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Training to improve MMA takedowns

This is an excerpt from Training and Conditioning for MMA by Stéfane Dias,Everton Bittar Oliveira,André Geraldo Brauer Júnior & Pavel Vladimirovich Pashkin.

By Stéfane Beloni Correa Dielle Dias, Everton Bittar Oliveira, Pavel Vladimirovich Pashkin, Jeffrey Williams, Brian Binkley, Fabio da Silva Ferreira Vieira, Rokaya Mikhailenko, Vitaly Rybakov, Grigor Chilingaryan

One important aspect of an MMA fight is using takedowns to put an opponent on their back on the ground. This leads to the athlete being awarded points by the ringside judges, allows the use of jiu-jitsu with finishing moves, or even allows for a knockout using ground and pound. Veteran UFC fighter Gleison Tibau is well known for his takedown performance, and for this reason we will demonstrate with his help how to improve takedown attacks for MMA based on his training.

Normally, the general warm-up encompasses aerobic exercises, such as jumping rope (see figure 5.1a), shadow boxing in front of a mirror (see figure 5.1b), and dynamic stretching. We also use specific combat movements as well as body weight exercises.

Tire Flip
This is a very good exercise for takedowns or to pressure an opponent against the cage and was previously explained in figure 5.191. The tire used may weigh up to 500 pounds (227 kg) (see figure 5.200) and the sets vary from 6 to 10 flips, with the option to perform jumps into the rests.

Figure 5.200 – Tire flip.
Figure 5.200 – Tire flip.

Takedown With Resistance Band
Begin with the resistance band under tension (the coach determines the tension of the resistance band) and perform a takedown movement with a training partner, who, in this case, is a UFC fighter and former world champion in the 170-pound division, Tyron Woodley (see figure 5.201). The takedown is also determined according to the technical ability of the athlete and may be a double-leg or single-leg takedown. After lifting the training partner (see figures 5.201a-b), Tibau walks with the athlete on his shoulders and the overload of the resistance band, generating an opposing force that forces him to maintain his technical posture (see figure 5.201c). The core, upper-body, and lower-body muscles are called upon to perform the movement. We repeat this movement for 5 to 10 takedowns on each side.

Figure 5.201 – Takedown training with resistance band.
Figure 5.201 – Takedown training with resistance band.

More Excerpts From Training and Conditioning for MMA