UFC 205 Grappling Highlights

While the main card of UFC 205 in Madison Square Garden did not feature many fights ending in submission, there were some interesting grappling sequences on display for BJJ fans.

Check out three of the most interesting grappling techniques from UFC 205

Michael Johnson vs. Khabib Nurmagomedov

Nurmagomedov is a MONSTER on the mat, and he used some ground-and-pound techniques to wear down and damage Johnson. The fight was eventually stopped due to a Kimura shoulder lock, but it was Nurmagomedov’s superior ground control that got him the win.


Nurmagomedov uses the crucifix from side control to kill the arm of Johnson and is able to strike his defenseless opponent.


Nurmagomedov used this control (also a favorite of heavyweight Cain Velasquez) to control and strike Johnson. He has one leg hooked inside Johnson’s to prevent him from turning away. See the next photo for a better look at the wrist control on the other side.


With strong wrist control on the opposite side of Johnson’s body, Nurmagomedov prevents Johnson from turning away or using that arm to block his punches. Khabib has a clear space to rain down strikes.

Tyron Woodley vs. Stephen Thompson

Woodley is not renowned for his submission game, but he attempted a guillotine in his 170-pound title fight.


Woodley snatched an arm-inside guillotine grip on a hurt Thompson and jumped to guard to attempt to finish the choke.


Thompson’s neck was bent at a severe angle, and it appeared certain that he was going to be forced to tap. However the guillotine was the arm inside variation, which is more difficult to finish than a both-hands-inside grip.


You can see that Thompson’s arm is used to create space for him to breath, even though Woodley has a tight grip.

Miesha Tate vs. Raquel Pennington

Miesha Tate is known for her grappling acumen, but in this match she was defending the submission of Pennington.


Countering Tate’s takedown attempt against the cage, Pennington stuffed the head of her opponent inside and to the center of her abdomen to secure the “10 finger” grip on Tate’s chin.


Pennington is able to exert pressure on the back of Tate’s head by pushing it forward while pulling up with both hands to create the choke.


In a move perhaps never before seen in the octagon, Tate literally walked up the fence to relieve the pressure on her neck.

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