Recently ONE FC Featherweight champion Thanh Le commented on his most recent title defense. In a much anticipated MMA contest, Thanh Le defeated world-class grappler, Garry Tonon.
Tonon is a well rounded grappler but he has a particular edge when it comes to leg-locks. Prior to his MMA transition the American had countless heel-hook finishes under his grappling record. His most impressive feat to date is facing Rousimar Palhares – another leg lock specialist known for his mean streak. There was a big discrepancy in size between the two making the draw all the more impressive.
And while Thanh Le’s coach Ryan Hall is an established grappler – in many ways he’s considered ‘old school’ as opposed to Tonon, whose leg lock game is more of a new wave innovation. Tonon, along with Gordon Ryan is a part of ‘New Wave Jiu jitsu’ a significant shift in the bjj meta game.
It turns out, Le handled the match up superbly well. Just under 3 minutes into the clash, Garry Tonon instigated a leg entanglement. Thanh Le kept calm, countered and proceeded to land hard ground and pound that eventually knocked Tonon out cold.
— Hodko ? (@Balxgun) March 11, 2022
Recently, Than Le discussed the match up:
“As soon as he attached on to that leg, there was no “oh no” moment,” Le told FTSMMA. “There was no panic… I’ve been here before.”
Le then compared Garry Tonon’s grappling to his longtime training partner and grappling coach, Ryan Hall.
“There was a little bit of a realization that “wow, this doesn’t feel as dangerous as Ryan’s stuff”. Thanh Le said. “I’m not saying Ryan is better- I’m not saying Garry is better.”
“You know what?” Le said as he retracted his last comment. “I take that back, I do say Ryan is better.”
“But, you know, just being able to feel an elite level grappler on me on a daily basis for so many years, then getting someone like Garry who’s also so skilled under me and attacking,”
“But then realizing that he is not in my opinion, paying attention to the things that are most important.”
“When you’re on bottom, this isn’t grappling, I get to hit you so we should probably address that first because if you do go to sleep there is no tapping…”
Le has recently shared his thought process behind that anti-BJJ mentality in a mock video he made about grappling defense in MMA.
Le subsequently criticized our take on the video and declared that the intention was to mock the observers who discredited the amount of skill it took to dodge Tonon’s attack.
“Y’all are idiots,” Le posted on social media. “I’m not mocking him, I’m mocking the idiots saying I just swung and discrediting the Jiu-Jitsu skill it took to not get my leg ripped off.”