Sunday, 26 April 2015

Analysis of Sharon Jacobson's wrestling against Delany Owen at Invicta 12

Sharon Jacobson is still pretty new to MMA and her overall game needs a lot of work, but she displayed some very slick wrestling in her last fight. I'm going to break down some of her takedowns from the last Invicta show.

Here, Jacobson has a single collar tie and a left underhook with her hands locked together. Owen's stance is square at the beginning of this sequence, but she steps her right foot forward and pushes into Jacobson. Jacobson immediately responds by shucking the shoulder over her head and taking Owen's back.

Owen's mistake here is that she wasn't doing anything with her right arm. Overhooking Jacobson's left arm or wrapping around the head and driving her shoulder into Jacobson would have made it much more difficult to hit the duck under. Owen stepping forward with her right leg also made it easier, as she wasn't in a strong position to base out when pushed to her left. As Sharon shucks the arm over, Owen has to make an exaggerated step with her left leg to avoid falling over, exposing her back in the process, while a short step would have been sufficient if she had her left foot forward.


Here, Owen has overhooked the underhook and is pushing Jacobson's face away with her left hand. Jacobson throws an uppercut that lands right on Owen's tricep and pops the arm up, allowing her to duck under. I don't think this was intentional, but it was pretty neat.

Now that she has an over/under clinch, Jacobson grabs the left leg with her right hand and throws her left arm hard past Owen's shoulder, in a similar motion to an overhand punch.

The objective of the knee pick is to keep the opponent's leg stationary while you drive their upper body past it. Obviously it rarely works out that smoothly, so you'll need to keep driving as the opponent attempts to recover their balance. Unfortunately for Sharon, the cage prevents her from driving any further, although she does get in a nice unintentional headbutt from her momentum.

Jacobson parries a right before extending her left hand out toward Owen's head and attempting another knee pick, which she now has space to complete. Jacobson keeps her lead hand out and wraps it around the body while she goes for the leg with her other hand. The key to this takedown is her large penetration step with her left leg, which allows her to get in close enough to finish and gives her the proper foot position to drive off her left leg and turn the corner, driving Owen's upper body past her leg.

Jacobson throws her right hand up, drawing a counter from Owen, and shoots under the counter jab. Interestingly, she chose to shoot for the far hip instead of the closer one, as is more common in southpaw/orthodox matchups. She takes a deep penetration step with her lead leg diagonally across Owen's body, before stepping up with her other leg and turning the corner. Her knee only makes contact with the mat for a brief millisecond and she never has much weight on it, which allows her to spring up and turn the corner immediately. As she does so, she uses her momentum to pull Owen into her and to her right, throwing Owen off balance, and then springs forward off her left leg to finish the takedown.

Jacobson slips outside of an elbow and shoots for the near hip this time. Having her head on the inside makes it difficult to turn the corner, but she is able to get her hips under Owen's and lift her up, and her hand on Owen's right leg blocks it from posting. As she follows Owen to the mat, she posts her left hand out to avoid smashing her face, which could expose her to triangles against a better grappler.

Jacobson gets caught by a couple punches and shoots a desperation takedown with poor technique as Owen charges her. She shoots to her knees, which takes away all the power in her shot and prevents her from driving off her feet. Owen almost falls over due to sprawling her hips forward instead of back - if Jacobson had her posting foot on the ground, she would simply need to push off a bit and turn her shoulders into Owen to get on top. Owen attempts to circle to Jacobson's back, but Jacobson's hand on her left leg prevents this. As Owen is attempting to get to the back, her left leg comes forward and Jacobson switches to a single, which she finishes easily because Owen is more concerned with throwing hammerfists than pushing the head and trying to free her leg.

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