As far as takedowns go in MMA, most takedowns that work in traditional freestyle, folk style, or even scholastic wrestle work in MMA and vice versa. Excluding using the cage for takedowns, most fundamental takedowns are chained off of Double Leg and Single Leg takedowns.
One takedown that offers many opportunities to build of off is most certainly the Single Leg. Options such as switching to the double leg is very useful. Today we will cover many basic finishes and types of Single Leg takedowns.
Low Single Leg Takedown
Notice how Randy drops his front leg's knee to the ground between Toney's legs. This is the called the Penetration Step which is the basic shot in wrestling. As one shoots and drops his lead knee, the trail leg (the other leg) then proceeds to come up to a knee to provide a base to drive off from. Randy also used the classic wrestling move, the crackdown. The crackdown is a move to counter off of a sprawl by "cutting the edge" and pinning the knee of your opponent to the ground, then hopping sides.
Using your head, you are able to drive your forehead into your opponent's shin bone which will force them to fall and reposition. Because you have the lower portion of their leg, they're unable to sprawl or get their base back.
Single Leg Trip Takedown
Here Urijah Faber performs a classic finish to the single leg which is to kick out the other leg. Most MMA fighters prefer to "snatch" single legs because the "no-risk" involved in it. Performing the penetration step in a shot can be dangerous if your opponent sprawls or even throws a knee in the process. But just lowering your level slightly and snatching their leg is much safer. Here Urijah Faber distracts Eddie by throwing a simple jab then transitioning to a single leg snatch. Also notice how Urijah brings Eddie's leg all the way up to his chest. This minimizes the amount of weight on the Eddie's other leg which provides an easy trip. If Urijah had stayed in "head to chest" too much weight would of been on the other leg which would be impossible to kick out.
Again, Cormier brings Silva's leg all the way up to his chest to minimize the weight on the other leg.
Here is what stickgrappler had to say about the trip takedown
you can lift his leg high and sweep his pillar leg out from behind or step in front and drive for a trip.
All gifs with "stickgrappler" watermark belongs to stickgrappler.net
"Running the Pipe" Single Leg Takedown
Notice how Daniel Cormier snatches his single leg and uses his head positioning to push his opponent. As he is pushing his opponent away, he immediately comes back using his opponent's weight and momentum. He then drives his opponent's hips downward in a circular motion.
Here is Kolat teaching us the takedown.
Here is another perfect example of "Running the Pipe".
Notice Jim Miller controls one of Oliveira's hips and drives it backwards away from the cage.
Sweep Single Leg Takedown
The Sweep Single Leg is best performed when the opponent is circling. Circling with your opponent then suddenly changing directions will open up an angle which allows you to "sweep" around the leg and perform the takedown.
The Penetration Step is shot outside the opponent's lead leg. Then with the sweeping motion of the legs, wrap your arms around the opponent's leg.
Well of course there are plenty more types and finishes to the Single Leg, but these are just the basics. I hope you guys enjoyed this and I'll definitely be putting more out on takedowns and grappling!
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