In mixed martial arts, the fighter who can dictate where the fight takes place is often the fighter who goes home with the victory, and that is why wrestlers have found so much success in the sport today. Their ability to establish position and set pace is one of the best weapons in all of MMA. A major reason why the sprawling is such an important technique for strikers to have.

A great sprawl can keep a fight standing and force wrestlers and grapplers to fight in the striker’s world. Former UFC light heavyweight champion, Chuck Liddell’s sprawl was so good that he essentially created the “Sprawl and Brawl” fighting style.

The sprawl is a defensive wrestling technique that should be used in response to double and single leg takedown attempts. As your opponent shoots in on your legs, you scoot your legs back out of reach while throwing your hips onto the upper back of your opponent. It is very important that you arch your back and keep your knees off of the ground; this will put the maximum amount of pressure on your opponent and will allow you to keep them from securing a hold of your legs.

Now that you have successfully kept your legs out of harm’s way, you can elect to push off to create distance and stand up, or you can look to turn the table and take a dominant top position.

Just like with any technique, the more you practice it, the more success you will have with it. The more success you have with the sprawl, the more you will frustrate your opponents into making mistakes.

Check out the video below for step-by-step directions:

“The Sprawl” 

About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report,, and RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.