Five MMA Takedowns That Will Help You Dominate the Battle

March 7, 2023
From: Spartacus
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One of the most captivating aspects of MMA is the takedown, a technique that can shift the tide of a battle, providing the upper hand in a split second. Effective takedowns can often be the difference between standing tall in the winner’s circle or facing the disappointment of defeat. Today, we delve into five critical takedowns, a skillset that could catapult you from an MMA enthusiast to a potential dominator in the cage. These moves, mastered by many champions, hold the key to controlling the tempo of a match, asserting dominance, and keeping the opponent on their toes. So, strap in and prepare to embark on a thrilling exploration of the seven takedowns you need to master to reign supreme in an MMA battle.

Martial Arts Takedowns

Takedowns come in all shapes and sizes, tracing their roots back to the hallowed halls of conventional martial arts. In the realm of takedowns, one often encountered the majestic Gi or Dgi uniforms, crafted to withstand the test of rough handling and forceful pulling. These outfits became the catalysts for executing powerful takedowns that relied on strong handholds.

But alas, as combat sports evolved, the relevance of these traditional takedowns waned. The battleground transformed into a canvas where bare-chested men and fierce women in sports bras and rash guards clashed, leaving the poor uniforms in the dust. Grip-hungry takedowns found themselves at a loss, yearning for a suitable partner.

Yet fear not, for there arose a new breed of takedowns, born from the fires of wrestling and No-Gi BJJ! In the UFC arena, these agile techniques danced their way to victory, showcasing their prowess sans the clutches of traditional attire. They reveled in the freedom of movement, unfettered by the limitations of Gi grips.

In the early days of the UFC, it was the masters of wrestling takedowns who held court, dominating the MMA fights with their skillful maneuvers. With lightning-fast speed and sheer determination, they propelled their opponents to the mat, leaving jaws dropped and spectators in awe.

In the ever-changing landscape of combat sports, one thing remains certain: takedowns reign supreme. Whether in the grip of a Gi or the freedom of No-Gi, they bring the artistry and excitement that make us fall in love with the fight. So, grab your partner, shed those restrictive uniforms, and let the takedown tango lead you to the pinnacle of victory!

Throws versus Takedowns

In the realm of combat sports, there exists an epic showdown that has captivated audiences for ages: Throws vs. Takedowns. These two titans of the grappling world vie for supremacy, each showcasing their unique skills and strategies in an exhilarating clash of strength, technique, and cunning.

Throws, like an artist’s brushstroke on canvas, are a display of elegance and finesse. With a graceful motion, a fighter seizes their opponent, manipulating their body with precision and redirecting their force to send them soaring through the air. Throws draw inspiration from various martial arts traditions, showcasing their mastery and artistry in every movement.

On the other side of the ring, we have takedowns, the powerhouse of the grappling world. Built on a foundation of strength and explosiveness, takedowns unleash an onslaught of raw power, seeking to forcefully bring the opponent crashing down to the ground. Wrestlers and practitioners of No-Gi BJJ are renowned for their lightning-fast takedowns, using sheer force and technique to secure dominance in the fight.

Throws, with their awe-inspiring beauty, often require a delicate dance of timing and positioning. They utilize leverage, balance, and momentum, turning an opponent’s aggression against them in a fluid spectacle of technique. Judo, with its emphasis on throws, has mastered this art, mesmerizing spectators with its artful execution.

Takedowns, on the other hand, rely on explosive bursts of strength and speed. With lightning reflexes and powerful leg drives, wrestlers and practitioners of No-Gi BJJ launch themselves like human projectiles, fiercely grounding their opponents with unyielding determination. Their dominance lies in their ability to dictate the pace and control the fight from the very start.

In the ongoing battle for supremacy, it’s not a matter of one being better than the other, but rather a display of contrasting styles, each with its own merits and strategies. Throws dazzle with their finesse and precision, while takedowns stun with their sheer force and relentless pursuit.

Various Types of Takedowns

You’ll have a toolbox of choices when the chance arises if you are aware of the various takedowns. Therefore, let’s discuss the various MMA takedowns and how to execute them.

#1 Double Leg Takedown


In the realm of takedowns, one technique stands tall like a charging bull, ready to sweep opponents off their feet with unyielding force: the Double Leg Takedown. It’s a powerhouse move, celebrated for its raw strength, explosive speed, and the primal satisfaction it brings to those who master it.

