Technique Recap: The Wrestling of Makovsky and Jorgensen at UFC on Fox 9, Part II

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

At UFC on Fox 9, flyweights Scott Jorgensen and Zach Makovsky battled in a fight which featured a rare variety of wrestling situations. Bloody Elbow wrestling specialist Mike Riordan analyzes the techniques on display.

As promised, this Technique Recap has returned for a second part which takes a critical eye to the dramatic wrestling scrambles with took place during the great fight between Matt Makovsky and Scott Jorgensen

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Let's waste no time. First we should notice Makovsky's first takedown in round 1. Here he snatches a head-outside single and promptly runs the pipe, then slips around behind Jorgensen. Jorgensen would get hand control, stand and shear immediately. Not much resulted from this, but it becomes interesting in light of some wrestling sequences later in the fight.

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At 3:18 of round 3, Makovsky obtains another head-outside single. This time (frame 2) Makovsky initially motions as if he will run the pipe, but instead violently pops his chest upward, and executes what I refer to as a reload lift, meanwhile, Jorgensen immediately identifies that he will soon be flung across his back, and deftly reaches his right arm behind Makovsky's left leg.

With the arm behind the leg, Jorgensen uses his momentum to his advantage; he rolls hard across his back and punches his right arm through Makovsky's legs and to his far hip (frames 4 and 5). Finally Jorgensen comes out from behind Makovsky, forcing Makovsky to concede the takedown and fall into guard (frames 6 and 7).

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The previous scramble was fun, but not  nearly as much as this one. Throughout the first 6 frames, above, I have inserted a golden arrow which points to Makovsky's right arm, as this arm provides the key to explaining the whole series.

At 2:45 of round 3, Makovsky has Jorgensen in his guard. From guard, Makovsky scoops Jorgensen's left leg with his right arm (frame 1). In frame 2, Makovsky locks his hands around Jorgensens leg and somersaults backward, landing. on both knees with his head between Jorgensen's legs. Note his right arm back hooking Jorgensen's left leg (frame 3).

As the wrestling continues, both wrestlers rotate a bit and Makovsky plants his left hand on the mat, raises his right shoulder and elevates Jorgensen in an Iranian lift. Keep an eye on Makovsky's right arm in frame 4, with Jorgenson lifted, Makovsky's right arm releases Jorgenson's left leg, then it wraps itself around Jorgensen's right leg (frame 5). In frame 6, you see Jorgensen has returned to the mat and he stands on his knees while Makovsky slips his head to Jorgensen's left hip, now with a head-outside single (high crotch) secured.

From here Makovsky shows great technique wrestling from his knees with a high crotch. He keeps Jorgenson's leg tight to his chest and slides his hips in (frame 7). When holding on to a high crotch on the mat, the positioning of the hips prevent the offensive wrestler from losing the leg, far more than any upper-body strength. Frame 8 shows Makovsky propel himself into proper position with his outside foot while pivoting on his inside knee. He then stands, runs the pipe (frame 9), and Jorgensen slides off and onto his butt (frame 10)

[Note: Sometimes you will hear people talk about "funk wrestling". While the term "funk" in wrestling slowly loses its meaning, the previous two wrestling sequences contain elements which typify funk wrestling. The situation where Makovsky ends up between Jorgensen's legs, above, is undeniably funky.]

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This marks the second time Makovsky has flung Jorgensen to the mat by running the pipe, both times Jorgenson failed to secure a hold which would keep his chest tight to Makovsky's back, as demonstrated above by the guys at Edge Wrestling. We should expect this from a wrestler of Jorgensen's caliber, but this would not be the last time in the fight this situation would present itself.

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At 1:22 of round 3, Makovsky runs the pipe again, only this time Jorgensen succeeds in keeping his chest tight to Makovsky's back. From here he slides his arms around Makovsky's head and near leg and locks his hands, securing a pinning hold known in wrestling as an inside or near-side cradle. I suppose that Jorgensen decides then and there that he will roll through with the cradle in the hopes of achieving an advantageous position on top of Makovsky.

Rolling through with this sort of cradle has precedence in the highest levels of wrestling, including various NCAA finals matches, but it must be done properly.

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You can do it by dropping your head into your opponent's side and ducking it under his body as you roll.  Bubba Jenkins demonstrates this on David Taylor (above).

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Ryan Churella successfully rolled through a near-side cradle on Johny Hendricks in their finals match. I still feel shocked that this worked, and it required Churella to pump his feet desperately on the mat to achieve the necessary force.

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Or you can emulate Jay Jaggers, the master of this position, and roll your opponent head over feet.

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But you can't do what Jorgensen tries and hope to get a good wrestler all the way over by pushing off with your foot between his legs. You will inevitably run out of momentum and your opponent will roll you the other way, which Makovsky does to Jorgensen. I have a feeling that Jorgensen was exhausted and a little desperate at this point, this would serve as the only explanation for this sort of maneuver.

What we have learned

The fight between Makovsky and Jorgensen featured a ton of wrestling, some great, some not so great. However, the variety of wrestling positions on display gives us a glimpse into the much wider variety of techniques wrestling can offer the sport of MMA in the future.

Have a great Christmas.




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