name the eighth person from among the losers of the previous seven matches.

As for the fights on this night, we had some serious bleeding from a head wound, a broken orbital socket (Victor O’Donnell vs. Chris Camozzi (W)), a popped shoulder (Cleburn Walker vs. Kris McCray (W)), and the worst broken nose I’ve ever seen – flattened and askew -(in a bout between very close friends, Clayton McKinney (W) and Charley Lynch). We had several knock outs: Jamie Yager (W) vs. Ben Stark; Jordan Smith vs. Brad Tavares (W); Jacen Flynn vs. Charles Blanchard (W); and Kyacey Uscola (W) vs. Brent Cooper.

Joe Henle (W) won with a juji gatame against Constantinos Philippou, while we had a few matches that went to decision: Josh Bryant (W) vs. Greg Rebello, Rich Attonito (W) vs. Lyle Steffens, Nick Ring (W) vs. Woody Weatherby, and Kyle Noke (W) vs. Warren Thompson. Court McGee vs. Seth Baczynski went to a third round with McGee winning.

In addition to all that excitement we had a Frenchman, Norman Paraisy, who had said that he wanted to prove that the French were fighters and didn’t deserve the negative comments they always got. He gave up after round one against James Hammortree.

One of the best fights of the night was against Victor O’Donnell and Chris Camozzi. Both men fought well, with Camozzi throwing O’Donnell with harai goshi twice, both times quickly and with precision. O’Donnell continued through the fight with a broken orbital socket, eye mostly shut, a very tough guy.

The first episode of TUF11 was fun and I’m looking to see more of the same.

Episode 2 had the coaches, Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz, choosing their team members from the winners of the first episode. After all the men were picked, Ortiz mocked Liddell’s choices when talking to his own team, mentioning the size of the guys Liddell had chosen, most of them being 5’9″ or slightly more. Dana White even went up to Liddell and made comments, suggesting that Liddell had the worse team and White couldn’t understand his picks. Liddell saw something in the men he chose and he was happy with his team.

In addition, Liddell got to pick the fighters for the first preliminary bout, naming Kyle Noke from his team to fight against Clayton McKinney from Ortiz’s.

Comments from Liddell and his coaches about Noke were that he had good strikes, kicks, ground game and no weaknesses that they could see. McKinney was a total other animal. He was complaining continually about his shoulder, injured during his elimination fight. He was not relating to anyone in the house and slacked off during training due to his injury. (An MRI found bone bruising, but nothing structural wrong with it.) Ortiz felt that McKinney had never been truly tested before.

During the match, McKinney switched stances a number of times, and had his hands far too low. The men exchanged leg kicks, but seemed hesitant. After a failed take down by McKinney, he ended in Noke’s triangle choke (sankaku jime) and, with perhaps 30 seconds before the choke was on well, did not escape. Tapout. Win by Noke.

McKinney tried to leave the room immediately, but Ortiz and his coaches made him watch an escape from the triangle and then attempt the escape twice. Ortiz really is a fantastic coach. Instead of letting his own disappointment overwhelm him, something we have seen in past coaches on The Ultimate Fighter (Rampage Jackson certainly comes to mind), he spoke positively to McKinney and showed him how to avoid the triangle in the future.

As for mocking Liddell, fight one goes to Liddell.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 is on Spike on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. EST.

Click here to go to TUF11 Episode 3.

Click here to go to TUF11 Ep. 4.

ayjay,

April 10, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 – Episode 8

Thursday, November 5th, 2009

We are now finished the preliminary fights. Episode 8 of The Ultimate Fighter  Season 10 – TUF10 had the last fight, a match between Michael Wessel and Marcus Jones.

