Thursday, July 27, 2017

BJJ Scout: Weidman vs Gastelum - Teaching an Old Dog New Tricks

Watching the evolution of a fighter or grappler over time is truly a gift of the modern era. Add to that insight from people far more observant and calculating and analytical than your humble narrator and the internet legitimately possesses so much to add to the evolution of grappling and combat sports.

Watching the change in Weidman's tactics and in particular that 10 finger posture controlling grip high on the opponents back to continually drag or chop him down to the back when combined with the riding vs back taking is everything that watching grappling evolve is about.

It's amazing to see a guy as good as Weidman is, with his grappling chops, adjust and change and truly change how guys see and approach the game. Another guy obviously is Maia, watching for example, his fight with Jake Shields that he lost (I honestly think Shields escaping the backpack (an earlier version of it) then ending up on top won Shields one more round out of the three and therefore the decision). At any rate, Weidman's grappling game was just simply fluid. I think Gastelum's success against talented grappler Tim Kennedy also gave him a bit too much confidence in this bout. Gastelum at times appeared to lack urgency in dealing with Weidman's top game. That's of course easy for me to say as I'm at home watching and he could have been doing his best but simply was not prepared for the change in Weidman's top control and decision to eschew back control. It's honestly amazing to go back and see the change in the game of guys from even several fights previously. Here, though, Weidman's body lock to takedown to that ankle pick off the cage, it all just looked and seemed fluid and eventually, with a guy like Weidman on top of you, keeping you there with a top game you likely didn't prepare for...the end came as a result of the top control and opportunity simply arose.

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