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Video: Ring rope choke shows latest advancements in MMA technique

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Cages may be the standard for American MMA, but that doesn't mean fighters aren't advancing the game all over the world, with the help of a ring.

So, if you've listened to me talk, or read what I've written for any length of time, you've probably heard me bring up the MMA meta-game at least once. It's that ever evolving undercurrent of technical skills that make up the shifting landscape of what it means to be an MMA fighter. At one point, BJJ was the height of where it was at. For a while, puffy brawlers in tank tops ruled the world. These days we see a more nuanced, dynamic sport. BJJ, wrestling, and kickboxing all have their place along with a host of other fundamental martial arts styles.

But, that doesn't mean there's not room to grow and new skills to be added. The cage may be the standard fighting surface in the Americas, but it doesn't have nearly as tight a grip on the rest of the MMA world. The well rounded fighter working his way up to the big shows has to take into account that he could be fighting under a variety of circumstances. The famed Yamma Pit, M-1's hexagonal netted ring, or even such strange contraptions as caged squares and whatever that thing Chuck Norris Combat League used. So, the smart mixed martial artist adapts to his environment, uses the tools at his disposal. And if that just happens to be a handy set of ring ropes that helps you choke a fool... so be it.

You'll note in the video above how the fighter on bottom scoots himself under the ropes with his elbows, as he locks down the triangle choke. That split second timing is key. A few seconds earlier on the scoot and his legs might get tangled in the ring, a split second later, and his opponent's head might already be too low down to hit the rope across the neck just right. After that, it's all a matter of adapting traditional techniques. Get your hands behind your opponent's head and pull down as hard as you can.

Unfortunately for him, the ref didn't seem too keen on innovation. That kind of conservative mindset is often the bane of the truly experimental artist. But, as fans, we all know what we saw and it was the evolution of MMA.