Picture this: you square off against your adversary, eyes locked, muscles tensed. In an instant, you explode forward, channeling the spirit of a raging bull. Lowering your level, you drive relentlessly forward, your arms wrapping around the legs of your opponent like steel cables. With a mighty surge, you hoist them into the air, defying gravity and leaving them gasping for air as they crash to the mat.

The Double Leg Takedown is a staple in wrestling, MMA, and countless combat sports for good reason. Its simplicity is its strength, relying on the age-old principle of overwhelming force. It transcends the boundaries of gi or no-gi, making it a go-to move in any situation.

But mastering the Double Leg Takedown isn’t just about brute strength—it’s a symphony of technique, timing, and precision. The art lies in the setup, the footwork, and the seamless transition from striking to grappling. It’s about reading your opponent’s movements, finding the perfect moment to unleash your assault, and executing with unwavering determination.

When executed to perfection, the Double Leg Takedown is a thing of beauty, leaving spectators breathless and opponents humbled. It’s a testament to the warrior within, the unyielding spirit that refuses to be denied. It symbolizes the relentless pursuit of victory, the unbreakable will to conquer any challenge that stands in your way.

#2 Single Leg Takedowns


In the vast realm of takedowns, there exists a technique that blends finesse, strategy, and surgical precision—the Single Leg Takedown. It’s a move that embodies the art of timing, leverage, and control, offering a pathway to triumph that leaves opponents bewildered and defeated.

Picture yourself in the heat of combat, your senses heightened and instincts honed. Like a predator stalking its prey, you seize the perfect moment—a chink in your opponent’s armor. Swiftly, you dive towards their leg, your grip tightening like a vise. With calculated finesse, you manipulate their balance, teetering them on the edge of defeat. Then, in a surge of power, you drive forward, their resistance crumbling beneath your calculated mastery as they crash to the mat.

The Single Leg Takedown stands as a cornerstone in wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and an array of combat sports. It encapsulates the art of control, employing precise footwork and impeccable timing to dismantle an opponent’s defenses and exploit their vulnerabilities. Whether in the realm of gi or no-gi, the Single Leg Takedown adapts effortlessly, a versatile weapon in the arsenal of a skilled grappler.

Yet, the Single Leg Takedown is far from a brutish display of force. It is a craft that demands strategy and finesse. It necessitates the ability to read your opponent’s movements, anticipate their reactions, and seize the opportune moment to strike. It is the delicate balance between aggression and control, the very essence of martial arts unfolding before our eyes.

When executed flawlessly, the Single Leg Takedown becomes a work of art. It is a testament to the practitioner’s ability to exploit the smallest of openings, harnessing their opponent’s momentum against them. Spectators are left in awe of the grace and precision displayed as the takedown artist navigates the complexities of the fight, ensuring victory through calculated movements.

#3 Go-Behind Takedown


The Go-Behind Takedown: a move that epitomizes the essence of strategic maneuvering, overpowering dominance, and the artful seizing of victory with remarkable precision.

Visualize the arena, set for combat, where two fighters are entwined in a high-stakes confrontation. The executor of the move, akin to a skilled chess player, identifies an opening—a fleeting lapse in the opponent’s defense. Capitalizing on this window, they execute a rapid transition, moving deftly behind their adversary, bypassing their defenses as seamlessly as a breeze.

The Go-Behind Takedown is a magnificent display of mastery over footwork and control. It demands from the executor an ability to artfully navigate the combat space, expertly positioning their body to secure a dominant stance. They traverse the battlefield akin to a phantom, crafting strategic pathways and creating opportunities that leave their opponent bewildered.

The secret sauce that amplifies the effectiveness of the Go-Behind Takedown is impeccable timing. It involves discerning the nuanced shifts in the opponent’s momentum, the momentary hesitations in their actions. Armed with acute instincts and precision, the executor seizes these moments, effectuating their maneuver with unparalleled swiftness and elegance.

However, the Go-Behind Takedown isn’t purely a physical endeavor—it’s a psychological chess game. It necessitates a deep comprehension of human psychology, the subtleties of misdirection, and the capacity to predict the opponent’s next move. The executor must strategize several moves ahead, instilling a deceptive sense of safety in their adversary before striking at their exposed weakness.

When performed to perfection, the Go-Behind Takedown is a mesmerizing spectacle—a harmonious blend of strategy, footwork, and timing. Onlookers are left spellbound as they observe the flawless shift from defense to offense, the triumphant instance when the executor asserts control, paving the path to their imminent victory.

