Posts Tagged ‘kimura’

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

Ude Garami – Entangled Arm Lock

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

Ude Garami – Entangled Arm Lock is called several other names depending on which martial art you are familiar with. Judo uses the same term for the three basic positions. Here is a video of Traditional Ude Garami. In each arm position, the aim is to place torque on the shoulder or elbow joint and achieve a tap out from the submission.

In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, ude garami is called a Kimura (named after a famous judoka who used this version to great success) if the arm is placed behind the opponent’s body when he sits up. In the traditional video, Dave shows a version of the Kimura at the very end, when he changes his body position, sitting his legs through in a manner similar to Kesa Gatame, causing Mike’s shoulder to come off the floor as the technique is being applied.

Another, somewhat unusual, version of ude garami can be seen in this video which shows Mike being held in a side triangle choke (sankaku jime) position: ude garami from jigoku jime.

During one of our classes Dave demonstrated why ude garami is less successful from full mount than from side control. Side control enables you to place far more body weight on your opponent. It also protects you from your opponent by placing most of your body away from him. If you are in full mount, uke has the ability to arch his back, negating the torque that is being applied on the shoulder, and possibly even bucking you off. Also, in full mount, it is possible for uke to manoeuvre his head between tori’s arms, rendering the ude garami attempt completely harmless.

Full mount also leaves a gap between your chests: this gap doesn’t exist in side control. Any time there is space between you and your opponent, there is the possibility of his escaping from your hold. In fact, side control enables you to drop most of your body weight on your opponent’s upper chest and shoulders. Few people can escape from holds when their shoulders are being held down, which is why kesa gatame is so effective as a groundhold.

ayjay

March 6, 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 – Ep. 7

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Episode 7 of The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 covered lots of ground. Right off, we had the Wild Card fight between Kyacey Uscola and Kris McCray, both fighters having lost in their previous matches.

Since both men were from Ortiz‘s team, Ortiz said he would sit on the sidelines and “let the better man win”. McCray felt he was the underdog and Uscola talked about taking his opponent’s head off.

Round 1 had the men trading kicks and strikes. One of Uscola’s kicks was to McCray’s knee and looked painful. McCray took Uscola down twice  and Uscola achieved one take down. Very little time was spent on the ground although near the end of the round McCray controlled Uscola’s back and applied some elbows.

Round 2 began with McCray taking Uscola down and while in side control he applied a Kimura (ude garami) for tap out.

Ortiz looked a bit surprised at the outcome.

The quarterfinal fight announcements were made by Dana White. In addition, Nick Ring told White that he could not continue due to his torn ACL, which required surgery. White told the men in the house that he would be picking a replacement. Hammortree immediately went to White and told him that he wanted to fight. Joe Henle, unfortunately, was too slow to say anything and missed out.

The next fight, a quarterfinal, was between Hammortree and Court McGee. Hammortree said that McGee was one of the most well-rounded and tough guys in the house. He also said that he would let his hands go a bit more than the previous fight.

Round one began with McGee catching Hammortree’s leg and, while on his back, took Hammortree down. Hammortree eventually rushed McGee, but got taken down again. While standing, they traded strikes and kicks. McGee attempted a variety of techniques, including a rear kick. He took Hammortree to the floor and was in side control at the buzzer.

Round two began and ended quickly by Hammortree’s rushing McGee and exposing his neck. McGee put him in a standing front naked choke (guillotine) for tap out.

White said that McGee looks better every time he goes out there. He certainly controlled Hammortree and deserved the win.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 is on Spike on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. EST.

ayjay

May 20, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 – Ep. 5

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 Episode 5 had Ortiz picking the fighters, since his team member, Jamie Yager, won the last fight. He chose Kris McCray from his own team to fight Josh Bryant from Liddell‘s. McCray had an undefeated record of 9-0 as an amateur and 5-0 as a professional. Bryant also was undefeated at 10-0 going into this fight.

Liddell said Bryant was a tough, great fighter, although one of the housemates said Bryant was not the fighting type. One of Liddell’s coaches told Bryant to punch and feint. Although Bryant has a longer reach than McCray, as with most of Liddell’s team, he is shorter than Ortiz’s team member. Once again Liddell would miss the actual bout due to conflicting schedules.

