If you were Chael Sonnen, what would you do to keep Jon Jones’s elbows at bay?
The best thing to do, of course, would be to not end up underneath him. That’s no easy task. Another would be to avoid irritating the light heavyweight champion during shooting of season 17 of The Ultimate Fighter reality show, the final of which will take place April 27, probably in New Jersey, USA. But we doubt Sonnen will take that route.
So the solution is to tune in to the advice of Gilbert “Durinho” Burns, who helped train Vitor Belfort for his own encounter with Jones. To Durinho the trick is to meld Jiu-Jitsu with boxing.
That’s right, the leg guard of Jiu-Jitsu and the hand behind the head of boxing.
“Fighters these days insist on grabbing the wrist of the opponent on top doing ground and pound. That’s just what he wants, since all he has to do is twist and the elbow goes in crisp,” says Durinho.
“I’d rather climb my guard up and try clinching him behind the head. If he escapes, I protect myself with the hand behind the neck, like in boxing, until I can get a knee in and distance him or try an armbar…” he teaches, with the help of training partner Jhon Menezes in a training session filmed at Vitor Belfort’s Rio de Janeiro gym.
Did you find the 2011 lightweight world champion’s tip helpful? Let us know in the comments field below.