Judo Chop: Carlo Prater Uses a Novel Finish to the Anaconda Choke

As is often the case with the less-heralded events, Friday's Strikeforce Challengers show saw a great night of fights. The main event between Pat…

By: Nate Wilcox | 12 years ago
Judo Chop: Carlo Prater Uses a Novel Finish to the Anaconda Choke
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

As is often the case with the less-heralded events, Friday’s Strikeforce Challengers show saw a great night of fights. The main event between Pat Healy and the previously undefeated Lyle Beerbohm was an epic bout filled with sweet transitions and great grappling from both men. It was also fun to see the veteran Healy successfully spoil Beerbohm’s rise. I’m sure Beerbohm will be back but there’s a reason fans love a hard-nosed spoiler like Healy.

But it was veteran Carlo Prater who really dazzled with his BJJ technique against Bryan Travers, unleashing a very novel finish to the anaconda choke that I’d never seen before. 

Here’s Steve Cofield talking about the fight:

Carlo Prater wanted to turn the page from an awful 2010. He didn’t waste much time doing so. The 29-year-old veteran, who lost 3-of-4 fights last year, put Bryan Travers to sleep with a modified anaconda choke just 38 seconds into their fight at Strikeforce Challengers in Cedar Park, Tx.

Prater lost 2-of-3 fights last September in Shine’s lightweight tournament. He was one of the favorites coming in, but fell to both Rich Crunkilton and Drew Fickett. He was just 2-6 since the middle of 2008. Keep in mind, this was a guy who started off his career with an 11-1-1 record, including wins over Carlos Condit and Spencer Fisher.

The Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt charged forward from the start, landing an inside leg lick, a left hand and when Travers (15-3) tried to work the clinch, Prater scored an easy trip takedown just 16 seconds into the fight. Within three seconds, he secured the choke. Travers was out pretty quickly. Referee Jon Schorle was a little slow in stopping the fight (0:58 mark).

Prater called it a ‘sucuri’ roll after the fight. Sucuri means snake in Portuguese. Here’s an example of Renato “Babalu” Sobral using aD’arce/Brabo choke and here’s Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira attempting to finish an anaconda choke with a gator roll

In the full entry we’ll hear from K.J. Gould and look at some animated gifs of the action as well as seeing a couple of videos of similar moves in training and grappling competition.

SBN coverage of Strikeforce Challengers 14: Beerbohm vs. Healy

Gifs by BE member Grappo

Here’s K.J. Gould of Cage Side Seats breaking down the action:

After a bit of striking Travers tries to get in close and they end up pummeling to over-under control but Prater is first to react with an inside trip. On the ground Travers tries to lock up a Half-Guard but Prater moves his leg out of the way and now they’re on their knees head-to-head and Prater briefly controls with a Front-Headlock before going for an Anaconda grip (Figure Fouring the arms). Whenever a fight ends up grappling and pummeling while head-to-head on the knees it’s sometimes known as the Short Offensive in wrestling.

I just have to jump in and comment on what sweet inside trip Prater uses to take Travers down. He takes his right foot and kicks it to the back of Travers’ left knee then applies force to pull him down to the ground. Back to K.J. Gould:

The beauty of setting up either an Anaconda Choke or a Brabo / D’arce choke is it can be relatively easily transitioned to from the Front Headlock (arm-in) which is a staple of control in the Short Offensive in wrestling generally. Luta Livre has a bit of a Catch Wrestling influence anyway as well as BJJ and Judo and it was interesting to see Prater strategically choose to sprawl back with the head control rather then pull guard and attempt an arm-in guillotine. But also you’re not going to pull guard to setup an Anaconda or Brabo choke anyway and it seems fairly clear the Anaconda is what Prater had in mind all along.

Both Brabo and Anaconda chokes are a form of arm-triangle or head&arm choke if you prefer. The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is remembering that the Brabo choke is a near-arm choke (the arm of the opponent you trap is nearest to your body) where as the Anaconda choke is a far-arm choke (the arm of the opponent you trap is farthest from your body). They are applied slightly differently and people have different levels of success with each depending on their knowledge of positioning, base and leverage – as with most submissions and as is the case with the classic triangle choke with your legs and the reverse triangle choke where the leg position is switched around (also known as a Bolt Lock).

With this in mind it’s clear Prater locks up the grip for an Anaconda. Also interestingly instead of attempting a gator roll he tripods momentarily before he sprawls back which can add more pressure (especially if the opponent tries to posture up increasing the pressure on his own neck) and does a sit-out before hooking with his outside leg and sliding his inside leg in for a modified single-elevator sweep (or modified Half Butterfly sweep in BJJ) taking Travers over. This is a variation that can be used in BJJ as well so it’s not exclusive to Luta Livre or anything. In BJJ even if you do the gator roll it’s typical you’d rotate yourself in and trap a leg for optimum pressure collapsing the opponent’s head inwards. As you could see Travers head was beet-red by this point with the choke well and truly on.


As an extra treat here’s the whole move in one gif. 







Here’s a video of Karel Pravec (Renzo Gracie Black Belt) from Silver Fox Brazilian Jiu Jitsu demonstrating a transitions from the guillotine to an anaconda choke.


Here’s an even more similar finish being used in the National Sambo championships in 2010:

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About the author
Nate Wilcox
Nate Wilcox

Nate Wilcox is the founding editor of BloodyElbow.com. As such he has hired every editor and writer to work for the site. Wilcox’s writing for BE is known for its emphasis on MMA history, the evolution of fighting techniques and strong opinions. Wilcox developed the SBN MMA consensus rankings which were featured in USA Today from 2009 to 2011. Before founding BE, Wilcox was a political operative working for such figures as Senators John Kerry and Mark Warner and an early political blogger. He is the co-author of Netroots Rising, a history of the political blogosphere from 2003 to 2007. Wilcox also hosts the Let It Roll podcast on music history for the Pantheon Podcast Network.

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