Defend the SIngle on One Leg by Henry Cejudo
Getting shot on sucks, let’s get out of the way. You can come into a match confident and poised, but the second you have your opponent shoot on you, you’re now mentally switching gears between being the attacker to being attacked. How your respond to that switch depends heavily on your ability to defend the takedown, and it’s never too late to improve on that.
Sprawling is the best defense for a shot, but sometimes your opponent has already made penetration, leaving you trapped in a single leg scenario. In the video below, UFC Flyweight and Bantamweight Champion Henry Cejudo details how to defend against the single leg takedown while you’re on one leg.
After his opponent has his right leg captured from the shot, Cejudo moves his shin to the outside of their legs. This prevents the opponent from running the pipe or working any trip finishes. In addition, he’s adding other positional tools to help him out: grabbing wrist control on the far side, grabbing a whizzer on the near side, and keeping his head low and in the inside of his opponent’s frame. These combined elements along with the leg on the outside allow Cejudo to put significant pressure on the opponent’s near leg.
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While the leg is on the outside, the opponent still has a dominant angle on you, especially if you’re stuck with one leg. Cejudo’s approach is to eliminate that angle by squaring up with his opponent. To do so, he finds their chin and moves it out of the way so that he can move his head to the opposite side. As a result, your opponent no longer as an angle to use for attacks. They still have the leg at this point, but squaring up reduces their chances of hitting a finish dramatically since they need to reposition.
Dropping the Leg
Squaring up also gives you better access to your opponent’s nearside arm, which you need in order to create distance. Keep the whizzer on the near side and bring your other arm just above your opponent’s elbow and pinch. Then, lock your hands (Cejudo chooses to use an S-grip, but a Gable grip will also suffice in this scenario) and bring your forearms together. This puts a lot of pressure on their arms and makes it difficult to maintain a grip. You can use this as an opportunity to free your leg by stomping your leg hard at the ground. The battle isn’t finished here, however. Your opponent still has double underhooks on you since you relied on two overhooks to free the leg. You will need to pummel inside for an underhook or create distance and reset.
Being caught in a compromised situation doesn’t mean having to lose faith in your ability to wrestle. Having your opponent capture one of your legs certainly qualifies as being compromised, but there are ways to get out of it. By using techniques like Henry Cejudo’s single leg defense, you can gather your poise again and work towards the victory.
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