Tonight Ben Henderson was put in incredibly good submissions and continued to raise his thumb and stay relaxed. I couldn’t help but wonder how he could survive such excellent textbook applied submissions. The only reason besides natural flexibility that I could think of was a interview with purefight.org he did recently in which he said:
“it’s a good way to lose water weight , I started doing it as a senior in Nebraska”
His patience and tranquility during each of the cowboys submissions was incredible. Although it didn’t stop Cerrone’s from attempting submissions it did render many ineffective allowing Saunders to wait for him to fatigue. It also allowed him to step over the Cowboy while in odd positions. Stephen Kesting put it best here:
Relaxation and Recovery:
“Yoga teaches you to only contract the muscles and muscle groups required to hold a posture and to relax all the other muscles, which has direct applications to grappling.”
“While it takes special dedication and extraordinary genetics to become as flexible as Nino Schembri, anybody can become more flexible using yoga.Leg, hip and torso flexibility are very useful in dynamic, aggressive grappling.”
"6th degree Brazilian Jiu-jitsu black belt, Marcus Soares, feels that one of the main benefits of yoga is that it teaches you how to keep on breathing while in contorted positions."
If other fighters applied this to their game I could see either an evolution in BJJ in which being good will not cut it anymore and/or strikers combining mediocre BJJ with yoga and being able to escape and keep the fight standing.