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Analyzing the Signature Moves of UFC 168’s Finest — Part One

The UFC’s 2013 end of year card, UFC 168, is stacked from top to bottom, culminating with two title fight rematches.  Let’s take an indepth look into some of the fighters’ grappling specialties.

Josh Barnett — Side Choke

Barnett, an avowed catch wrestler, wouldn’t be caught dead calling this technique the kata gatame or arm-triangle choke.  At the end of the day though it’s the exact same move, and it really doesn’t matter what you call it, just how good you are at it.  Barnett showed in Strikeforce against both Sergei Kharitonov and Brett Rogers an effortless side choke attack.  Against Rogers, Barnett threw some strikes from the top of mount, and Rogers defended by shielding his face with his right forearm.  Barnett transitioned from strikes to submission, choking Rogers out with his own arm.  Against Kharitonov, Barnett was pounding away from on top in back mount, and when Kharitonov attempted to turn into him, Barnett immediately secured the side choke to end the fight.

Chris Weidman — Front Headlock Series

Weidman is one of the few truly elite wrestlers who has turned himself into an elite submission artist.  While his D’Arce choke against Tom Lawlor was undoubtedly slick, it was the first round against Mark Munoz where he was able to really show off his skills.  Weidman repeatedly attacked back and forth from different types of guillotines and D’Arces throughout the round, and it was only because of Munoz’ incredible submission defense that Munoz was able to survive.  While many fighters are great at the guillotine or D’Arce, Weidman is one of the few who has shown himself to be able to effortlessly transition between both to create an effective double attack.

Dustin Poirier — D’Arce Choke

Poirier remains one of the most well rounded fighters on the UFC roster, and also one of the most dangerous submission artists in the sport.  Preferring style over substance, Poirier has pulled off two very basic D’Arces in the UFC.  First, against Pablo Garza, Poirier executed the most common D’Arce.  Poirier was on top in half guard, and Garza attempted to come up on his side by using his underhook.  Poirier countered with an overhook, shot his arm through, and finished the D’Arce.  Against Brookins, Poirier hit the D’Arce from the front headlock.  A riskier position, but an equally technical finish.

Anderson Silva — Body Triangle

Most of the Spider’s ground game is fairly orthodox, although he puts his own little spin on everything he does.  When it comes to the body triangle position, Silva is the only fighter who has effectively used the position from both on his opponent’s back, and on his own back.  Against Dan Henderson, Silva showed the power of the body triangle from back mount, a fairly common position.  However, against many fighters in the UFC, Silva has elected to take the body triangle position while on his back, and even managed to sweep and finish Roan Carneiro with the position outside the promotion!