Clinch throws vs. outside shots

Seems like throws from the clinch (mostly judo throws) are working much better than wrestling shots from the outside these days in MMA. And not just recently. It started a few years ago and the trend hasn't really changed.

Agree? Comments?

Just compare the Chuck/Tito fight with the Fedor/Hunt fight and see how EXTREMELY hard it seems to be for a great wrestler to take down a great sprawl and brawler, but how a judoka has a much easier time. All the judoka has to do is throw some leather and clinch, and his opponent is almost as good as down on the mat in a matter of seconds. Yoshida and Karo are like this, too, just to name a few.

It also seems that the judokas can throw from ANY tieup EXCEPT the Muay Thai double neck tie.

It kind of makes me want to train some judo again, along with my BJJ and Muay Thai. If only there was a way to do that for guys in their 20s and 30s that seriously minimizes knee injuries...


My advice would be to study Greco Roman Wrestling. You will get pretty much the same kinds of throws without the use of the gi. That would be more suited for MMA IMO.

You can't use your legs in greco . . .

Why is Fedor is able to take down Hunt and CroCop when freestyle guys
can? Because he's constanly reaping and posting on his opponentls legs
in the clinch , , , they eventually become unbalanced and he scores the

if you don't drop on knees too much in training (or at all) and you don't compete frequently, you should not worry about your knees from judo.

the main problem is not that people are not aware of judo throws, its just that it is difficult to 'supplement' with judo. throws are much harder to learn in body mechanics unles you've done judo for a long time. in that sense, ground work (judo or bjj) is much easier to learn even in older age as the mechanics are simpler and require considerably less practice to see improvement. the throw nakamura did on randleman (harai-goshi) or yoshida on thompson or wanderlei silva take years to develop well.

fedor uses judo sweeps all the time effectively to end up in top position, practically every match. greco-roman is great too, but lacks the leg-to-leg throws that have become the trademark of judokas in mma, these are in my opinion the hardest throws to defend (and master).

Upper body throws and trips are illegal in freestyle wrestling I hear.

Nobody has ever won with them. There are no throwers in freestyle.


Didn't think about the legs used in Judo when I posted that. However, you can pick up those same Judo moves in Freestyle wrestling as well.

yes, freestyle is great too. its just that the game is a bit different there and more leg shots are emphasized. indeed, there are some great throwers in freestyle as well, just not the majority (just like there are great leg shooters in judo, just not the majority).

i've trained both wrestling and judo/sambo. judo's clinch work is just very complete, versatile and rich in many techniques. and due to the gi' situations are created that don't exist in freestyle. moreover, you master moves which you don't have the chance in freestyle, because you'd get taken down trying to master them. but as i said, thats just general stuff. there are some great throwers in freetyle too.

I don't think anyone suggested that Freestyle lack throws, we just don't
see it in MMA very often.


i believe judo throws are way better for mma now then wrestling shots


It does seem like clinch throws are becoming more prominent. Fighters just don't seem to be prepared to defend them. But some of it of course is that now you have fighters that have trained in those kind of takedowns for a long time.

Aoki's takedown on Hansen from the scramble was fantastic. And Yoshida's throw amazed me most. He seemed to be in perfect balance, comepletely in control through the whole throw. A lot of times you see the thrower land partly on their head or lose control, this takedown was super smooth.

If the only takedown you have is a double/single leg takedown and your opponent catches on and can defend, you're screwed. But from the clinch, fighters seem to have a ton more options (hip throws, reaps, etc).

Of course, it becomes problematic if you only have one clinch throw. Nakamura threw shogun once, but since Nakamura kept trying the same thing Shogun was able to counter or even take him down first.

Yes, what he said.

I wouldn't worry too much about Greco, the lack of interaction between the legs is a big negative on its application to MMA.

Even guys like Couture and Lindland, Greco masters, use double legs and trips to take their opponent down in MMA as much or even more often than do with body locks or other upper body only takedowns.

Nakamura had trouble with Shogun b/c shogun is excellent from the clinch

Thank you jonpall for echoing my sentiments. I was starting to think I was crazy cause I kept thinking it but no one was doing it when they fought Chuck.

Monson and Tito could have benefited from these techniques greatly in their recent fights. I am suprised that Tito didn't watch Randy's initial fight with Chuck to see what was working.

If guys start throwing and footsweeping from the clinch on a regular basis it will change the game I think.

Sakurai has been throwing from the clinch for a long time.

ji32 is correct in his assesments. Thr problem with fights such as tito v. lidell or monson v. silvia is not the free style shot...its the lack of a proper set up. If you are fighting a hard sprawling opponent, you just cant shoot from a million miles away with no set up.

Secondly, I'd have to say that more judo throws are reversed upon hitting the ground, and, judo techniques seem harder to learn and pull off. Athletic non-wrestler fighters can learn a single/double leg and have effect with it at a much better rate then trying to master the repetoire of judo throws one needs to accomplish the same ends.

Don't forget, Drew Fickett pulled out of every clinch with Karo pretty easily...


yoshida's throw on thompson and nakamura's harai on randleman are the 2 best judo throws i've seen in mma so far.