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Where’s Your Weight?
When I started training mixed martial arts I was lucky enough to meet TUF 1 veteran Chris Sanford. Sanford has the unfortunate distinction of being voted off the show and eventually losing to Josh Koschek in the UFC. I remember him as a martial arts savant.
Every time I spoke with Sanford he gave me a new nugget of training wisdom, martial arts theory, or general insight into the fight game. Maybe my teenage self inflated his wisdom. Or maybe my memory has pedastalized him. I don’t really care because that dude had one of the heaviest mounts I ever felt and he helped me with mine.
When I asked Sanford how his mount was so heavy he pointed my white belt eyes to Roger Gracie, low mounts, and the value of weight distribution in grappling.
I, like many people, saw mount as a position predicated on getting all the way in. You need a high mount to attack submissions and that’s where my thinking stopped. While that is true, you can’t be so focused on high mount that you ignore everything before. Sanford pointed out that the best mounters in the world put weight low just above the hips to thwart bridging escapes. He explained that you need to be all the way in to attack, low to cook your opponents, and the middle zone is a no man’s land that benefits the bottom player’s escape attempts.
Roger Gracie is in mount.
When Gracie wants to attack, his base widens so his legs can move. When his partner Corey gets active, Gracie’s knees pinch into the arm pits and he leans back into his weight.
This weekend we have an opportunity to watch an MMA fighter that regularly uses lower mounts to exhaust his opponents.
All the Way, All the Way Out
Jailton Almeida is headlining this weekend’s UFC card. While his skillset is incredibly lopsided, his grappling is awesome.
In MMA, we often see grapplers forget what sport they’re in. Instead of using striking to work towards better positions and submissions, they’re content to pass and pin. On the other hand Almeida uses striking and positional control to drown opponents until they give him submissions. Almeida does an excellent job of putting his weight low on his opponents to prevent them from bridging and using their legs to escape or stand-up.
In the sequence below, Almeida works to ground and pound so his opponent, Abdurakhimov, bucks. Almeida then backs up and puts his hips and weight on top of his opponent’s thighs.
This weight placement prevents Abdurakhimov from using his legs to escape the position while forcing him to carry Almeida’s weight longer. By the end of this round Abdurakhimov was exhausted. Almeida ended up finishing his exhausted opposition in the next round.
I’ll be watching this weekend to see if Almeida can use his grappling and weight distribution to work over his opponent Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Signing off for now, we’re at 500 words.