5 things you should know about Erick Silva’s big rear-naked choke of the UFC

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Erick Silva fez o espalha-frango e finalizou Charlie Brenneman ontem, no UFC on FX 3 na Flórida. Foto: Josh Hedges/Zuffa

Erick Silva flattened and choked out Charlie Brenneman yesterday in Florida at UFC on FX 3. Photo: Josh Hedges/Zuffa.

There were two submissions at last night’s UFC on FX 3, and both were rear-naked chokes. The one earning “Submission of the Night” honors was former soccer player Erick Silva’s on Charlie Brenneman, earning him a first-round win and a 40,000-greenback bonus for displaying the most efficient Jiu-Jitsu of the night.

Executing a rear-naked choke like Erick does may seem simple but there are some tricks of the trade involved. GRACIEMAG.com put together a list of just some of them. Got any of your own?


According to Jiu-Jitsu black belt Ricardo “Cachorrão” Almeida, one of the most common mistakes in launching a back attack comes when sticking in the hooks; that is, placing your feet between the opponent’s legs. “I see a lot of blue belts losing the position by trying to get both hooks in at once. The right thing to do is pull the opponent on top of you and put one hook in at a time,” expounded the Jiu-Jitsu professor living in New Jersey. That was precisely what Erick did, and one by one he sunk his hooks before ultimately arriving at the decisive chokehold.


You can fasten your legs around your opponent’s waist with a figure-four—it works well for some. But when it comes to open hooks, don’t cross your feet. Dig your hooks into your opponent’s thighs; that way when he tries to turn, you turn with him and maintain the pressure.


When teaching how to get a choke from back control at his New York academy, Renzo Gracie puts it like this: “Always get your head right up against your opponent’s ear, as though whispering a secret to him.” That way you shore up the hold and leave no wriggle room. Heed how Erick closed the gap with his head before applying the final squeeze.


When setting up the hold, bring your elbows together and pull them to you, at your opponent’s belly. Don’t exert all your strength at once or you’ll tire.


To Marcelo Garcia, the big secret to the rear-naked choke is in being flush up around the opponent’s neck. “I don’t even need to squeeze too hard. If I’m coiled around the neck there’s no escape, and the pressure’s enough to make him desperate and tap out,” the submission wizard explained.

UFC on FX 3
JUNE 8, 2012

Sean Pierson defeated Jake Hecht via unanimous decision
Henry Martinez defeated Bernardo Magalhaes via split decision
Buddy Roberts defeated Caio Magalhães via unanimous decision
Tim Means defeated Justin Salas via technical knockout at 1:06 min of R1
Dustin Pague subbed Jared Papazian via rear-naked choke at 3:21 of R1
Matt Grice defeated Leonard Garcia via unanimous decision
Seth Baczynski defeated Lance Benoist via split decision
Mike Pierce defeated Carlos Eduardo Rocha via split decision
Eddie Wineland knocked out Scott Jorgensen at 4:10 min of R2
Mike Pyle knocked out Josh Neer at 4:56 min of R1
Erick Silva subbed Charlie Brenneman at 4:33 min of R1
Demetrious Johnson defeated Ian McCall via unaninmous decision

Bonuses (40,000 dollars):

* Fight of the Night: Eddie Wineland vs Scott Jorgensen
* Knockout of the Night: Mike Pyle
* Submission of the Night: Erick Silva

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