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Breaking down Ivan Menjivar’s sick armbar

Ivan Menjivar’s Submission of the Night from UFC 154 was a work of art and jiu jitsu blogger Harmbar walks us through the brush strokes:

While shooting his hips upward, Menjivar forces Gashimov to think of two things at once by swing his left leg into Gashimov’s right side. This does two things.

-It stops Gashimov from being able to stack into Menjivar as effectively since Menjivar is pressing against Gashimov

-It subtly redirects Gashimov’s momentum. In one instant, Gashimov is standing up and getting read y to stack into Menjivar, and in the next, his weight is directed off toward the black Hit Man logo. In fact, Gashimov is so unbalanced, he stops worrying about the trapped arm  in order to try and balance himself with his free arm against the mat.

Gashimov attemps a feeble slam but is unable to shake Menjivar from his arm. However a couple details stick out that help ensure the submission.

-Menjivar keeps his knees tight on the arm leaving very little hope for Gashimov to escape without executing some very solid defense. He follows a pretty simple rule of thumb which works well for me. “If you cross your toes, your knees are tight, if you cross your feet, your knees are wide”. Menjivars toes are cross. Good man.

-In the last second of the segment you can see that  Menjivar is being careful to control Gashimov’s wrist. This is absolutely crucial. A stubborn opponent can keep from being arm barred for quite some time simply by twisting their wrist in order to re-orient their elbow away from the hips. This is impossible since Menjivar controlls the wrist with a firm two on one grip on Gashimov’s glove.

Give me a slick submission like this over a brutal KO any day. Well, maybe it’s a close tie between a slick submission and one of those KOs where the guy’s eyes are still open and it looks like they’re seeing God. Fortunately, you get those with submissions too…