This match-up seemed even during round 1, with both men attempting take downs. McCray was more efficient and successful at the take downs than Bryant, although when Bryant managed the TD, he tried a rear naked chokehadaka jime) on McCray.

The men switched positions and stood up, leaning against the fence and each other and did nothing for about half a minute. They were totally gassed. During the break, both corners were trying to get their guys to breathe.

In round two, the men were once again leaning against each other. Bryant got a take down, trapped McCray’s arm between his legs and attempted a Kimura (ude garami).

When standing again, Bryant swung wide shots and had a huge take down, totally controlling McCray.

McCray stood up and got his own TD by swinging Bryant’s body around and ended in Bryant’s guard. Bryant applied elbows from the bottom.

Round three had the men leaning against each other again. Bryant tried a TD with a leg pick and then threw a couple of strikes. McCray threw a knee and then tried the leg pick himself. After the referee split them up, Bryant threw some punches and McCray sort of fell. Bryant had side control and then was on McCray’s back, trying a rear naked again, but very slowly, enabling McCray to move the hand away.

Unanimous decision in Bryant’s favour. This time around, Ortiz did not rip doors off hinges. His only comments were regarding McCray’s cardio. During the training sessions, Ortiz had the men working extremely hard and he felt there was nothing else he could have done to make McCray’s cardio any better.

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 is on Spike on Wednesdays at 10:00 p.m. EST.

ayjay

May 5, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 – Ep. 4

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 Episode 4 seemed to revolve around one fighter, Kyacey Uscola. Not only was Uscola chosen to fight Liddell‘s Rich Attonito, but he was also involved in a major row with Jamie Yager in the house.

Ortiz said that Uscola had good take downs, good take down defense and good submissions. He expected Uscola to continue striking, defend against take downs and get up right away afterward. One of Uscola’s teammates mentioned that Uscola had a good double (which I assume means double leg take down).

Attonito, per Liddell, was a good wrestler, had good shots and good take downs. Due to prior commitments, Liddell would be missing this fight, though.

Before the fight aired, Uscola accused Yager of theft of a shirt. After much cursing on both parts and further arguing in front of Ortiz, it was determined that Yager had had permission to take a “Team Punishment” shirt and had not stolen it. Uscola refused to apologize for the accusation.

Round one of the match between Attonito and Uscola: They began by trading strikes with Attonito succeeding in hitting Uscola sufficiently for Uscola to go to the ground. Some ground and pound followed by Attonito. Then Attonito picked Uscola up and threw him to the ground head first. Quite a frightening take down.

Uscola attempted a Kimura (ude garami), but Attonito flipped over to be on the bottom, causing Uscola to lose the arm bar grip.

Uscola had some side control, threw elbows to Attonito’s gut and when Attonito still had a knee on the mat, applied knees to Attonito’s chest and face. The referee stopped the match immediately.

Attonito was awarded the win by disqualification on Uscola’s part. Amazingly, Uscola spoke to the camera saying that he didn’t respect Attonito as a fighter, when Uscola had performed the illegal and quite dangerous techniques.

Ortiz stomped out of the fight area, ripping a door off the hinges.

Attonito may have won the fight, but he is out of the competition having broken his hand so severely he might require surgery.

The second fight of the episode was between Uscola’s nemesis, Yager, and Charlie Blanchard, from Liddell’s team.

Liddell thought that Blanchard would come out aggressively, that he had great take downs and high kicks and, when on top during ground fighting, Yager would have a hard time getting Blanchard off.

Ortiz said Yager had to circle, circle, circle, throw shots, cover his head and avoid take downs. He thought that this would be an easy win for Yager. Yager, himself, said that he felt he had superior striking. In fact, Yager is five inches taller and had a five inch reach advantage on Blanchard.

Round one began with a take down attempt by Blanchard and then another, with Yager sprawling well to avoid them. Yager did a Superman punch and Blanchard was down. TKO referee stoppage.  

The Ultimate Fighter is on Spike at 10:00 p.m. EST on Wednesdays.

Click here to go to TUF11 Eps. 1 & 2.

