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Offensive And Defensive Knees With Cheick

Offensive And Defensive Knees With Cheick

Mixed Martial Arts has a lot to do with blending styles together. A fighter will have a base style but will need to incorporate techniques from other styles in order to be truly effective. For instance wrestlers need to add boxing into their style in order to set up the takedown. On the flip side Strikers need to add in wrestling concepts to keep the fight standing. 

Today we have Chieck Kongo showing how he likes to prevent and counter takedown attempts so he can continue to do what he does best. Throw heavy hands and kicks and knock out opponents in the Heavyweight Division. 


Being an experienced fighter Cheick knows that most takedown attempts happen against the cage in MMA. While against the fence Sprawling your legs back is not an option, instead Cheick widens his base to maintain balance and become heavier. He also begins to create a slight angle by pointing both his feet to the same direction. 


Looking for a Muay Thai Manual that applies to MMA? Click Learn More!



NOTE: Against the fence takedowns have to be done at an angle. The near side is the side the attacking fighters shoulder is pressing with, the farside being the other arm reaching for the far leg.

Cheick would like the underhook on the near side arm. If he can achieve this early his ability to defend the takedown becomes much easier. Using the underhook to lift the arm up off his leg pulling his opponent vertical, No level change, no takedown. 

The problem is when a fighter attempts a takedown, it is never done slowly and if the underhook is not achieved early, you cannot take the time to dig for it. If you do the chances of you hitting the mat become greater with each second that goes by.

If the underhook is unavailable (most common scenario) Cheick immediately digs an overhook referred to as a Whizzer. Cheick can attempt to pull up with the Whizzer but his best option is to just maintain control on that side.

At this time an analysis of the situation has to be made. 

Does the fighter attacking the takedown have far side wrist control? 


Yes: Then many fighters will attempt to use a knee to break that wrist control grip. Cheick prefers a more brutal option. If they control his wrist instead of trying to break the grip, he throws knees at the elbow and arm. This will essentially punish the opponent for maintaining the grip. 

No: Cheick moves to controlling their wrist with a top side grip. Then pulling their hand away from his knee. At this point his opponent is pressuring him into the cage, which works to Cheick’s advantage. It provides stability for when he throws knees to his opponents chest. 

These will make his opponent think twice about attempting the takedown again. Although when it comes to fighting Kongo if you stand in front of him you are going to get punished, if you attempt to take him down you are going to get punished. Either option is going to hurt the only thing for his opponent to do is decide how they would like him to do it. 

Cheick Kongo has been in the fight game since 2001. Starting off as a kickboxer in France he garnered an impressive 21-2 record with 12 knockouts. His last Kickboxing match was at the King of Colosseum in Bosnia. He fought three times and won all three fights. Two of which by way of knockout. 

After Kickboxing Cheick transferred full time to MMA. Cheick has fought and beaten some of the best heavyweights in the world. He is a true kickboxer in that he has learned ground skills and even has a few submission victories. As a matter of fact Cheick won his first MMA Fight in 2001 via Heel Hook. 

The submissions are not what Cheick is known for. Cheick is known for his ability to take people to the dream world via vicious kickboxing. Of his 30 professional MMA Victories half of them come by way of knockout. 

Currently Cheick Kongo is in the hunt for the Bellator heavyweight title. Him and Ryan Bader have unfinished business and Kongo is looking to extend his eight fight win streak and earn that Bellator Championship. 


In this instructional Cheick Kongo goes over how to throw Elbows and Knees in a MMA situation. Most instructionals only touch on these weapons, but Cheick has a 3 part instructional solely on these brutal aspects of striking. 

The MMA Muay Thai Manual by Cheick Kongo

He covers everything from the basics how to throw Elbows and Knees then how to implement them both offensively and defensively as seen in the video above. Get Brutal with one of the best strikers in MMA Heavyweight history! Check out his punishing Muay Thai Style in his instructional here!