All too often fighters forget their MMA training roots and fail to sprawl away from a takedown or submission attempt. The sprawl is an essential element of any fighter’s repertoire, as Ryan Bader explains in the MMA training video above.

Bader demonstrates the sprawl after his partner Andre Maracaba attempts a double-leg takedown. Here are three easy steps breaking down the sprawl:

  1. The key to sprawling away from a takedown is to make sure that the opponent’s head is down. The opponent is going to try and turn the corner on you, but you want to make sure you don’t let him. As he drives forward keep you hips back and control his head.
  2. Next, make sure your hips are squared up on his head after you fend off the double-leg takedown. Keep your hips up and your chest high to maximize pressure. If you do that, the opponent has absolutely nowhere to go, as all of the pressure is on the back of his neck and his head. If necessary, keep your hand above his head to hold it down.
  3. Lastly, slide your left arm across the back of his neck moving the back of your hand above his opposite armpit. This is going to block him from reaching behind him with his arm. From there, slide around on top of him, take his back and start the ground and pound.

With these three easy steps you’ll be able to avoid takedowns and submissions, while putting your opponent in a tough position as well. For more MMA training videos from pros like Bader, head over to and sign up today.

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