#4 Outside Leg Trip


In the exhilarating realm of combat sports, where anticipation and strategy intertwine, there exists a takedown that epitomizes the element of surprise—the Outside Leg Trip. It’s a move that defies expectations, catching opponents off guard and sending them tumbling to the canvas in awe-inspiring fashion.

Imagine the ebb and flow of a battle, as you engage with your adversary. Like a wily trickster, you bide your time, waiting for the perfect moment to strike. Then, with a sudden burst of energy, you pivot and expertly hook your leg around the outside of your opponent’s leg. In an instant, their balance is shattered, and their world is turned upside down. They plummet to the mat, their confidence shattered, while you rise as the master of surprise.

The Outside Leg Trip is a testament to the art of misdirection and calculated timing. It harnesses the element of surprise, using the unexpected to gain the upper hand. It’s a move that requires agility, coordination, and the ability to read your opponent’s movements like an open book.

Footwork becomes a dance of deception, as you maneuver around your opponent, creating a false sense of security. With lightning speed, you execute the Outside Leg Trip, disrupting their equilibrium and leaving them vulnerable to your dominance. It’s a display of finesse and control, as you dictate the flow of the fight with your well-timed maneuver.

But the Outside Leg Trip is not just about physicality—it’s a mental game of anticipation and strategy. It demands the ability to read your opponent’s intentions, to understand their patterns, and to exploit their weaknesses. It’s about staying one step ahead, luring them into a false sense of security before launching your surprise attack.

When executed flawlessly, the Outside Leg Trip becomes a moment of pure magic—a breathtaking spectacle that leaves spectators in awe. It’s a testament to your ability to think on your feet, to adapt to changing circumstances, and to seize opportunities when they arise. It’s the embodiment of the unexpected, the triumph of the underdog.

#5 Ankle Pick Single


This technique defies expectations, breaking free from the chains of convention. With lightning speed, you lower your level, extending your arm like a guided missile toward their ankle. Precision and agility guide your every move, as you expertly navigate around their guard, swaying like a phantom in the night.

The Ankle Pick Single Takedown is a testament to the power of surprise and precision. It disrupts the expected narrative of the fight, relying on cunning footwork, impeccable timing, and meticulous positioning. Like a master illusionist, you lure your opponent into a false sense of security before launching your unpredictable assault.

With unrivaled reflexes and an unwavering focus, you seize the moment. The grip on their ankle tightens, throwing their balance into disarray. In an instant, their world turns upside down as they crash to the mat, their hopes of resistance shattered against the tide of your calculated mastery. It’s a triumphant symphony where unpredictability becomes the conductor of victory.

Yet, the Ankle Pick Single Takedown is more than just a moment of surprise. It’s a testament to adaptability and creativity—a constant evolution in the heat of battle. It demands the ability to read the shifting tides of the fight, seizing fleeting opportunities with instinctive precision. It’s about thinking beyond the boundaries, embracing innovation, and always staying one step ahead of your opponent.

When executed flawlessly, the Ankle Pick Single Takedown becomes a masterpiece—a true work of art. Spectators gasp in awe as they witness the audacity and finesse displayed in your every move. Your ability to navigate the intricacies of combat with such grace and precision leaves an indelible mark on the canvas of competition.

So, whether you’re a seasoned warrior or a passionate enthusiast, embrace the enigmatic allure of the Ankle Pick Single Takedown. Hone your instincts, refine your timing, and let your creativity become your greatest weapon. Step onto the mat with unwavering confidence, knowing that you possess the power to astonish, control, and leave your opponents in awe.

In the realm of takedowns, the Ankle Pick Single Takedown stands as a symbol of unpredictability and command. It showcases the brilliance of those who dare to think outside the box, leaving an everlasting imprint on the tapestry of combat. So, unleash the unexpected, my fellow warriors, and let the Ankle Pick Single Takedown be your path to greatness.


In the electrifying world of mixed martial arts, where control is key, takedowns reign supreme as essential tools for fighters. Beyond the points they garner, takedowns offer a gateway to breach the defenses of opponents, a chance to seize dominion over the adversary and pave the way for triumphant victories or ground-and-pound dominance.

It is through these captivating takedowns that legends such as Khabib Nurmagomedov, Kamaru Usman, Henry Cejudo, and Daniel Cormier have etched their names in the annals of greatness. Their strategic utilization of takedowns has won the favor of MMA judges and captured the hearts of the audience, as they masterfully asserted control over their opponents, often leading to swift victories.

