Due to popular demand this Judo Chop is dedicated to the slam-happy Canadian prospect Rory MacDonald. Dominating most of the fight, MacDonald really shone against Nate Diaz in the third and final round by attempting to launch the Stockton native back into the 209 area code with a series of Belly-to-Back slams.
A lot of people called them German Suplexes but I’m going to be boring and pedantic and claim they weren’t suplexes / suplays due to a lack of a back arch and bridge. For a breakdown of a true German Suplex you can always revisit the Kazuyuki Miyata and the Double Rainbow Suplex Judo Chop.
MacDonald’s slams were none the less impressive and for many a highlight of the night. As with a German Suplex though the key to success laid all in the hips. MacDonald’s belly-to-back slams to me looked like a cross between a less explosive Randleplex and a form of turning Ura Nage from Judo (which simply means “Rear Throw”).
Bloody Elbow’s resident Judo Nerd Dan Pederson gave some insight into the Ura Nage and how it can typically be used to counter one of Nate Diaz’s popular forms of attack:
Nate always lets his back get taken standing and then goes for the Harai Goshi/Standing Kimura combo. It used to work well, but it’s pretty flashy and people started taking notice. You guys did a Judo Chop way back in the day where Joe Stevenson used his own wrestling techniques to counter that Harai, but here, MacDonald doesn’t even let him start to wrap the arm. He never lets his posture be broken, he just slams those hips into Diaz and trucks him. It’s Nate’s fault at this point that his standing grappling game has become so predictable.
After the jump I break down the slams illustrated with animated gifs.
Big Mac Slam – As both fighters look to stand up Nate can be seen trying to isolate an arm likely trying to setup the ‘Kimura’ / Harai Goshi he’s known for. Because Nate’s legs are more or less straight MacDonald easily pops his hips forwards after securing a waist-lock and launches Diaz over, turning on the ball of his left foot in the process. This is why in Wrestling a ‘Stand Up’ doesn’t actually mean standing straight up but keeping your hips low and your stance wide, lowering your center of mass so you’re far less likely to be thrown in a similar manner.MacDonald doesn’t arch possibly because of inflexibility, fear of landing on his own head or knowing the close proximity to the fence. As a result Diaz’s right arm and shoulder and his legs take the brunt of the impact but MacDonald is still in a good control position going to an over-under lasso grip.
From another angle – Better illustrated, you can see Diaz’s legs take most of the impact. Painful and possibly damaging but Diaz was more likely to feel a little head rush rather than have any wind knocked out of him. Potentially the most dangerous part of this sequence was when Diaz went to post his right arm. He wisely bent his arm so the force could disperse across his forearm as if he had had his arm locked out it very well may have broken in a similar fashion to Mauricio Rua when he faced Mark Coleman in Pride and broke his arm when trying to brace against a driving double leg take-down.
Big Mac & Cheese Slams – These to me seemed very Kevin Randlman-esque and similar to the turning Ura Nage I mentioned. You can really see MacDonald drive his hips forward and extend his legs while keeping his back straight and his head up and back. This is the key to generating power from the back in a mechanically efficient manner, as well as gripping right at the middle around the waist so the opponent’s weight is evenly distributed. Once Diaz is in the air MacDonald partly releases his grip and pivots with a little follow through on the slam with his left arm. Diaz posts again but lets his arm bend again and the brunt of the impact is now on his side. Had MacDonald maintained his grip and pivoted and allowed the momentum to take his feet off the floor we’d have seen a full blown Randleplex causing Diaz to land on his neck and shoulders. What is good though is MacDonald follows up with punches on the ground not giving Diaz a moment’s breath to recover. Diaz is tough though and MacDonald couldn’t get a finish, but did get 10-8 on a couple of scorecards for that round.
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