So What Happened Between Magomedsharipov vs. Davis?

After UFC 228, several discussions came up regarding what kind of Submission it was that Magomedsharipov pulled off against Davis?

It’s very simple; it was a knee bar.

A better question is why it happened?  Especially in MMA when fighters don’t tap unless they’re convinced they’re about to break in half.

This incident is an example of one of the three red flags often discussed in the TRUJITSU system. For those unfamiliar, Red Flags are used to evaluate the practicality of a technique working against an actual opponent, beyond just a friendly roll session. If a move has all three red flags it most likely will never work.

In the case of Magomedsharipov vs. Davis, a creative knee bar was successfully pulled off that involved one Red flag, and that Red flag was a “Delayed reaction”.

Let’s talk about what specifically happened, and what could’ve happened with one minor adjustment.


At approximately 3:20 seconds of the second round, Magomedsharipov locked in high back control as Davis’ attempted to stand up. 


Magomedsharipov maintained  a strong hook on Davis’ right leg and reached down for a knee bar.

Why it happened?

While everyone is discussing the awesome knee bar that took place, the detail that continues to be overlooked is the reason why the knee bar was able to stick in place. This detail involves Davis’ right leg.

The picture below explains the delayed reaction that made the difference in this leg attack.


Davis’ right leg continues to stay bent.

 What could have happened?

Straightening the right leg would have made Magomedsharipov’s hook less tight, and would have enabled Davis to move his hip to the left, relieving pressure from his leg stretching, and most likely would have allowed him to wiggle out of knee bar. 


One adjustment can make all the difference, however the more competitive the match, the narrower the window of opportunity is to make the adjustment. A delay in processing can allow opponent to solidify their offense.


Long story short, the red flag that made the difference here was a “delayed reaction”.

To be continued in detail on the TRUJITSU YouTube channel and the TRUJITSU show. Coming Soon!