Olympic wrestler and Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren recently partnered with the National Guard to show off some of his favorite MMA moves. In this article, he explains his go-to stand-up techniques.
Step-Behind Double-Leg Takedown
When to Use It: When you’re close enough to throw an Overhand Right
Why It Works: Deception
The Step-Behind Double-Leg Takedown depends on distraction and quickness. Askren starts the move by throwing an Overhand Right that may or may not land. The important part of the move comes as the opponent moves to block the punch. The instant the opponent moves his hands into a blocking position, Askren moves his right leg behind the opponent’s. He the grabs the opponent’s thigh with his left hand and flips him over his leg.
Closing With a Jab
When to Use It: When you need to close distance fast
Why It Works: Momentum
“In MMA, the trick is getting close to someone without getting hit,” Askren says. To accomplish this, the welterweight champ relies on his jab. His strategy is to keep jabbing from a distance until the other fighter gets annoyed and decides to move in. When the opponent starts moving, Askren uses his momentum to complete an easy takedown. Two of his favorite takedowns when an opponent is coming toward him are the Head-Outside Single Takedown and the Double-Leg Takedown.
Muay Thai Block
When to Use It: When your opponent is throwing wild overhand swings
Why It Works: Leverage
According to Askren, the most popular punch in MMA is the Overhand Right. To combat it, he uses a Muay Thai block. He stretches his hand out and puts his head along his arm, giving him leverage to wrap up his opponent’s arm. From this position, he’s able to strike his defenseless opponent with his knees or elbows, or he can perform an upper-body Greco-Roman Takedown.