There’s no question that Khabib Nurmagomedov is one of the greatest grapplers in the history of MMA. He was able to utilize his sambo training to control people towards the finish, nearly to perfection… But still, some (especially in the BJJ community) question whether it’s just his top game that’s good.
Professor John Danaher disagrees. In a recent episode of the Lex Fridman podcast, Danaher emphasized that Khabib’s control is out of this world- but also that his bottom game is very underrated:
He’s a master of exerting control. The amount of grappling control he was able to put over some of the most difficult people in the world to control is truly outstanding.
He beat wrestlers, he beat Jiu-Jitsu players, he beat kickboxers… And he controlled all of them in a more or less the same way.
He has a very underrated bottom game.
People think that he’s all about stifling top control. But people forget he was taken down on several occasions. He showed excellent guard work from the bottom. He was able to get into submission holds on opponents from bottom position.
Furthermore, Danaher addressed the claims that Nurmagomedov is just a positional guy. Which isn’t true at all:
People say that he’s just a positional guy… And no he’s not – he’s got great submissions!
The application of his Triangle, both from top and bottom, was top class! He had a sharp Armlock from the bottom position. An excellent Kimura; if you look at his Kimura finishes in MMA, they were technically very, very well set…
He’s a very, very fine grappler in both submission grappling and MMA grappling. I think we’d learn a ton from training around with him.
Master The Art Of “Smeshing” With The Sambo-Hybrid Fighting System Of Khabib Nurmagomedov, The Iconic Undefeated UFC Champion Who Shows How He Dominated The Field In MMA With Revolutionary Ground Skills.
- Learn standing techniques, control and submissions on the ground, and even some of Khabib’s revolutionary cage work on this 3-part series.
- See how Khabib closes distance with strikes to set up takedowns, his tips on shooting, and using single legs, body locks, and more.