Click here to go to TUF11 Ep. 3.

ayjay

April 22, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 – Ep. 3

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

The Ultimate Fighter Season 11 TUF11 Episode 3 had at least one surprise: Chris Camozzi was sent home, having sustained a slight fracture of the jaw during his elimination fight. Dana White was pre-empting a broken jaw by Camozzi’s elimination. Tito Ortiz was then given the opportunity to pick a guy from the eliminated men to come back. He chose Seth Baczynski.

This episode’s fight was between Brad Tavares (Liddell‘s team) and James Hammortree (Ortiz’s team).Yager felt that Tavares was going to win by knock out, while Nick Ring guessed that Hammortree would win by TKO in the second round.

Hammortree, nicknamed “The Sledge”, has a record for the fastest KO in Florida – five seconds. Ortiz was looking for a take down by Hammortree and ground and pound. One of Liddell’s coaches said that Tavares will be “a force to be reckoned with in the UFC”.

Hammortree was the bigger of the two men, two inches taller with a two inch reach advantage. His record was 5 and 1 coming into this fight, whereas Tavares’s record was 4 and 0.

Round one began with a failed take down attempt by Hammortree, Tavares threw his opponent with harai goshiand ended up on Hammortree’s back. He then tried a rear naked choke which failed. Hammortree flipped over and was in Tavares’s half guard.

Tavares used the fence to get up, after which Hammortree tried a take down ending on the bottom again with Tavares on his back. Ortiz kept yelling for Hammortree to get “up, up, up”. Hammortree again managed to get in Tavares’s half guard and then side, but there was a huge gap between their bodies and Tavares was up.

Round two had Hammortree rushing Tavares to the fence. Tavares pushed Hammortree and ended in Hammortree’s guard. Tavares applied a knee to Hammortree’s face. While on the ground Tavares was on his knees with Hammortree on his back. He used the fence to stand up, but Hammortree took him down. While on the bottom, Tavares tried a Kimura (ude garami) for some time. At the bell, Hammortree was in Tavares’s guard and butterfly guard.

The Sudden Victory round began with Tavares’s striking. Hammortree attempted a take down which was stuffed and then Tavares rolled into Hammortree’s half guard. Hammortree applied elbows and achieved full mount. Tavares immediately rolled over and was in control.

While bent over, Hammortree tried a take down; Tavares was holding Hammortree’s arm trying ude garami sporadically.

Unanimous decision in Tavares’s favour.

My thoughts: If Hammortree were a striker (witness his record in Florida), why was he trying so hard to defeat Tavares on the ground? Hammortree was jumping from one technique and position to another very quickly, not giving himself the opportunity to establish control.

Tavares deserved the win. His techniques were solid and competent.

Click here to go to TUF11 Episodes 1 & 2.

Click here to go to TUF11 Ep. 4.

ayjay

April 20, 2010

GSP vs Dan Hardy UFC111 – Analysis of Kimura Submission Attempt

Saturday, January 9th, 2010
I recently published a blog on Ude Garami, which is the formal Judo name for the Kimura. For the link to that article, click here: Ude Garami- Entangled Arm Lock.

A Kimura is a variation of ude garami in which uke’s shoulders are not being held to the ground. In fact, uke may be sitting up or have one shoulder off the floor while laying on his side.

In order to achieve the joint lock, uke’s upper arm should be moved away from his body, making a 90 degree angle to his body, and the forearm positioned to make a 90 degree angle to the upper arm.  Using a figure-four grip on the wrist, uke’s arm is then torqued, pushing the wrist rearwards until submission is achieved.

In GSP‘s unsuccessful attempt on Dan Hardy in UFC111, we have three screenshots, none of which are very clear, but it is possible to see the problems. 
  
kimura1 GSP vs Dan Hardy Kimura Attempt UFC111
kimura1 GSP vs Dan Hardy Kimura Attempt UFC111
 
The first photo above shows Dan Hardy on his side as Georges has both hands on Dan’s left arm. GSP is then trying the Kimura high up behind Hardy’s back.  
 
kimura2 GSP vs Dan Hardy Kimura Submission Attempt UFC111
kimura2 GSP vs Dan Hardy Kimura Submission Attempt UFC111

Photo number 2 above has Hardy having turned almost completely onto his stomach as GSP is close to having Hardy’s arm at right angles to his body. This is the closest that GSP came to having the Kimura, but it only lasted a fraction of a second as GSP yanked on the arm.  It wasn’t a stable position and Hardy worked to move his arm to a more favourable position seen in the photo below.   

