Technique talk: Islam uses the anchor foot

I’ve often wondered why we don’t see the anchor foot used more in MMA.

The anchor foot is an alternative to double hooks. You see it often in folkstyle wrestling. You have one leg (or hook, as BJJ guys will call it) in. Instead of throwing the second boot in, you have the second foot go in between the opponents’ legs from behind and under the shin. You can put a lot of pressure from there if you put your hips in, and you’re way less likely to get too high than double boots.

Islam had the anchor foot in when he got the sub. It’s a great position and I think fighters should use it more.


Islam’s right foot is in the anchor foot position:


Using my imagination cos OP didn’t post pics.

I noticed this too and was surprised to commentary team didn’t pick up on it.

Also, before the submission he was using it really effectively to stretch out Moises’ right leg and prevent him from building up any base.


This move should help his popularity a lot

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Love these techniques posts. Good job OP.


I forgot the sequence as to how he got in the position. Did he have Moises in turtle and place his shin across his calf before turning him over?

Edit: I’m a moron I saw the additional link with the video. Yes, he did place it on before turning him.

I have done the same in rolling off of a power half in No Gi. I put pressure to get them to resist at which point I switch my right arm over their head and grab a gable grip while turning them. One of my sambo coaches showed it to me as a turn awhile ago.

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Yes. I prefer this approach to the power half in folkstyle. I used it throughout college and I coach it. Spreading the anchor foot creates incredible pressure if your hips are down. Islam used this beautifully!

He used an outside hook too, instead of an inside one.

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Good update. Now I see the technique I understand what you’re talking about more and it’s defo an interesting alternative way to do it.

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I liked watching him try to continuously get the near side hook in and Moises would be aware and force his arm down and pull his knee up to block.

He dealt with the denial maybe four times before Islam used it against Moises to set up the choke.

Islam had his Anchor foot and Underhook and the same side. On the opposite side he fed his left arm across the chest by briefly grabbing a 2 on 1 of Moises left arm. Once he had control of it with position and body weight he throws some soft strikes to soften up Moises and create openings.

He then pulls out the anchor in favor of the hook and Moises defends it again by blocking with his elbow. A fatal error. Thiago’s right shoulder created a gap between the head and shoulder but his arm then cant stop Islam’s left from diving under the neck and getting the position needed for the finish.

Smooth, calm and efficient.

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Any YouTube breakdowns of the technique?

I noticed it as I watched but honestly I’m not too familiar with the technique.

I doubt it. For whatever reason, it’s not taught so much and when it is taught, it’s usually in the context of the power half. Tbh, I’m not even sure how many people call it the anchor foot.

I found this video of a guy briefly showing it.

Like most things in wrestling it probably has 20 different names.


Thanks for posting. I show it very similarly. The only thing I’d add is emphasis on keeping your hips down as you separate the legs. The creates the pressure to break a guy down.

So, I hadn’t watched the full fight until last night – I only saw the finishing sequence. Two observations:

  1. Islam used the anchor foot throughout the fight.

  2. Islam’s single leg defense is great. He focuses on pushing the head down and away and then, if he can get the person’s head below his hips, squaring up his hips. It’s a far better approach, imo, than what is usually taught: focus mostly on the whizzer and securing an underhook.