ByBas Rutten, writer at
Official Creators profile of Bas Rutten. Retired MMArtist, entertainer, host for the podcast
Bas Rutten

Saturday afternoon in London, we get the first card of the year. I know some people complained about this event, but it really has some great bouts, and I think you’re all going to be pleasantly surprised.

It’s time for a breakdown, so I’ve chosen the main event, a light heavyweight duel between Corey Anderson and Jimi Manuwa.

Corey Anderson

In his last five fights, he’s had only one loss (SD) against , and many thought he won.

He needs to watch out with single kicks, because Manuwa is super powerful. You don’t want to get countered when throwing a single kick, so set it up with punches. This way, you distract your opponent before you kick.

Single kicks, hard and to the head would be okay to throw since the opponent will have to block them, and that will give you a little time to get out of the way again.

Corey has great timing, so I would time a takedown, like he did with Shogun. Why would you stand and bang with a guy who loves to bang and is very good at it? He also has good head movement after he strikes, which is a very good thing against a power hitter like Manuwa.

He should stay outside Manuwa’s reach for a bit, see if he counters when you throw strikes and when he does, you know he can be taken down. That means the next time you throw a strike, he will counter, providing the opportunity for a takedown attempt.

Jimi Manuwa

Manuwa is coming off a KO victory over OSP, and in that fight, we saw him going for takedowns. That’s a pretty standard reaction since the fight before, against , he lost by KO, so he wanted to play it safe. However, I think he will be actively going for a knockout, which means he’ll likely keep this fight standing.

With his 16 wins, 14 of which are by KO (plus one SUB), it isn’t a stretch to think there might be another KO coming. On the other hand, he has to watch out that he doesn’t end up on his back when he over-commits to a striking combo, especially since there’s a good chance Anderson will take him down.

Manuwa also needs to fight outside Anderson’s reach, just to get a handle on his movement, and then look for a KO while still being mindful of Corey’s inevitable takedowns. He had a nice liver shot against OSP, so he should throw that one in the mix, as well.

Manuwa will need plenty of movement, just like his opponent, so he should be “in and out” when he attacks. If it goes to the ground and he’s on his back, he’ll want to get Anderson in the guard, whatever it takes and he’ll need to do it fast.

Practical Advice When Escaping Mount

Let’s talk about getting someone in your guard. Sometimes, you see a person on the bottom, where the opponent has a mounted position and they just lay there defending, or trying to defend the G&P from their opponent. A simple “buck up” is going to make him lose his balance, and that’s the moment you can use to get your opponent in half guard, and from there, you go to full guard.

This should take less than 1.5 seconds. You learn it as a white belt. It upsets me if a fighter, who gets paid money, does NOT escape the mount. I am talking about somebody who sits on you and rains down strikes, not somebody who has a low mount, stretches your legs out and lays on you. Then again, you don’t have to escape that, just keep your hands on his biceps and control those arms. Since he doesn’t sit up straight, he doesn’t have enough space to throw power shots. Just wait until the referee tells him he has to start working and when he sits up, BOOM! There is your escape again. See what I mean?

You have to understand that when somebody has a mount on you and rains down strikes, eventually, when you don’t reverse that person, he will make contact, and once that happens the referee will stop the fight or you will get knocked out.

So, I say buck up, and maybe take a shot or two (if that happens, because when you buck up, you simply keep your eyes on his hands so you can move your head when he strikes). At least you’ll end up in a better position. Don’t worry, the referee will know what you are doing and will not stop the fight.

If you just lie there, that’s when the ref will stop the fight, because your opponent will be connecting on you, and you’re just lying there. In the pre-fight rules meeting, the referee will tell you three times (I was there more than a few times) that when you do not improve your position and are taking damage, they will stop the fight.

So, when a fighter complains afterwards, this makes me think, because if he had listened to the three-time warning the ref gave him, he would have tried to escape.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Now, the conspiracy theory is, of course: “He didn’t try to escape on purpose and looked for a way out?”

It’s like when a fighter rains down punches and the person on the bottom turns on his belly and gets choked right away. Not every time, but I guarantee you that many of these fighters would rather get choked out than knocked out, so they give their opponent the RNC.

Why would I think that? Because when you turn on your belly, the RNC is the first thing any fighter goes for. Fighters know that (happens in training as well), so why not defend the choke? It’s actually pretty easy.

Now, when a fighter gets hit in the head a bunch of times and then turns on his belly, yes, he might be dazed and have no clue where he is, and that’s why he gets choked. That’s why I said “many times” and not “all the time.”

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