Khabib Nurmagomedov Grappling Breakdown & Highlight

Khabib Nurmagomedov Grappling Breakdown & Highlight

In this breakdown video we will take a
look at the mat work and ground game of Khabib Nurmagomedov. It is a style that
is often characterised by relentless top pressure with a superior head position,
pinned on the chest or under the chin of his opponent stifling the shoulder
movement while throwing scoring punches and elbows.
But Khabib has a diverse array of techniques that we’ll be taking a closer
look at. The first of these is from an open guard position. When Khabib is
standing he will launch in with a leaping overhand right in an attempt to
pass the guard of his opponent and cause damage while doing so. This is a
technique that was also employed by his countryman fedor emelianenko and Khabib even used it once to score a TKO victory. Once Khabib has engaged his opponent on
the ground from either full guard or half guard he will look to pass using a
knee slice. This is where Khabib raises his hips and knees higher than his
opponents by beginning to stand and then dropping one knee back down to the mat
while slicing his shinbone across his opponents thighs. This is a passing
strategy that was often employed by George st. Pierre and is ideally done
with an underhook on the far side arm but Khabib will even attempt to with an
overhook. An intriguing strategy of Khabib is that when attempting the knee slice pass
he is not always looking to pass the guard entirely. If he gets his ankle
stuck in quarter guard he will begin to throw punches and elbows at his opponent
. He will often camp from this position using it to gain posture while his
opponent is stuck below him and then starts to throw heavy shots. Another technique he will use when in
quarter guard or even from knee on belly is to use a shin or knee on neck ride. This
is where he pins his opponents neck by forcing his knee or shin down onto their
throat which gives him additional control and posture to strike while
making it extremely uncomfortable for his opponent. Once he passes into side control one of
his attacks is to look for the double wrist lock, where once he has control of
the arm he moves his hips towards his opponent’s head while applying torque to
their shoulder. Currently he successfully finished two fights using this technique. But his preferred technique from side
control is to look for the topside crucifix. Which he will even move into
directly from a knee slice pass after pinning his opponent’s arm with his far
knee. The topside crucifix is a powerful control position the traps both his
opponent’s arms leaving their face defenceless to Khabibs punches and
elbows. While these punches are not the most powerful they accumulate damage and
drain the energy of his opponent. This technique utilise a concept that I like
to think of is putting your opponent into a positional deficit. This is where
you have now made your opponent’s primary goal into escaping the crucifix
but even if they do achieve that they will still find themselves trapped
in side control. If Khabib moves from side control to mount his favourite technique
is to then transition into S-Mount. This is where one of your feet is brought
forward past your opponent’s shoulder which roughly puts your leg into an S
shape where the position gets its name. While this does leave your opponent’s
hips free, it places all your weight down onto their chest and put you in an
excellent position to attack their arms. From the S-Mount Khabib will then attack
with his favourite two submissions which are the triangle and the arm bar. If his
opponent gets their firearm underneath his leg he will fall to his back while
pulling his opponent on top and locking up the triangle choke. If they have their
arm on the inside he will fall to his back and attack the arm bar. If they resist the arm bar he will
happily pepper them with strikes. He will also smoothly chain the two
submission attacks together depending on the reaction of his opponent. Here he
attacks with the arm bar but as his opponent regains posture he switches to
a triangle choke. It might seem odd for a grappler more known for their crushing
top game to have a preference for submissions off his back, But Khabib does
have a very aggressive guard game where if he is taken down
he offensively looks for triangles and armbars which he will use to submit or
sweep or even regain position. While I have shown some of Khabibs common habits
even more impressive is the wide variety of technical moves he has executed once
but only when they were required by the situation. This hints at the true depth
of his game which is constantly evolving to use more advanced concepts for
instance utilising head butts from close guard when the rules allowed it. Using a body triangle to control the
back. Utilising an octopus guard to regain standing position. From the knee
slice pass cradling his opponent’s leg. Using the folk style wrestling
cowcatcher to put his opponent back on the mat. Defending a single-leg attempt with a
belly roll. From a single leg ride using inside wrist control to continually
break his opponents posture and using a full leg mount against the cage. In
conclusion although fighting infrequently Khabibis ground game went through massive
evolution’s in his last two fights against Darrell Horcher
and Michael Johnson. If it continues at this pace it will be very interesting to
see what techniques Khabib continues to utilise into the future. Thanks for
watching my video please like share and subscribe to this channel. If you’re
interested you can watch my other videos on Khabibs take down game and mat returns
and leave any comments below on any questions you may have. Peace!


