In the world of martial arts there are several maxims you hear over and over again – one of those maxims is ‘never cross your ankles from the back’ – this is due to the fact that that enables your opponent to leglock you and effectively means you lose the fight even though you’ve secured back control.
But in MMA majority of wins come from back control – rear naked choke is the most common jiu jitsu finish in MMA and has been for quite some time. This means many professionals end up doing everything they can in order to get to the back – but every now and then someone sneaks by and breaks the ‘never cross your ankles’ rule.
This recently took place at the MMASeries52.
Marif Mazhidov effectively went from rear naked choke threat to tapping to Artem Demin in a matter of seconds with the leg lock counter.
Don't cross your ankles. Marif Mazhidov went from RNC danger to submitting Artem Demin in a matter of seconds with the leg lock counter. Infinite ways to lose in MMA.#MMASeries52 pic.twitter.com/7XbQQD3wMn
— caposa (@Grabaka_Hitman) June 4, 2022
Those who are not fans of jiu jitsu might not be aware that this kind of a counter is incredibly painful – especially in comparison to something as benevolent as a rear naked choke where the worst thing that can happen is you pass out. The pressure put on the ankle can effectively break it – and in some variations it’s possible to submit an opponent with a heel hook from this position albeit that’s slightly more challenging.