First off, highlights of last week’s bout were shown. I noticed a couple of weeks ago, and then it was reinforced yesterday, that the highlights make the bouts look fantastic. Last week’s fight clips between Mitrione and Junk showed the two of them standing toe-to-toe and slugging. Then we saw a clip of Junk taking Mitrione down. We didn’t see the boring bits: both men leaning against each other in the center of the octagon doing nothing as the buzzer sounded for the end of round one, and later, both guys exhausted and swinging wildly, if at all. Perhaps in future seasons, the boring fights should just be highlights. At least the fights here actually show fighting: the reality show in which girls fight (Fight Girls) muay thai, and the winners go to Thailand to fight a top contender there, had video clips of the audience (!) in the middle of the bouts, so we didn’t see the whole matches. Even at that, though, they were far more exciting than the majority of bouts in this season of The Ultimate Fighter.

Back to the show: In the aftermath of the previous fight, we saw Junk’s injuries – both eyes were swollen and one eye was very bruised. Mitrione said something about his brain hurting and went directly to bed. (This is crucial to the show: in a clip for next week’s episode, Mitrione is shown going to the hospital and Slice is once again thrilled at the prospect of fighting again.)

Michael Wessel is the shortest of this season’s contestants at 6 feet tall. He has a 6,1 and 0 record in professional MMA, including a loss in the UFC last December against Antoni Hardonk. Mike played college football and was in the Arena Football League for several years. He has been a strength and conditioning coach at a university in Arizona. We see him during training practice doing strikes. The plan is for him to use his overhand right and big punches.

Marcus Jones, whom Evans calls “Big Baby”, is among the biggest of the men at 6’6″. He has a 7.5 inch reach advantage over Wessel. Jones played professional football with the NFL for eight years, but now trains with Gracie Tampa. His record is 4-1. His attitude toward MMA is refreshing: he loves learning new techniques and loves watching matches. During the training session, he laughed with glee when taught new moves. Jackson wondered whether Jones had a fight instinct, though. Jones, meanwhile, thought he had a good shot at winning.

Round 1 had Wessel go in to close the gap (he did say he wasn’t afraid of anyone). Wessel attempted some strikes, but Jones put an arm around Wessel’s shoulders and took him down with a throw which looked like a spinning uki goshi. Jones landed in Wessel’s guard and after maneuvering, tried a rear naked choke (hadaka jime) when he had Wessel’s back and finished him off quickly with a juji gatame. Jones impressed us with some decent ground work.

The quarterfinal matches were set up, with Dana White giving Jackson his wish – Marcus Jones against Darrill Schoonover. All other matches were determined through questioning the fighters and having White decide the order.

The Quarterfinals consist of:

Roy Nelson vs Justin Wren

Brendan Schaub vs Jon Madsen

James McSweeney vs Matt Mitrione

Darrill Schoonover vs Marcus Jones

ayjay

November 5, 2009

p.s. As an afterthought: I read an online interview with Mike Wessel in which he complained that Kimbo Slice was permitted to have three members of his posse, his wife and one child come to his fight against Roy Nelson. Wessel suggested that it was in Slice’s contract. This, however, was completely unfair to everyone else in the house, who may have no contact with anyone, including Wessel, whose wife was to undergo surgery for cancer while he was locked away in the house. Special treatment for Slice from the beginning, I guess.

p.p.s. In another article, Kimbo Slice told someone that he had had one day of jiu jitsu training about three months before going to the house. If he is serious about MMA, he should be training ground techniques every day. There are many techniques which will be difficult for him, if not impossible, since he is so solidly built. Marcus Jones is big, but not really muscle bound, so jiu jitsu techniques would be far easier for him to accomplish.

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 1

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 2

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 3

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 4

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 5

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 6

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 7

Click here to go to TUF10 Episode 9

UFC 99 June 13, 2009

Monday, June 15th, 2009

By the time we had access to Pay-Per-View for UFC 99 (the first UFC in Germany), most of the first round of the bout between Marcus Davis and Dan Hardy was over. Davis did look as though he had received more damage. These two guys had had an on-screen hate going over Hardy’s comments about Davis’s “The Irish Hand Grenade” nickname. Davis is American and Hardy had called him a fake Irishman. I guess this was to be good for television.

