The nuts and bolts of Daniel Sarafian’s “choke-the-goose” on TUF Brazil

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Daniel Sarafian (in white shorts) fighting Renée Forte / Photo: UFC publicity

In the third episode of  TUF Brazil, which hit the airwaves in Brazil this past Sunday, Vitor Belfort’s Green Team doubled their lead over the Blue Team coached by Wanderlei Silva, and now the score stands at 2-0. And the best part, the latest point came by way of some slick Jiu-Jitsu, as the team always hopes it will.

In the bout wrapping up the Sunday program on Rede Globo channel, Daniel Sarafian was categorical in dispatching Renée Forte. Daniel dominated the action in the first round, landing solid strikes and kicks. Now in the second stanza he did a good job of defending takedowns and managed to take Renée’s back, where he finished him with a choke.


“If it had been in the UFC, the move would have been awarded knockout of the night,” remarked visiting commentator Junior Cigano, the UFC heavyweight champion who has been left without a challenger since Alistair Overeem’s getting flagged for steroids.

Referee Mario Yamasaki raises Daniel Sarafian's arm. Photo: UFC publicity

Now, Vitor Belfort’s Green Team has two fighters through to the semifinals: Godofredo Pepey at featherweight and Daniel Sarafian at middleweight.

What didn’t garner much attention, though, is that the move Daniel Sarafian used wasn’t your run-of-the-mill rear-naked choke, but a “esgana ganso,” or choke-the-goose—a sort of rear-naked choke without a hand behind the head—, coined by Grandmaster Carlson Gracie, Belfort’s teacher.

We called on another of Carlson’s students to explain the move for average viewers.

“When he took the back and sunk that choke, he realized that if he tried to bring the other arm around behind the head he’d lose it or give Renée Forte a chance to put his chin on his chest and defend,” explained Osiris Maia, one of Carlson’s hundred black belts. “So he went for the choke-the-goose, which is the name for the rear-naked choke without the arm behind the head. The pressure is in the wrist, and you pull the opponent’s head against your chest, unlike a rear-naked choke, where the pressure comes from the forearm.”

To watch the complete fight between Daniel Sarafian and Renée Forte on TUF Brazil, click here.

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