Double Leg Positioning Against The Cage With Benson Henderson
Most takedowns in MMA happen off of the cage. Getting a takedown out in the open in MMA is pretty hard, as it gives your opponent more options to defend themselves with. With your opponent’s back against the cage, you take away their ability to back up and move away from the takedown, as well as their ability to properly sprawl. This leads to a massively increased chance of landing a takedown. Controlling the clinch against the cage is also a strong position to hold in itself, with a lot of offensive options. It can also be really gassing on your opponent.
The problem is that a lot of fighters haven’t trained their double legs on the cage or even in the open with proper positioning in mind. This leads to the double leg being less effective, making it more likely to be defended against or even countered. A bad double leg, even against the cage, can also leave you open to eat some really powerful shots from your opponent. This is why it is so important to train proper positioning so that it is there when you need it in competition.
In this video, Benson Henderson goes over the proper positioning to have when going for a double leg in MMA. Benson Henderson is a former UFC and WEC lightweight champion and currently competes in Bellator’s lightweight division. Despite being mainly known for his impressive striking, Benson knows a thing or two about takedowns, having submission wrestling credentials and a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
In this video, Benson goes over the proper placement for your head and back to make sure that you are as safe and efficient in your takedowns as possible. If your head is too low when shooting for a double leg, you are exposing yourself to dangerous counters. A low head opens you up to being sprawled on, getting guillotined or your opponent landing those downward “Travis Browne” elbows that have been popular recently.
You are going to want to have your head tilted up and your back straight. This not only makes it easier to drive in and finish a takedown but also makes it harder for your opponent to land strikes against you. The reason that you are getting elbowed in a double leg is because you are bending at the head and the waist. This puts you in a terrible and exposed position.
You want to have your head as far behind your opponent and up their lats as possible. With this strong position, controlling your opponent and landing takedowns will become much easier and much safer. As mentioned earlier, these tips don’t just apply to takedowns off of the cage but also takedowns in the open if you are able to grab them, as a strong position of the head and spine will increase your chances of a takedown landing.
If you like this tutorial and want to learn more tips from Benson Henderson, then checkout our complete cage wrestling video series featuring him, available now!