kimura3 GSP vs Hardy Kimura Submission Attempt UFC111

kimura3 GSP vs Hardy Kimura Submission Attempt UFC111

In photo number three above, GSP has lost the 90 degree angle and separation from Hardy’s body, which is crucial to achieving this joint lock. Hardy is fighting the right angles by pushing his arm to the ground behind him, causing his arm to be too straight to apply the Kimura. GSP needed to pull the arm upwards, closer to his own body, to separate the arm a bit from, and to put the arm at right angles to, Hardy’s body. In order to do this, he needed to sit up taller. Because GSP has moved further down Hardy’s torso, his own arm is impinging on the Kimura: GSP can’t let the range of motion required to lift Hardy’s arm to get the correct angle because he himself is in the way.  

To get the correct angle, Hardy’s arm needs to be away from his body, not behind it, but rather to the side, and then retain the 90 degree angle at the elbow. There are actually two 90 degree angles: one involves having the arm at 90 degrees from the body; the other involves bending the elbow to achieve a 90 degree angle for the forearm in relation to the arm. (There is a third version of ude garami in which the arm is straight and the joint lock is placed at the elbow with the entire arm at 90 degrees from the body. See our videos for the examples.) 

Classic ude garami has uke on the ground with tori‘s weight holding uke‘s torso and shoulders down. Once the shoulders are controlled and the  arm is manipulated to 90 degrees from the side of the body and then again at the elbow with the hand either pointing up to the head or down to the feet, the joint lock comes on relatively easily and quite strongly. The Kimura positioning can be difficult because uke’s body is not controlled well. In addition, in this particular case, uke (Hardy)  has been able to move so much, that tori (GSP) has moved himself too far over uke causing him to stretch out the arm instead of retaining the 90 degree angle.  

ayjay  

April 6, 2010

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

Strikeforce/M1-Global Fedor vs Rogers

Sunday, November 8th, 2009

The Strikeforce/M1-Global event of November 7, 2009 was live on network television. The main event was a match between heavyweights Fedor Emilianenko and Brett Rogers. The UFC had tried to get Fedor to fight for them, but Fedor wanted to have a joint event with M1-Global. The UFC refused. That is unfortunate. Last night’s fights were in a huge venue which looked sold out. Of the four fights, three were exciting, one not so much.

The first match-up was between heavyweights Fabricio Werdum and Antonio Silva. Werdum is a BJJ guy with a record of 12-4-1. Six of his wins were by submission and he has had four knockouts. His speciality is the single leg take down. Silva, at 263 lbs., is about twenty pounds heavier than Werdum, with a four inch reach advantage. With a background in Muay Thai and BJJ, Silva’s record of 13 and 1 contains nine knockouts and three submissions.

Their three round bout went the distance with Silva not wanting to go to the ground. When he had the option, he stood up and waited for Werdum to get up too. Round 1 had Silva striking Werdum solidly, knocking him down and letting him get up. Werdum applied some inside leg kicks to Silva’s lead leg. At the buzzer, Werdum was down again after receiving an elbow in the clinch.

Round 2 started with Werdum being knocked down immediately. Eventually Silva went to the ground, but Werdum turned him over and was in half guard. Silva got up and was taken down by Werdum who went from half guard to side control. When Silva snuck out, Werdum tried a knee bar.

Round 3 had both men throwing leg kicks and, when in the clinch, Werdum used his knees. Werdum then took Silva down and was on Silva’s back when Silva turtled. He twice kneed Silva’s chin and Silva struck Werdum in retaliation. When on the ground Werdum did some ground and pound from half-guard.

Unanimous decision in Werdum’s favour. 

Light heavyweight Gegard Mousasi was up next against Sokoudjou (who was called Terry twice). Mousasi’s record is 26-2-1 with fifteen knockouts and nine submissions. His background is boxing with his favourite technique being the jab. Sokoudjou has a record of seven and four with six knockouts. He has a black belt in judo and the leg kick is his favourite technique.

