How viable is the 50/50 position in MMA?

by Luke Thomas | source:

Can an esoteric leg entanglement that's growing in the sport of jiu-jitsu and beginning to rear its head in MMA be a viable position to win in a fight? Ryan Hall - ADCC bronze medalist, black belt and master of the 50/50 - weighs in on its future.

If there is a constant in MMA, it's that the techniques popularized and used to win are in constant evolution. While many high-level grapplers have said much of sport jiu-jitsu is useless for MMA, a curious adaptation could be happening.

The 50/50 position, a leg entanglement popularized and used in more recent years in sport jiu-jitsu, has been on display in two key MMA bouts. The first was between Rousimar Palhares and Alan Belcher at UFC on Fox 3. The second was a week ago at Bellator 81 between Marcin Held and Rich Clementi. Leg locks have historically been successful in MMA, but also carry significant risk in their application. 50/50 offers something new: less risk of punishment, but demands a higher degree of positional and leg attack acumen. It also requires a commitment to the position.

While it's too early to suggest this is the new frontier in leg attacks in MMA, the appearances of it are intriguing. They also force one to ask the very basic question: can 50/50 be a path for victory in MMA? Are these one-offs of the 50/50 or the start of something larger? What challenges are presented in the 50/50 in MMA versus jiu-jitsu?

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tags: Ryan Hall   


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Recent Comments »

yellow's Willin site profile image  

11/26/12 6:21 PM by yellow's Willin

Haha.. you think it hasn't been "honestly attempted" in the entire history of the UFC? Come on, BRAH

cortXbomb site profile image  

11/26/12 5:26 PM by cortXbomb

'cause every time someone tries an omoplata in UFC they either just sit there and strike, accept the sweep, or try it from a million miles away so the guy pulls right out.Nothing will be completed if it is not honestly attempted.

cortXbomb site profile image  

11/26/12 5:25 PM by cortXbomb

Truth. "Mutually fighting for leglocks" being some new "esoteric leg entanglement" is an absurd notion.

yellow's Willin site profile image  

11/26/12 5:24 PM by yellow's Willin

Not true at all. There has not been a single successful Omaplata finish in the UFC to this day. /mindblown.gif

Ozzimandias site profile image  

11/26/12 5:17 PM by Ozzimandias

it works 50% of the time, all the time...

bhealthy site profile image  

11/26/12 5:07 PM by bhealthy

unfortunately a lot of the people that train this position 6 hours a day can have you screaming for an ambulance faster than you can generate power for a fight-ending punch from uke position. many are completing the heel hook without committing both hands for very long.PS. dont sleep on little girls that are mastering this position. they will cripple your ass.

bhealthy site profile image  

11/26/12 5:01 PM by bhealthy

well it has definitely picked up a Mastre LLoyd Irvin twist since ancient greece or recenr japan

TheBulgarianAssassin site profile image  

11/26/12 3:20 PM by TheBulgarianAssassin

Not true. If you transition into that position then you're in that position. Also, if the other guys stands up then you can sweep him back down most of the time.

elburrogrande site profile image  

11/26/12 2:07 PM by elburrogrande

it is actually the opposite. it is incredibly difficult to just get out of that position. Because of the way your legs are entangled you are in a constant danger of foot attacks and also constantly off balance. This is why people complain in jiu jitsu about the position.

notsobigmike site profile image  

11/26/12 12:02 PM by notsobigmike

I don't have a ton of first-hand experience, but it seems like you also need a somewhat-willing partner to engage in the position.It seems like it's hard to hold against someone who's hell-bent on just getting back to the feet.