Technique Thursday: Controlling the Back on a Standing Opponent

Last night on The Ultimate Fighter, Jessica Penne defeated Lisa Ellis for a second time. The fight was fairly one-sided as Penne controlled the ground fight. What i want to talk about today, is how exactly she did that.

I’ve started the video at the exact time that she starts taking the back. Notice how Ellis moves in an attempt to shake her off. Penne’s adjustments allowed her to maintain control. She didn’t just attempt to put both hooks in passively. Her body was too high, and her weight too far forward. Had she made no changes, she would have easily been shaken off.

However, notice how her right foot wraps the back of Ellis’s thigh. The left leg shoots through deep, so that Penne’s leg is pointed up at the ceiling. She maintains an underhook on an arm, and even posts her other arm to the ground as needed. As needed, Penne switches which foot points up, and which grabs the thigh. It’s an impressive adjustment to keep the back.

Be sure to watch and pay attention to the little details. It’s a fairly simple technique, but one that can save you from a world of trouble in MMA or BJJ.


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