Round 1 began with Sokoudjou connecting with leg kicks. He then tried a take down and eventually threw Mousasi, after many strikes, with a hip throw that looked a lot like harai goshi but without the leg. After some ground work, Sokoudjou again threw Mousasi, this time with o soto gari. The men went through a variety of arm bar and choke attempts including a Kimura (ude garami) and a front naked choke (hadaka jime).

Round 2 started in the clinch with Mousasi applying an elbow and many knees. He then threw multiple strikes and knees again. Then Mousasi did the world’s slowest take down with Sokoudjou ending up in half guard. Mousasi then rolled him over and began his ground and pound which Sokoudjou couldn’t answer. Referee stoppage.

The next bout was between middleweights Jake Shields and Jason Miller. Miller came out with cheerleaders, almost getting clocked by one as he danced by. Now that would have been funny. Both these men have loads of experience, with over twenty wins each. Shields, a black belt in jiu jitsu, is much shorter (6″?) than Miller and his reach is five inches less than Miller’s. He specializes in wrestling using the single leg take down. He had won ten of his twenty-three wins by submission and went into the fight with twelve straight wins. Miller practices what he calls “slap boxing” and loves the jab. Their fight was a championship match set for five rounds.

During this fight, the audience booed a great deal. The bout went the distance so there was lots of opportunity for boredom. Shields seemed in control for the entire fight except he wasn’t capable of completing anything. Miller rolled out of any situation which looked dangerous (Shields’s using his arsenal of submission techniques). At other times, after being taken down (many times!), Miller would be sitting up, his back to the cage, and Shields would wrap up Miller’s legs with his own and stretch them out. Then Shields would throw strikes to Miller’s side. During one of the breaks, Miller’s team yelled at him to do something at the fence.

Miller suplexed Shields at the end of round 1 and slammed Shields in a take down in round 3. At the end of this round, Miller had Shields in a very tight rear naked choke, but Shields lasted until the buzzer.

Rounds four and five had Shields taking Miller down several times and ending up in the scenario I mentioned. Round 5 had Shields on Miller’s back with a figure of four around Miller’s middle, so we thought that he could finally get his submission. As with all the other attempts to submit Miller, Miller rolled out of the hold.

Shields won by unanimous decision, but the audience found much of the bout boring. Perhaps they didn’t understand the level of technique required to attempt the submissions or to stuff them.  They seemed happier when the fighters were standing.

The main card, Fedor Emilianenko versus Brett Rogers, began just before 11 p.m. EST. We actually wondered if the show were going to end at 11 and, just as we talked about it, the television went black! The picture came on again some seconds later, luckily.

Fedor is light for a heavyweight at just under six feet tall and 232 pounds. Rogers is 6’4″ and 264 lbs. with a seven inch reach advantage. Fedor’s background is in sambo and judo, whereas Rogers’s is in boxing and muay thai. Fedor’s last loss was in 2000 and Rogers went into the fight undefeated with 10-0 consisting of nine knockouts and one submission.

Almost immediately, Rogers used a left jab to break Fedor’s nose. Even injured, Fedor took Rogers down twice in the round. While on the ground, in half guard or guard, Fedor did some ground and pound. Rogers held his own, though, on the ground and standing.

Round 2 had Fedor throwing a wide hook which connected. He and Rogers were in the clinch with Fedor throwing many strikes, all of which Rogers stopped. When they were at the center of the cage, Fedor threw a right which knocked Rogers to the floor. Fedor then jumped on Rogers to continue strikes. If Rogers had not moved his leg to block Fedor, he would have been pounded to unconsciousness. Fedor attempted a few other strikes, with Rogers just covering up. TKO Referee stoppage.

Rogers was very upset with himself for losing, but he showed that he deserved to be up there fighting the best in the world. Whereas Rogers looked fine afterward, Fedor had lumps on his forehead, a broken nose and a huge gash across the nose. Fedor said he was looking for an opening and found it in the way Rogers was standing. I expect, in future, Rogers will not stand like that. Rogers was quite keen to have a rematch. 

ayjay

November 8, 2009

p.s.The Ultimate Fighter Season 10 TUF10 guys should take lessons from the heavyweights we saw last night: the fights don’t have to be boring and the fighters had a variety of skills and excellent cardio. The rounds had only thirty seconds between them, yet the fighters did not looked completely exhausted, even those with injuries.