UFC 200 – Miller vs Gomi Back Control Analysis

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

One of the earlier matches saw a short fight between experienced BJJ black belt Jim Miller and Japanese MMA legend Takanori Gomi.

The scenario

After catching Gomi’s kick, Miller pushed Gomi to the mat. Immediately, instead of accepting the bottom position, Gomi scrambled to his knees in an attempt to get back to his feet and strike.

Gomi however exposed his back and Miller attacked with back control.

Most impressive was how Miller controlled the experienced Gomi and prevented his technical escape attempts.

1) Under hook and wrist control

Gomi got to turtle position and attempted to shake Miller off by raising his hips higher than Miller’s head. Note how Miller immediately secured an under hook and wrist control to prevent sliding off of Gomi’s back and ending up in guard.


2) Changing the hooks

The traditional hooks are effective in not allowing the opponent to turn when on the ground. But in this turtle position, they are not as effective in preventing sliding off to the mat.

Observe how Miller changed his hooks to a sideways formation and “scissored” his legs sideways to prevent him from sliding off.

Demian Maia also uses this variation to secure back control when the opponent tries to raise his hips up to escape.


3) 2 on 1 to break down the structure

Gomi knows how to escape this position and was able to get to all fours and avoid being flattened out. Miller used a 2-on-1 grip (similar to Kimura grip ) on one of Gomi’s arms to break Gomi’s defensive structure.

Think of Gomi on all four limbs as a table. By breaking down one of Gomi’s arms, Miller removed one leg of the table and Gomi was broken down to the mat.


4) The body triangle

Is there a more difficult position to escape in BJJ than a fully locked-in body triangle?

Miller locks in the body triangle and strategically positions the “knot” or side that the legs are triangled on the top. If the “knot” is on the other side or bottom, the opponent can apply pressure to the attackers legs to force them open.


From this dominant position, Miller secured the submission win with a rear naked choke. But the most impressive part of the entire sequence was Miller’s control and preventing the escape.

read also on Jiu-jitsu Times – Most Submissions in UFC History?


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