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Takedown Series : Double Leg Takedowns


The Double Leg Takedown is a very effective technique when executed properly. As basic as a takedown gets, the Double Leg Takedown is the most fundamental takedown out there. Being under your opponent's center of gravity for a split second allows you to either lift or shift their balance.

The Main Concept of the Double Leg Takedown is to lower and drop your level, and drive. Here is Kolat showing us how good head positioning on a shot can be.

Even though Kolat is not using his arms, his head position is good enough for him to drive off with it. Mixing this with the arms makes for an easy finish.

The Double Leg Takedown works flawlessly with setups such as head snaps or feints.

Shooting for a Double Leg Takedown without closing the distance or clearing the arms can lead to many disastrous situations such as

  1. Getting completely extended and sprawled on, then the opponent can possibly spin around for back control.
  2. Taking an uppercut or knee to the head.
  3. Being pushed to your back. Some Jiu-Jitsu players prefer this position. Demian Maia would purposely take weak shots to initiate a sprawl then pull guard.

Michael Bisping shows us what happens when you don't close the distance before you shoot. He is also dropping his knee with the penetration step way too far out from Dan Henderson's legs. The deeper the penetration shot, the more off balance you can get your opponent.

Today, we will be covering certain scenarios and different setups to the Double Leg Takedown

Blast Double Leg

In the GIF above, Sean Sherk did 2 things that essentially allowed him to take "The Answer" down.

  1. He waits for Frankie Edgar to throw out a combination, so that his arms are not by his hips and he is pressing forward. When his arms are not by his hips, Edgar cannot position for underhooks to attempt to stuff the takedown.
  2. As Edgar is throwing his 1-2, Sherk changes his level by lowering his hips and drives forward into Edgar's unguarded hips. Notice how Edgar can't sprawl because of the sudden fast drive by Sherk.

Single to Double Leg

Josh Koscheck knew that Daley was front leg heavy because of the jabs and left hooks he's famously known for. He snatches a single leg then transitions to a double leg. Even though he doesn't grasp Daley's free leg at all, he lifts the other hips around and over hard enough to "pop" the hip and flip him. This is where head positioning matter whether you're driving with your forehead or the side. He executed the same takedown against GSP in their first matchup at UFC 74.

Here is Koscheck finishing a Single to Double Leg on GSP

Cage Double Leg Takedown

This is the easiest Double Leg to pull off because your opponent is pinned against the cage unable to sprawl. Most fighters that shoot against the cage grasp their hands around the opponent's hips and "push-pull" like Randy Couture, away from the cage.


Here Brock Lesnar positions his arms around Cain's hips and upper thighs. Lesnar doesn't have to lock hands to finish a Double Leg because of the freakish strength he possesses. Notice that Brock Lesnar is "Head in Chest" Position applying pressure on Cain's chest.

Snatch Double Leg Takedown

GSP feints with a jab and you can see Thiago react with a head sway. During all this, Alves is completely unaware of the takedown. GSP lowers his level and drives directly into Alves' hips and cutting the angle leftwards with his head. You can see the good head positioning GSP has on Thiago and how he uses that in sync with his arms to drive for the takedown.

Duck Under Double Leg Takedown

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The wrestler in the red singlet wraps the other wrestler's left arm into a Russian Tie. He is thinking about pulling with the arm and inside tripping with his lead leg. Since the wrestler in blue is posting hard on the head, the other wrestler decides to perform a perfect "duck-under" over the far side with the penetration step finishing with a Double Leg Takedown.

Traditional Shot Double Leg Takedown

Chael Sonnen's wrestling is one of,if not the best, suited for MMA. He has transitioned his wrestling techniques and skills flawlessly to MMA. Here, he takes a nice penetration step into a Double Leg takedown. Most wrestlers who compete in Mixed Martial Arts realize to wait for the opponent to punch so they can level change and catch them offguard. Notice how Marquardt commits to the punch and is unable to get his hips under him and pummel for underhooks.

"Running the Pipe" Double Leg Takedown

Chael Sonnen's fundamentals are one of the best when transitioning and chaining takedowns together. Here, he takes a deep shot on Okami but gets crossfaced in the process. Getting crossfaced prevents being able to apply pressure with the head. Instead of driving towards the crossface, Sonnen drives the same direction and pulls Okami's hips backwards similarly to "Running the Pipe" on a single leg. He performed this same technique againstAnderson Silva in their 2nd meet at UFC 148.

Here is another example of "Running the Pipe" with the Double Leg.

  1. Edgar keeps his stance high to confuse BJ Penn on whether he's going to strike or commit to a takedown.
  2. Edgar shoots in on a single leg and is about to transition to a double leg. Realizing this, BJ Penn underhooks Edgar's left arm to potentially stuff the takedown.
  3. Being 1 step technically ahead of BJ Penn, Edgar realizes this and switches to a single collar tie with his left arm and snaps his head downwards.
  4. With the head pressure from the collar tie, he rotates and runs the pipe. BJ Penn's left hip is dragged downwards to the canvas.

Thanks for reading!

Sam Park

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