One of the most important aspects of MMA is the clinch. In a way that ranges striking, wrestling, and grappling don’t, and it’s unusual in that it blends elements of several combat sports into a diversified totality. There are a few short punches from boxing, a few takedowns and control from wrestling, and a few trips and throws from judo, but knees from the double-collar tie—also known as the “muay Thai clinch”—rule supreme.

The double-collar tie has roots in both wrestling and muay, and it has found its way into MMA. The hands are put one over the other on the crown of the opponent’s head, and the forearms are forcefully pinned to the sides of the opponent’s jaw. As you pinch your forearms together, you should feel a tightness in your chest.

Takedown with both legs

The double-leg takedown is a common move in mixed martial arts. It’s simple to teach and learn in its most basic form, and almost every fighter knows how to shoot the double, whether they utilize it often or not.

The double consists of a level change with the knee hitting the floor; a penetration step, in which the user steps forward to get close to the opponent’s hips; and then shooting the hands behind the opponent’s legs, either placing one hand behind each knee or clasping them together behind the thighs.

After that, the user has a few options for finishing. One option, which is preferred by Olympic gold winner Jordan Burroughs and UFC light heavyweight Ryan Bader, is to place the head in the stomach or sternum to immediately off-balance the opponent.


Trips are takedowns with a clinch, and they are classified as either inside or outside, depending on whether the user’s foot is outside or inside the opponent’s. In any scenario, the mechanics are straightforward: The opponent is thrown to the ground due to the combination of pressing the upper body while removing one of the essential legs for balance.

It’s tough to overestimate the number of possible variants here. They can be executed from body locks, with both arms clasped behind the opponent’s back; double underhooks, with one arm under the opponent’s and the other over; over/under, with one arm under the opponent’s and the other above; or double overlooks, when the opponent has either double underhooks or double lookouts.

Shelby Reedy

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