Any fan of MMA, no matter if he is immature or a beginner will probably know about how he can rely on the cage for using it as an effective defensive & offensive tool. It can be used by a mixed martial artist for defending the takedowns, executing takedowns, and getting back to his feet, slowing down fights, and executing certain strikes.
Cage is the embedded part of MMA & there’s no actual escaping from it. Fighting against the cage also has so many aspects, but undoubtedly it’s the clinch that takes most of it. Being comfortable with the clinch and all other aspects of Mixed Martial Art in which either you or your opponent is held against the cage will give you a benefit for being an MMA athlete. For knowing more about MMA tips and tricks click here.
The prime objective of an MMA athlete should become proficient in using the power of the cage to his advantage & dominating his opponent by applying modified techniques & refining strategies that would involve the cage.
A lot of athletes take the cage barely as just a ‘wall’ that surrounds the fighting ring and serves no purpose. They are absolutely wrong, they are already missing a lot and have a wrong approach in utilizing all the given resources in the ring. Many of the successful mixed martial fighters apply creative techniques & gameplans for using that fighting cage to their advantage.
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Defending takedowns against the cage and taking an opponent down while against the cage
We are not referring to using the cage-like mighty Anthony Pettis, rather we are associating it with having the dominant or dodging positions & turning it into a recourse which might help you in gaining a clear edge over the opponent. Here we will cover how you can utilize the cage for defending takedowns and using it for attacking your opponent.
Defending takedowns against the cage and taking an opponent down while against the cage. Many athletes use the MMA cage in the wrong way. The cage is more like the third leg. The strategy involves your opponent switching his single leg takedown while attacking your exposed leg which is comparatively closer. From that position, it’s easier to defend single leg takedowns, & the opponent will dissolve his energy that might have overpowered you. This position makes you relatively safe till the opponent uses his hands & forms for locking the body. If the objective is keeping the fight standing, do not panic regarding the back pressed against the cage, rather try to disallow the opponent from connecting the hands on you.
If your opponent is relying on using the cage like a tripod for keeping him upright & defending the takedown, do not go for pursuing the takedown. But, you use your position for dragging him away by using the body lock & then executing the takedown.
You can begin by securing the tight grip surrounding the opponent’s torso, tighten the grip on your back then go for connecting the chest for locking the body of your opponent while reducing the strength. Once you have dragged the opponent further away, you have already removed the “third leg” from the equation.
The difficulty of defending the takedown increases for your opponent. What is going to be worse for your opponent is that you’ve already secured effective grip.
Effective tips for working against the cage:
1) Dominate in the clinch
You must have fine technique & good conditioning for dominating the opponents while they are clinched against a cage. Fighter having an upper hand in the clinch typically does the job better regarding controlling his opponent’s head.
Drive the head underneath the opponent’s chin while you pin him against that cage. Establishing an iron underhook as you find yourself turned in the clinch. Underhook gives you a move advantage for pinning the opponent while it is easier for the takedowns.
With an opponent pinned down to the underhook, your free hand can be used for landing the strikes and for applying some other underhook. Executing Double underhooks will give you greater control over the opponent while making it easier for you to complete the takedowns.
A variety of takedowns can be applied by the clinch position in the cage such as single legs, leg trips, double legs, high-crotch takedowns & hip throws. There devastating strikes such as elbows & knees can be used from that position.
2) Use it as your third leg
A cage is some solid structure that is designed for supporting your body weight and your opponent’s during a fight. Like the legs that carry you around in the fighting ring with all of your weight imposed on them. You see the similarity that is why refer to it as your third leg.
While taking the grappling classes, the most initial thing you learn is as important for properly planting the strong base. It makes it hard to sweep the takedown or move the person while they are standing on the solid base.
When it narrows to takedowns, the cage might serve the purpose of the enemy or your friend. This will prevent escaping the perfect shot with the footwork but can be used for giving yourself extra balance even if someone goes for taking you down.
I.e if the opponent chose to for the double leg & drive backward, a cage is capable of blocking the fall & keeping you upright. Be aware of the position concerning a cage when you spar while competing & make it a part of the base.
3) Utilize it for trapping the opponent
You can use a cage for trapping the opponents in the cage. It is one of the things that MMA fighters can utilize for taking advantage of. The takedowns can be secured easily by the cage for trapping the opponent or pinning them. Cage can be used for escaping harder for your opponent. You can easily trap them in a cage. It not only limit the movement of your opponent but helps in controlling and trapping that movement. Cage puts you in a greater position to take advantage of any movement. You must be careful while you are holding your opponent up against the cage. If he is sharp enough he can turn you down.