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Developing A Strong Thai Clinch With Chael Sonnen

Developing A Strong Thai Clinch With Chael Sonnen

The clinch is a really important aspect of MMA but it tends to go pretty underrated. For the most part the clinch is just seen as hugging or as a way to escape damage or take a break. This is a pretty bad way to look at a position that is vitally important to MMA. If you’re looking for a knockout or to deal some damage then being able to do so from the clinch is a really important skill to have. At the same time, if you’re looking to take the fight to the ground the clinch is a great way to get your opponent close enough to you so you can actually go for takedowns.

In this article we are going to focus on the former, with one of the most striking centric clinchs from one of the most hardcore striking martial arts. The Muay Thai clinch, also known as the double collar tie and the Plum position is a very dominant and strong position in Muay Thai that allows the user to control their opponent and land some really powerful knees and elbows. There are also a ton of different sweeps and throws that you can use from this position. 

In order to use the Thai clinch, you are going to need to learn the fundamentals about it and there’s no one better at the fundamentals than the bad guy himself, Chael Sonnen. In this video, Chael is going to show you how he likes to use the Thai clinch in MMA to strike. Chael Sonnen is a former NCAA D1 wrestler and one of the most powerful wrestlers to compete in both the UFC and Bellator. Chael has huge wins over big name fighters like Maurício Rua, Paulo Filho, Michael Bisping, Nate Marquardt, Wanderlei Silva, and Quinton Jackson.

How To Use The Thai Clinch In MMA 


The video starts off with Chael talking about how he likes the traditional Thai clinch position. It takes away your opponent’s offence and you have a great opportunity to and some solid knees However, Chael says that he prefers to only have one collar tie as opposed to two. This is because it keeps one of his hands free so that he can throw strikes with it. With another hand free, Chael is still able to control his opponent with the single collar tie but is now also able to throw punches and elbows much easier. 

Chael then goes on to talk about setups to getting the position. You can just walk in a grab the collar tie but this isn’t going to work on a more aware opponent. This means that you’re going to need a few set ups to get into the position. The way that chael likes to do it is from the over under clinch. Starting out in that position, Chanel steps out and gets the collar tie with his overhook arm. 

Another set up that chael likes to do is shoot for a double but make sure that one hand is lazy. This way your opponent is able to step back and then you can go for the single collar tie. You can also do this set up by faking an ankle pick.

Learn More From The Bad Guy Chael Sonnen

The Winning Fundamentals Of MMA by Chael Sonnen

If you like this technique breakdown and want to learn more from the Bad Guy Chael Soinne then why don’t you check out his full MMA instructional video “The Winning Fundamentals of MMA by Chael Sonnen” available exclusively on Dynamic Striking!