[Live Technique Breakdown] Chris Weidman’s back door finish on Anderson Silva

In today’s feature, let’s take a look at Chris Weidman vs Anderson Silva, UFC 162.

In this category of posts, I take one great fight (recent, or historic) and break down a single technique from that fight.

It’s been a while since the last breakdown, but no better time to resurrect than right before the biggest fight of the year.

A lot has been said about the stand up, striking and hand position in the first match between Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva. I’d like to talk a little about the wrestling that happened in this fight. Here’s the takedown from the 1st round:

Chris Weidman takedown Anderson Silva

Offense

In the GIF, Weidman shoots for a double on Silva and finds himself in a very common, head underneath position. There’s a couple finishing progressions here, depending on the placement of your opponent’s weight:

Turn the corner

If your opponent’s weight is back and he’s sprawling hard, the usual finishing option is to switch to a single and turn the corner.

Steps for this finish:

  1. Bring both hands to one leg (usually there’s one that’s closer)
  2. Lock and post your grip
  3. Tripod and circle up
  4. Finish standing

3X NCAA Champ and Olympic Silver Medalist Stephen Abas showing this exact sequence:

Out the back door

The back door finish, on the other hand, is useful if the defensive wrestler has his center of gravity too far forward in relation to your head and shoulders. This will happen if the defensive wrestler is late on the sprawl and does a poor job of driving his hips down. And it’s exactly what happened in Weidman v. Silva I.

Steps for this finish:

  1. Get head past opponent’s center of gravity (between the legs, past the hips)
  2. Post a hand on the mat, lift your shoulders and hips
  3. Pick a side and attack that leg
  4. Stay high while opponent slides off that side

It’s never that simple though. In reality there are endless amount of attacks and counters that happen in this back door position. In fact, how easily Chris was able to finish once he lifted his head, demonstrates Silva’s lack of knowledge in this basic wrestling position and his lack of commitment to improving in TD defense.

Defense

Countering the back door finish

The best option is to keep your hips heavy – away from the offensive wrestler’s shoulders – and to keep his head stuffed. Once Silva is past the point of no return, i.e. once Weidman gets his head up, there’s a few things he should be looking to do.

  • Pinch legs around opponent’s head
  • Protect your ankles
  • Look to trap your opponent’s arm to his side, or between your legs
  • Make sure the leg your opponent attacks stays high

Silva does none of these.

Here’s a good example of countering in this position. Iowa’s Matt McDonough countering Illinois’ 2013 NCAA champ Jesse Delgado every step of the way. He doesn’t trap the arm, but executes 3 out of 4 on the earlier tips.

Jesse Delgado v Matt McDonough

Delgado can’t finish through the back door on McDonough

I’ll be honest though, Delgado made a living off this finish and from the same match, Jesse does score on Matt with the same move.

In general, there are so many scramble and counter opportunities that the back door finish is typically considered a secondary option for the offensive man. A follow up to a double leg that wasn’t just perfect.

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Hope you enjoyed this Live Technique Breakdown. Please let me know if there’s any other wrestling techniques you’d like for me to break-down in future posts.

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