Tips and Tricks: Using The Cage Part 1

Embed video: 

Those of us that watch mixed martial arts know that the cage can be used as an offensive and defensive tool. The cage allows us to slow down the fight, perform takedowns, defend takedowns, get up to our feet from a grounded position, and even allows us to land certain strikes. These techniques from the clinch are a valuable asset to anyone’s MMA game, and can even be used in street altercations. This will not be the last article I post on fighting off the cage. The topic is broad and one article just couldn’t cover all of the information. This article will focus on the upper body clinch, and how to control your opponent and take them down.

The clinch is one area of the game that many fans fail to appreciate. Not many know what is going on when two fighters are smothering each other against the fence. Most do not realize the technique and condition required to be successful up against the cage.

Dominating the clinch is about one thing, control. In order to win the position battle one fighter must gain a dominant, controlling, position over their opponent. The primary points of control are usually the head and hips. A fighter can dominate their opponent by driving their head under their opponents chin. This forces the opponent to straighten, allows the fighter to smother him using his weight and leverage.

Another important aspect of the clinch is establishing strong, dominant, underhook. This underhook will help keep your opponent pinned against the cage, and will allow you to further control his body. The free hand can then either work to gain another underhook, strike, or pin down the opponent’s free hand.
Once your opponent is controlled a world of opportunities will arise. Takedowns will be much easier, as well as strikes. Double legs, single legs, high crotch takedowns, leg sweeps, hip throws, knee strikes, and punches will all become available.

Attached is an instructional video where I show you how to perform a high crotch takedown off of the cage/wall. More videos and articles on cage work will be posted in the near future. For more information on me check out, or check out my twitter page at

Andrew Ebers's picture

Andrew Ebers