UFC 139 Judo Chop: Matt Brown's Scissors Sweep of Seth Baczynski

T.P. Grant brings us another mini-Judo Chop, as he breaks down some of the subtle groundwork displayed in Seth Baczynski's submission victory over Matt "The Immortal" Brown during UFC 139. In this mini-chop, Tom explains how exactly Matt Brown used his long legs to scissors sweep Baczynski and regain the initiative he had seized during the stand-up phase of the first round.

The scissors sweep is a staple of submission grappling, as its seemingly simple mechanics lend itself well to being picked up by beginners and its efficient usage of weight distribution and timing allows it to work even in high level grappling and mixed martial arts.

The basic principle of the sweep rests in using a precise set of grips and the shearing motion of both legs to simultaneously off-balance the opponent and prevent any basing out with the arm and leg on the side being swept towards. If done well, the sweep can land you in mount or side control with a discombobulated opponent. In order to do this sweep well, it often has to be disguised and performed at precisely the right moment, as wary opponents will quickly see and counter this sweep. It also helps to have long legs that can slide into the right places quickly, as Matt Brown showed us at UFC 139.

Join us after the jump for a gif and breakdown of the scissors sweep, as delivered by Tom.

In the middle of the first round, Brown had the advantage standing and Baczynski hit a double leg takedown to try and stall Brown's momentum. Brown quickly establishes the open guard he wants and this is where the gif picks up. We'll let Tom Grant describe the action:


The scissor's sweep is one of the most basic sweeps in all of grappling, but it is rarely seen in MMA for a few reasons. One is that in order to do this sweep, the guard player must open his guard, which gives the top player a chance to pass his guard, and the sweep relies on a collar grip and posture breakdown that is rare to achieve simultaneously in the no-gi environment of MMA.

The grip can be converted to no-gi; it is just more difficult to maintain it along with the foot placement and posture breakdown against a savvy grappler. Matt Brown establishes the set-up grips strongly from his open guard against Seth Baczynski. One arm is hooking the back of Seth's head, keep his posture broken down and the other arm traps Seth's left arm, preventing him from using it to establish base and stop the sweep.

The legwork is what makes the scissors sweep go and you can see that Brown's left shin is pressing into Seth's hip, while his right leg is resting against the outside of Seth's leg to prevent him from basing. With the whole left side of Seth's body prevented from basing, due to arm and leg placement by Brown, Seth is now ripe for the sweep.

Brown pulls with his grips and pushes upwards with his left shin to off-balance Seth. Right as Seth's weight begins to be carried on Brown's shin, his knee floats off the mat and Brown scissors his legs. The shearing motion results in an almost effortless sweep. Brown lands nicely in side control, but when he foregoes securing the position to posture and strike Seth, Baczynski is able to establish guard.

Questions? Comments? Fire away below and thanks to T.P. for the mini-Judo Chop.

Gif via Ironforgesiron.com

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