Bloody Elbow Judo Chop: Josh Neer, Mac Danzig and Three Ranges of Fighting

This Bloody Elbow Judo Chop breaks down the techniques displayed in the Mac Danzig vs Josh Neer fight of the night at UFN 17.

Danzig-neer-13_mediumThe UFC brass recognized Josh Neer vs Mac Danzig as the "Fight of the Night" at UFN 17, and rightfully so, it was a hell of a fight. So much so that I'm going to attempt to do a judo chop on the fight as a whole rather than focusing on a single technique.

I'll start at the end. Josh Neer won this fight on the ground. On the feet, at range and in the clinch, Mac Danzig was outpointing him if not inflicting more damage. But on the ground, it wasn't even close.

In the gif on the right, we see Neer getting the fight ending triangle choke. The novelty of this move comes from the way Josh uses his left hand to control Danzig's right wrist, and then when he pulls his left leg up, he uses his thigh to pin that same hand. Now Danzig is screwed -- Neer has the triangle choke, both hands free and Danzig right arm is pinned to his body by Neer's left leg. By the time Danzig frees his arm, the choke is already finishing him.

More in the full entry.

Danzig-neer-10_medium In the gif on the left, we see how ineffective Danzig's defensive guard was. He attempts to control Neer by holding both Neer's wrists. However, since Neer is the bigger, stronger fighter and Danzig is doing nothing to break down his posture, Neer easily gets his right arm free and a barrage of elbows follows, a painful barrage of elbows.

By contrast, when Neer was in guard, Danzig was unable to mount much, if any offense because Neer controlled his posture, worked constantly to score reversals or submissions, and frankly seized the initiative.

Its too bad for Danzig that the fight was decided on the ground, because standing -- at range and in the clinch -- Danzig more than held his own with the more powerful Neer. In the gif below, look at Danzig's beautiful boxing technique. He combines head movement, footwork, and angles to avoid Neer's punches and land a very nice combination jab-hook combination.


Danzig didn't fight a flawless game on his feet, he started the fight with a lead high kick that he didn't set up and immediately got stunned by a counter punch that stunned him and set the tone for the fight. But all the same, he did enough to survive on his feet -- even dropping Neer with a punch at one point as Neer charged in (above). Unfortunately he elected to follow that up by diving into Neer's guard. Not a wise choice.


Danzig spent much of the fight in the clinch, fighting a defensive battle very effectively as in the gifs above. Throughout, Neer was telegraphing his intention to trap Danzig with the thai plum (both hands around the opponent's neck, behind the head) to land knees to the body and face. Danzig very adroitly evaded most of those attempts one way or the other. In the gif above left, we see Mac and Neer in a classic battle for control as Neer trys to establish the thai plum. Danzig uses his right arm to push Neer's left arm up so he can duck under, escape the hold and throw a nice combination.

Unfortunately for Mac Danzig, his superior technique on the feet was more than matched by Neer's superior power and technique on the ground.

Gifs by Chris Nelson from UFN 17 on Feb. 7, 2009.

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