MMA 101

MMA 101


Why are there so many leg attacks in MMA? Because leg attacks offer the highest percentage takedown. However, lowering your level for a double- or single-leg can still leave you vulnerable for a knee to the face or the risk of being flattened by an opponent’s sprawl. If you want less risk, look to the trip. The inside trip uses a common upper-body clinch and good positioning to open up a high-percentage takedown attempt that limits negative consequences.

In this MMA 101, former All-American wrestlers Chad Mendes and Lance Palmer show readers how to set up and finish a variation of the inside trip.

1. Lance and Chad square-off in orthodox stances.

2. Chad throws a one-two combo (right hook pictured) to close the distance. You can throw any number of combos to close the gap.

3. Chad locks in an over-under. Chad’s left arm overhooks Lance’s right arm (notice Chad’s grip on the triceps). Chad digs an underhook with his right arm. Chad’s right leg is forward and splitting Lance’s legs.

4. Chad shoots forward and sweeps his heel in a clockwise motion to trap Lance’s foot in the crook of his knee. Chad simultaneously moves his head to the right side and cinches his right arm (elbow deep) around Lance’s left thigh. Chad maintains a tight grip on Lance’s right triceps and uses his upper body to drive through Lance.

5. Chad finishes the takedown by driving though into Lance’s guard.

image desc
image desc


Cesar Gracie pupil Nate Diaz, with the assistance of welterweight Luke Gamaza, shows readers how he counters a single-leg shot with one of his favorite submissions—the reverse ude-garami, which is also known as the kimura.

1) Nate stands in a southpaw stance, while Luke stands in an orthodox stance.

2) Luke shoots a single-leg, with his head on the inside.

3) Nate stuffs Luke’s head toward the mat with both hands. This makes it difficult for Luke to get Nate’s leg off the mat to finish the single-leg.

4) To begin the kimura attack, Nate traps Luke’s head on his stomach by bending at the waist. Nate grabs Luke’s right wrist with his left hand. Nate begins to thread his right arm between Luke’s body and right arm.

5) Nate threads his right arm through Luke’s right arm and grabs his own wrist. Nate’s right hand is grabbing his own left wrist, while his left hand grabs Luke’s wrist (kimura grip).

6) Nate steps his left (free) leg parallel to his right leg. Nate’s right leg is between Luke’s legs.

7) Nate sits to his butt and forcibly kicks up with his right leg.

8) By kicking hard enough, Nate frees his right leg and flips Luke to his back. Nate continues to keep a strong kimura grip while perpendicular to Luke.

9) Nate uses his momentum to move into side control and force Luke’s arm to the ground.

10) To finish the submission, Nate lifts up on the kimura to turn Luke onto his side. Nate steps over Luke’s head with his right leg, leans back slightly, and puts pressure on Luke’s shoulder.



With the help of Blackzilian teammate Michael Johnson, Eddie Alvarez demonstrates one of his favorite combos in the cage—the crossover.

The crossover is only used on opponents who stand and counter with you. If you engage, and your opponent moves away, the crossover can’t be used. However, if you engage, and your opponent stands his ground and punches with you, the crossover is a great move to utilize.

1) Michael and I square off in orthodox stances.

2) Using the back of my glove, I push my left jab into Michael’s left eye to block his vision. This is the setup.

3) I’ve closed the distance with my initial jab, and Michael is still engaging.

4) As I push my left jab into Michael’s left eye for the second time, I step with my left foot to the outside of Michael’s left foot.

5) I pivot on my left foot and begin to bring my right foot all the way around in a counterclockwise motion so that I am perpendicular to Michael.

6) I continue the crossover by going into my crouched stance in one fluid motion.

7) I’ve created an angle so that I am outside Michael’s range in case he throws a strike.

8) I throw a left hook to Michael’s body.

9) I throw a left uppercut to Michael’s chin.

image desc
image desc