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How Khabib Uses His Legs To Control Opponents on Full Mount

Khabib Nurmagomedov is an undefeated lightweight UFC fighter with a record of 29 – 0. He is best known for his notable wins against Conor McGregor, Dustin Poirier, and Justin Gathje. He has a background in Sambo and is known for his vicious takedowns, as well as his unstoppable ground and pound.

In this breakdown of the full mount, we will be covering tips and drills shared by Khabib on how he manages to use his legs to control opponents on full mount.

Khabib explains that most grapplers use their arms to control and use the legs for Mobility. That is only effective in a pure grappling scenario, but when strikes are involved, the effectiveness and control diminish. In MMA, you have to be able to securely control your opponent with your legs, so that your arms are free to strike and do massive damage. This is one of the reasons Khabib has stayed such a dominant fighter throughout his career.

Use your legs for control, and your hands to attack

  • Control should come from the legs, with the weight pressruing down on your opponent so their only choice is to defend their face from punches or to push your hips away to escape.
  • When your opponent tries to excape and push your hips away, that is the time to start pounding down with strikes to his face. When he covers up to defend, that is the time you can keep advancing your position.
  • Remember: One punch makes a big difference in MMA. One good punch is all it takes to finish the fight.

Always be heavy on your hips

  • The hips play an important part in controlling the mount. Always be heavy on your hips and keep control of the lower half of your opponents torso to give you space to strike when the opportunity presents itself.
  • Keep control of your opponents’ hands to minimize their chances of escaping.
  • Remember: Try no to get too high up on the mount right away unless you are sure to go for a submission or are confident of your control. Going high mount without a plan in mind may get you rolled over for a reversal.

Be able to control the mount using only your legs and hips

  • Khabib emphasizez this mount drill which you can do to improve your mount control without using your arms.
  • You will start on mount, and have your opponent try to escape by shrimping and trying to push you off. Your only goal is to try to survive and stay on mount WITHOUT the use of your arms.
  • Remember: This is a very difficult drill to do at first. Just keep drilling this constantly and you will find your mount control to have improved more and more over time.

Go for submissions when your opponent comes in close

  • Your opponents last resort after failing to push you off or defend your head strikes is to pull you in close. What this does is it removes the power of your punches due to the loss of striking range, and makes you susceptible to a bridge-and-roll reversal.
  • When your opponent pulls you in close, this is the perfect time to transistion to high mount and start going for attacks.
  • Remember: Keep your submissions tight and in control. Submission failures at this part often result in the opponent escaping completely.

Ariston Palacios

Ariston is a Purple Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner and instructor under Carpe Diem BJJ. He is also a Coach at two UFC Gyms in his home country. Discovering BJJ at the age of 18, his passion for the sport usually ends up with most of his time doing all things BJJ related from training, teaching and writing articles. On occasion, you can catch a glimpse of him at a local competition to test his mettle, but you will usually see him sharing his knowledge and passion of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to clients of all ages wherever a mat can be found.