  1. Your eye for details is AMAZING. I'm a major fan of your channel. And I thank you, kindly, for sharing your knowledge. Please, continue to keep up the good work/videos. Thanks.

  2. Very Nice, if anyone wants to learn these techniques…double knee ride, top mounted crucifix, turtle riding, s-mount etc I have tons of videos on them all

  3. Sign up to my mailing list at for updates & articles.
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    Check out my other Analysis and Breakdown videos.
    Machida Karate Takedowns:
    Fedors Clinch Throws:
    Khabibs Grappling:
    Khabibs Takedowns:
    Khabibs Mat Returns:
    Dogbar/OverUnder Kneebar:
    Leg Mount Ride:

  4. khabib is a genius of ground games ….evrey fights analysts try to stady him but its always a new things …between barboza and mj he dont use any technique 2 times and for tony that will be a new things to avoid triangles and D'arcs

  5. I dont know if khabib wrestling is better than gsp. Gsp was ask to drop from MMA to train and go to the olympic

  6. Missed on of the most efficient tactics he uses in the ground. He traps the opponents arm with his knee making it 10x harder to defend and transition

  7. My favorite thing that he does and does so well, that is somewhat unique is his leg ride/ wrist ride combo with punches. I'm not 100% what you call this because it's more of a system then 1 technique. But what I mean is when he triangles your left leg reaches around for your right arm dropping your shoulder to the mat every time you post and punches you with his left. If his opponent grabs his left instead of covering up then he just throws the elbow. He is also constantly driving you with his right leg as he rakes your right arm. Which pretty much nullifies anything you can do and you are stuck there until he wants to stop basically or until you completely give your back up but even then you kind of can't roll to your back in this position especially Against the Cage which is the only place I've seen him use this. His ground game is just so high level it's unbelievable. I've never seen anything like it. I've done BJJ for 7 years and wrestled in when i was youmger and I've been a fan of the sport for a very long time and I have really never seen anything like khabib.

  8. As non fighter (aside from some kickboxing & jujitsu as a teen 20 years ago) I found these videos really interesting. The planning and skill is just amazing

  9. People always compare all wrestler with GSP…. While not everyday know that GSP was initially a black belt karate guy, than he mastered the art of ground game and now everybody thinks he is just a wrestler….. Genius

  10. Cornor is in trouble he should've defended his title and lose but he decided to hide but the eagle saw Corner hiding at the Cornor😂😂

  11. u r amazing. i love both of khabib and conormc gregor. i Loke to find someone who has these two kind of skill as striker and grapling combine in 1 person. that person is going to be a perfect fighter of this world.. absolute.!!

  12. How about when he traps his opponents arms with his legs and pounds on them while they are completely defenseless…dude is scary on the ground

  13. khabib looking for perfect position is like watching a wild animal masterfully approaching and securing the kill in its back yard

  14. Okay, I'm pretty naive, but it looks like the top crucifix and the s-mount are both dangerously susceptible to a vigorous bridge and roll. The first essentially the same as rolling someone over their head when they have you in side mount; the second at an angle described by, say, a line from their near hip to the opposite shoulder, push out against anything you can grab, and then dive in to take their back.

    Again, I'm naive on this. I'm not claiming to be correct.

  15. What's wrong with his eyes? He looks like he lives in constant fear of someone or something! At the same time the way he looks there is a missing shine.

    Is it just my observation or Majority of Khabib fans seem to be propagandist because they belong to the same religion. They seem more driven to be fans because of their religious aliegence than actually the game. That's an undeniable fact!

  16. Some people like fighters that Depend on one hook to win the fight, and then the same people Say that Khabib is boring and onedimentional.

  17. What is a better response to Khabib, closed guard w/broken posture or scrambling like a motherfucker?

    Scrambling seems more promising but risks conceding bad positions. Trapping him seems hard to do and doesnt seem to have much upside but at least its efficient and you might avoid his best blows.


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