UFC 200 – Cormier vs Silva Bottom Defense Analysis

Fans were treated to some high-level Brazilian jiu-jitsu in some of the matches at the historic UFC 200.

Daniel Cormier, the light heavyweight champion and Olympic wrestler had a super fight against legend Anderson Silva. As many expected of an elite-level wrestler, Cormier was able to take Silva to the mat and keep him there.

Despite spending most of the match on the bottom with the grappling monster, Cormier, trying to ground and pound, Silva was able to avoid a lot of damage.

How was he able to avoid punishment from strikes underneath Cormier?

Let’s take a closer look at how Anderson Silva was effectively defending from the bottom.

1) Joe Rogan refers to this type of leg entanglement as the “lockdown”. Silva tries to control the inside arm position to block strikes to his head.

2) A different angle on the leg position used for the lockdown.

3) Each time Silva would use the lockdown to elevate Cormier’s trapped foot, it would cause Cormier to post his hands on the mat to keep his balance. This was a powerful tool to avoid Cormier posturing up to rain down heavy punches!

4) Cormier was using his own arms to keep Silva flat on the mat and pummel inside to try to get a clean shot at Silva’s head. When Silva lost inside position, he would clinch in double under hooks and keep his head too close for Cormier to strike with good power.

5) Silva is known for his long reach and would sometimes use wrist control to prevent Cormier from chambering his punch and achieving a clean shot.

Anderson Silva emerged from the fight relatively unscathed despite defending much of the time from the bottom underneath a world-class grappler and MMA champion.

Silva used this incredible defense strategy to nullify Cormier’s striking and stall until the referee restarted the fight on the feet, where Silva was strongest.

Masterful defense by “the Spider”!

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