While combat sports thrive on the art of striking, even the most skilled strikers can find themselves in a quandary when facing a formidable takedown specialist. The threat of being taken down, immobilized, and rendered defenseless leaves them in a true pickle, grappling with the challenge of countering the relentless force of a skilled ground warrior.

In the pursuit of victory, fighters must embrace the multifaceted nature of MMA, recognizing the power that lies within the realm of takedowns. It is through their mastery of this art that they can turn the tide of battle, unraveling the plans of their opponents and asserting their dominance with calculated precision.

As we dive deep into the world of MMA takedowns, we want to hear from you – our Spartacus community. What are your favorite takedowns? Hop onto our social media and let us know about your most memorable takedown moments from our Spartacus events. Share your thoughts using the hashtag #SpartacusTakedown on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. We’ll feature some of our favorite responses in our next blog post, so stay tuned!


What is a Double Leg Takedown?

The Double Leg Takedown is the charging bull of takedowns—a powerhouse move celebrated for its raw strength and explosive speed. The essence of this takedown is overwhelming force, propelling you forward to wrap your arms around your opponent’s legs and hoist them into the air, ultimately crashing them onto the mat. It’s a staple in wrestling, MMA, and countless combat sports, transcending gi and no-gi situations.

How do you execute a Single Leg Takedown?

The Single Leg Takedown is a calculated ballet of finesse, strategy, and surgical precision. To execute it, you wait for that perfect moment—a chink in your opponent’s armor. You then lunge for their leg, tightening your grip like a vise. With your opponent’s balance now compromised, a burst of power drives them to the mat. It’s a cornerstone move in wrestling and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu that focuses on timing, leverage, and control.

What is the Go-Behind Takedown and how is it different from other takedowns?

The Go-Behind Takedown is the chess game of takedowns. Unlike head-on assaults like the Double Leg, this move requires you to move behind your opponent, capitalising on an opening in their defence. Impeccable timing and a keen sense of your opponent’s momentum are crucial. It’s a psychological chess match that not only demands physical agility but also a deep understanding of human psychology.

Explain the Outside Leg Trip technique?

The Outside Leg Trip is the art of misdirection and surprise. Imagine engaging your opponent, then swiftly pivoting and hooking your leg around theirs. In a flash, their balance is shattered and they plummet to the mat. This technique demands agility, keen observation, and the ability to lull your opponent into a false sense of security before striking.

What are the key elements of mastering the Ankle Pick Single Takedown?

The Ankle Pick Single Takedown is a masterclass in unpredictability and precision. Key elements include lightning-fast reflexes, impeccable timing, and meticulous positioning. This technique disrupts the fight narrative, necessitating that you read the shifting tides of battle and seize fleeting opportunities with instinctive precision.

How important is timing in executing takedowns?

Timing in takedowns is as critical as the strike of a venomous snake. It’s about seizing that fraction of a second when your opponent is vulnerable, allowing you to execute your takedown with maximum effectiveness. Timing blends seamlessly with technique and strategy, becoming the invisible hand that guides your success.

What is the role of footwork in successful takedowns?

Footwork in takedowns is the unsung hero—the foundation upon which your moves are built. It helps you navigate the combat space, position yourself effectively, and destabilise your opponent. Think of footwork as the choreography that sets the stage for your takedown masterpiece.

Are there psychological elements to consider when performing a takedown?

Absolutely. Takedowns are as much a mental game as they are physical. It’s about instilling a deceptive sense of safety in your opponent, understanding their psychology, and striking when they least expect it. A successful takedown often begins in the mind before it manifests in the physical realm.

How do takedowns differ between gi and no-gi situations?

In gi situations, the fabric provides additional grip points, which can either aid or hinder takedowns. In no-gi, it’s a slipperier battlefield, demanding even greater mastery over timing and positioning. However, staples like the Double Leg Takedown are versatile enough to transcend these differences, making them effective in both contexts.

How can I practise and improve my MMA takedown techniques?

To ascend in the arena of MMA takedowns, practice is your fiercest ally. Drill the techniques repeatedly, spar with partners of varying skill levels, and seek expert coaching. Videotape your sessions to analyse your moves, and never underestimate the power of mental preparation. Embrace the grind, my fellow warriors, for in the crucible of relentless practice, legends are forged.

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