Round two began with kicks and a knee from Hardy resulting in Davis’s hitting the floor. Hardy went after him, but Davis managed to recover. While Hardy was in Davis’s guard, Davis tried a variation on juji gatame, but Hardy extricated himself.

Davis took Hardy down at the fence and when in Hardy’s guard did some ground and pound.

Round three, started with a good left from Davis. Hardy went down and Davis was in his guard applying elbows. Davis also tried heel hooks, but Hardy spun out of them successfully.

Hardy then had a take down and was in Davis’s guard using elbows to do damage to Davis’s eye and cut his nose.

They were made to stand up and both tried strikes.

Split decision in Hardy’s favour. Davis’s face was a mass of blood. Interestingly, in the post-fight interview, Hardy said his comments about Davis were, essentially, psychological warfare in order to affect Davis’s game plan.  I think it worked: Davis wouldn’t shake hands afterward.

The next fight was between Spencer Fisher and Caol Uno. Fisher wins most bouts by knockout and Uno tends to win by submission. Both men have had dozens of professional fights.

The match went the full three rounds with Uno’s trying to take Fisher to the ground every couple of minutes, and Fisher’s stuffing the take downs with good sprawls, and then fighting in the clinch.

While in the clinch both guys used knees and small, close strikes. The men were holding each other off, gripping wrists, trying various ways to get control. There didn’t seem to be much action, but the manoeuvres were all tactical. When Fisher got a hand free, he would strike; Uno would knee Fisher’s legs.

Both men tried sasae tsurikomi ashi at one point, with Fisher’s version succeeding in getting Uno to the ground and landing on the bottom.

Standing again, Uno kneed Fisher’s head.

Round three had Fisher striking a huge left to Uno’s head. Uno tried an ankle pick take down at the fence and spent a great deal of time trying to complete it. Fisher had the fence to help him and fought the take down, basically sitting on one leg with his back against the fence.

Eventually Uno was in full mount at the fence and used hammerfists and elbows. Fisher rolled from his side, to his back, and to the side again. This was the only time in the match that Uno was in control, but too late. Unanimous decision in Fisher’s favour.

By round three the audience was almost continually booing.  What we saw were two professional athletes with different fighting styles, one wanting to go to the ground, and the other, determined not to go there, but both knowing how to work to get to their favourite positions. (This fight could have been extremely boring, with the fighters never actually connecting, e.g. Anderson Silva versus Thales Leites in UFC 97. Leites wanted to go to the ground and Silva avoided it to the extent that they rarely touched each other.) They were very closely matched, both just happened to be equal in their strength levels, and knew how to counter each other’s moves.  I thought the audience might have been uneducated as to MMA. Perhaps they are more familiar with K1,  Muay Thai, or some other martial art. These two fighters did not deserve the disrespect shown them by the audience. (Should some of you think that I am bigoted against Germans, please know that I am German, having come to North America when I was three.)

Next up were Mike Swick and Ben Saunders. Swick’s background is Guerilla Jiu Jitsu and kickboxing; Saunders wins about equally with knock outs and submissions.

Round one started with Saunders taking Swick down.  They were on the ground for quite some time, with Swick holding Saunders in butterfly guard and Saunders just on top, not doing anything. There was some trash talking between them, quite audible as they were right by the announcers. Since nothing much happened here, I was wondering why the audience wasn’t booing.

Standing again, Swick kicked Saunders’s leg. In the clinch, Swick used knees and foot stomps.

Round two had Saunders attempting a head kick, which Swick blocked. In the clinch, Swick used knees again. He then took Saunders down and the men ended up in the same position as round one.

Made to stand, Swick kneed Saunders and then started attacking with a flurry of strikes, at least fifteen, one of which was to Saunders’ left temple causing Saunders to crumple. Knock out of the night.

