Dirty Boxing & Wrestling of Matt Lindland – MMA Techniques


Matt “The Law” Lindland is an Olympic
silver medalist in Greco-roman wrestling that he won at the Sydney 2000 Olympic
Games. It is notable that at the time he won that medal he’d already had multiple
mixed martial arts bouts. He’s one of the original members of Team Quest which was
founded by Randy Couture and Dan Henderson who were all successful in
translating their wrestling background across to freestyle fighting and in this
video we’ll take a look at how Matt Lindland took his wrestling background
and used it to score takedowns and dominate the clinch with dirty
boxing in mixed martial arts. First off let’s look at how Matt
Lindland closed the distance and initiated a clinch. He did this primarily
with the use of a shifting step, this is where from his southpaw stance he would
throw a straight left hand and at the same time take a step forward with his
left foot so he would end up in an Orthodox stance. While the straight left
hand would force an opponent to block or react the shifting step would then close
the distance as if Matt was running towards his opponent and falling into
the clinch. Now while throwing a single shot with the shifting step can be
seen as a rudimentary attack the shift is still used today to close the
distance but we will more likely see it being worked into larger combinations
and with kicks. Matt would also begin to dirty box immediately after working his
way into the clinch, after throwing the straight left hand he would leave it out
hanging and look to convert it directly into a collar tie and then he would
begin to throw uppercuts and hooks with his right hand. After Matt had established the clinch
one means of off-balancing his opponent he would use was knee bumps. The knee
bump will look as if he’s throwing a knee to the thigh of his opponent and
this is used to destabilize their base while at the same time he would
manipulate their upper body by pushing on their shoulder with his overhook side
and pulling on their lat with his underhook side. The knee bump is a crafty
means of off balancing the opponent and we can see it being used here to
transition directly into a front headlock. The front headlock is a control
position that was favoured by Matt Lindland. After wrapping up his opponents
head underneath his shoulder his main objective was to throw powerful knees to
their head. The common entry was to have a collar tie on his opponent and then to
snap their head down and into the front headlock on the same side. As well as
throwing knees after the front headlock knees could also be used to break the
opponent’s posture when looking to snap them down into the front headlock and
here Matt sprawls out into a front headlock and then takes the opponent
down with an inside trip before basing up to throw knees to the head. Matt would
also dirty box out of the front headlock either converting to a collar tie or
releasing the front headlock and as the opponent’s head popped up he would begin
to throw uppercuts and hooks. When pressed against the fence Matt would
combine the knee bump and front headlock with pummeling and punching to shape his
dirty boxing style mixing them together to off-balance and keep the opponent
defending his punches along with the threat of knees and a takedown. He
preferred to have a single collar tie with his left arm or an under hook with
his right arm and the dirty boxing punches he would throw from that single
collar tie would be the uppercut to hook combinations where the uppercut can lift
the opponent’s head up to line it up for the hook to come around the side and
here you can see him combine these techniques together while securing an
under hook with his right arm to throw an elbow with his left to convert to a
collar tie before throwing a knee framing with his left and then uppercuts
and hooks. Here is an interesting tactic Matt would use to pummel his
left hand in for the underhook you can see him here pushing the chin of his
opponent with his left hand which he uses to create space to pummel. He would
use that left hand on the chin to create that space or he would drive the left
elbow underneath the chin and into the throat of his opponent and when they
would react by lifting an arm to defend he would use that space to pummel in for
the underhook. Here he has joined his hands together to reinforce his grip while
driving his elbow into the jaw of his opponent before bouncing it off for a
short elbow and securing the underhook. And here to pummel he brings his left
hand into a collar tie before dropping it underneath to secure the underhook he
would also use his left arm to throw short elbows at the opponent and after
they had connected he had the option to leave the elbow there driving it into
the throat and chin of his opponent to gain a reaction for the underhook. And
here he combines these techniques together by throwing uppercuts from a
single collar tie before pummeling back in with his right hand throwing a knee
and then launching an elbow with his left hand and pummeling for the under
hook. One of the primary goals of getting those double underhooks is to secure a
takedown one of his favorites is what I like to call the bump and dump which is
where he has secured his hands together underneath the hips of his opponent and
to execute the takedown he bumps them off the fence or the ring and then pulls
their legs out from underneath them this is one of the most fundamental takedowns
against the fence and once the hands are locked together it’s an incredibly
difficult takedown to stop from occurring. Other takedowns Matt would use
would involve manipulating the opponent’s upper body while blocking or
tripping their lower body this included takedowns such as the
outside leg trip but he also had a preference for the inside leg trip which
he used on multiple occasions. Although Matt’s favourite takedown from the
clinch was probably from the rear clinch or belly-to-back position where he would
look to suplex his opponents. After securing the clinch Matt will
consistently be looking to turn the corner around his opponent and
underneath any over hook they may have to secure the rear clinch from where he
would work his throws and here against the fence we can see Matt set this up by
throwing an elbow with his left arm and his opponent brings their over hook up
to his head Matt circles to the back and executes a trip as soon as the opponent
would remove their Whizzer even slightly up to the head of Matt that was a direct
pathway that he would take to get to the back and once Matt had the belly-to-back
position it was very difficult to stop him from finishing a takedown. In
conclusion Matt Lindland was a pioneer in the UFC and at one point he was
considered by many as one of the best middleweights in the world and through
sheer determination he did earn himself a shot at the UFC title. Ultimately it
was Matt Lindland fierce competitive spirit that he had forged in his
background of amateur wrestling that led him to many victories in mixed martial
arts. Along with his training partners at Team
Quest Matt Lindland used that high-level competition experience to develop a
unique fighting style elements of which we still see in use today. And that
concludes this breakdown on the dirty boxing techniques and MMA wrestling of
Matt Lindland. If you enjoyed the video please like and share it and comment
down below. Subscribe if you haven’t already and check out my website at
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23 thoughts on “Dirty Boxing & Wrestling of Matt Lindland – MMA Techniques

  1. great stuff man who do you think had the best dirty boxer? prob randy had the most success i wana really add it more to my game as i always just boxed from striking range and wrestled if a clinch happened watching usman have such success really inspired me too to use it more .

    i like to put things into systems have flow charts of things im gonna do depending on the position and what they do to counter ect like shooting high single they whizzer switch to body lock or go behind to mat return their hips or broom stick if i get far enough behind

  2. Pretty funny how they discredit this man as a win for Fedor knowing the high credentials Lindland had and was even a top 10 fighter in his weightclass before going into the fight with Fedor. Overeem should take notes and be careful who he calls a fighter can like he did in an interview back in 2017.

  3. Welcome back Sonny, I was just talking about Randy Couture's dirty boxing, more for me to practice, thank you.

  4. Great breakdowns always, maybe make a video about Matt huges and how combine folkstyle wrestling with bjj

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