Chael Sonnen: The single leg takedown doesn’t exist in MMA
I speak to some wrestlers and they tell to me, ‘Hey listen, people say the double-leg is higher percentage than, I don’t know, a single-leg sweep, but that’s not true because it’s really a function of the wrestler using it’. But it seems to me a double leg is a more accessible tool to all levels of wrestling. Jordan Burroughs’ double is going to be a lot better than your average guy at some MMA gym, but they do work more often. Do you agree?
Oh absolutely, I absolutely agree. I don’t believe the single leg exists in MMA. Whenever I teach it, I give a guy my leg. I get all my guys around, they’re sitting down, they’re watching me in the middle showing techniques. I give a guy my leg, and I ask the group, ‘Does this guy have my leg?’ and they all say yes. And I say, ‘Well look again, does he have my leg?’, and they yes, and I say ‘Look again, does he have my leg, or do I have both of his hands?’ And that’s where people start to understand, a single leg, you don’t want a single leg. I’ll gladly start a fight allowing a guy to have a single.
Is that why we don’t see tree-top takedowns or guys run the pipe. Is the single leg just not effective for MMA purposes generally speaking?
It truly is not, and that doesn’t mean you’re not going to see a guy grab a single and fall down. I know (Yushin) Okami did a couple of real sloppy ones and surprisingly Hector (Lombard) fell right down over the weekend, but they really aren’t. I know Randy Couture loved to go to a one-leg takedown when he was at heavyweight, he would come way up as high as you could possibly get in the groin, and lift the guy straight up and put him down, using his head as a lever.That kind of worked, but I think largely he was forced to do that because those heavyweights are so big he just couldn’t get his arms wrapped around them. But yeah, you’re really not going to see them. You’re just not, a guy can hop on one leg but if you get a hold of both legs, there’s nothing to hop, especially if you pick him up off the mat. It’s just simple physics with gravity.