The heavyweights were up next: Mirko Cro Cop versus Mostapha Al-Turk.  Al-Turk had a four inch reach advantage, does jiu jitsu, loves ground and pound, and wins most of the time by knock out. Cro Cop is a kickboxer, who wins by knock out with both hands and feet.

The match started with Al-Turk looking jittery, nervous, busy. He tried huge strikes and a leg kick and then attempted a take down. Cro Cop followed Al-Turk around the octagon, looking for the perfect moment to strike. When Cro Cop connected, in among his strikes, was an inadvertent poke to the eye. Al-Turk covered his face and turned his back. Neither Cro Cop nor the referee realized what had happened. Cro Cop continued the attack until the referee stepped in for TKO.

In the post-fight interview, Cro Cop said that he hadn’t realized he’d poked Al-Turk in the eye, but that Al-Turk would have lost either way. This is probably true, but after having watched the eye poke multiple times in slow motion, it’s a terrible way to win a match.

The first co-main event was between Cain Velasquez and Cheick Kongo. Velasquez came in at 5-0 and had won all his matches by knock out. Kongo, at 3″ taller and 5″ reach advantage, came in with 24-4-1. He generally wins by knock out.

Once again, the match went the distance. In each round, Kongo came out strongly for the first thirty seconds, actually winning the round with huge strikes. Unfortunately, Velasquez is very difficult to subdue: in round one, Kongo rocked Velasquez with two huge strikes, but got taken down himself. Velasquez had side control, then full mount; Kongo rolled over and stood up, just to be taken down again.

Kongo really seemed helpless on the ground. Velasquez quite smartly took Kongo down whenever he wanted and applied strikes and elbows.  At one point, they were in the clinch at the fence, with Velasquez slightly to the front of Kongo and Dave said that Kongo was going to get thrown with harai goshi. Velasquez tried it, but it wasn’t successful.

By the third round, as Kongo came out strongly again, instead of continuing with his stand up which was so powerful, he went after Velasquez and let himself be taken down again. Everyone on our boat was yelling, “Don’t go to the ground!”

The end of the match had Velasquez take Kongo down in the center of the octagon and, while in full mount, doing some ground and pound. Velasquez had opportunities for submission: Kongo had his arms flailing wildly as he turned away from the assault, so Velasquez could easily have applied a juji, resulting in a win. Kongo could have put his feet under him, lifted his hips, and thrown Velasquez off balance enough to get free. Neither of these things happened. Kongo is incapable on the ground. At this stage in his professional career, he should be working on all aspects of MMA so as not to get caught. He needs at least a year of solid groundwork. Velasquez could have finished the fight with a submission, ensuring a win, just in case Kongo had managed to get free to stand up (where he is extremely dangerous).

Unanimous decision in Velasquez’s favour.

The other co-main event was between Rich Franklin and Wanderlei Silva. This, too, went the distance. Franklin said he was looking forward to this fight as he likes to fight from standing and so does Silva.

The first round began with combinations from Silva and a take down using kuchiki taoshi. Later in the round, Silva tried a triangle choke from standing, but while doing a butt flop, lost the choke.

When standing, Silva had his hands down and Franklin connected through the gaps.

Round two had Silva applying a body kick, with a counter from Franklin. Franklin tried a head kick which Silva caught.  He then used a combination of kicks and punches. One jab caught Silva and took him down. Franklin controlled the round with strikes and punches.

Silva attempted many strikes, most of which Franklin ducked. At the end of the round, a left high kick from Silva rocked Franklin. 

Round three had Silva throwing an inside leg kick and both men striking. Franklin kicked to Silva’s ribs. While in the clinch, Silva tried a knee to the head, a body kick and a head kick. After a burst of strikes from Silva (to cheers from the crowd), Franklin took Silva down.

Unanimous decision in Franklin’s favour. Fight of the night.

ayjay

June 15, 2009