Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Toney vs. Couture Leftovers: Anatomy of the Single Leg Takedown

The MMA blogosphere is still a buzz with post-Toney vs. Couture fever. If you're tired of the ever-lingering James Toney drama, this post is for you...

At UFC 118 UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture embarrased world class boxing heavyweight James Toney in a history book-worthy boxing vs. MMA showdown. Couture finished Toney with ease, choking him in a tight near arm choke. Couture used a simple single leg takedown to take Toney to the mat, and initiate his ground attack. The single leg is a common wrestling takedown, one which even Couture acknowledged he hasn't used since college, but it made for the perfect plan of attack on a heavy hitting but flat-footed boxer.

The low single leg that Randy Couture displayed at UFC 118 is one of many variations of single leg takedows. There are generally two forms of the single leg, the outside single and the inside single (with many variations), depending on head position. When Randy Couture took James Toney down, his head was positioned on the inside of Toney's left leg. Therefore, to be more specific, Randy Couture performed a low inside single leg takedown.

The low inside single leg takedown provided a quick and effective means to take James Toney to the ground. The low penetration allowed Couture to get in close without coming within Toney's punching range, while driving against the leg helped Couture finish the takedown without having to lift Toney, exerting too much energy. The low single is a logical addition to any fighter's technical reperetoire.

In the video below, three-time Division I Wrestling Champion and Olympic Silver Medalist Barry Davis demostrates set-ups for and variations of the single leg takedown.

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