School for Noobs – MMA Lingo 101

July 19, 2013 1:28 pm by Sean McClure

MMA lingo is a strange beast. Some of it stays the same over long periods of time like the word “Greenlit”. When someone is Greenlit they are taught a lesson in training. The lesson is usually do not go full speed and force against your sparring partners or a pro boxer will step in and knock you out. Johny Hendricks was knocked out by Phil Baroni for just such a thing a few years ago. takes a look at some of the lingo used today in an attempt to educate your noob friends who refer to MMA as “Ultimate Fighting”.

Human Backpack – A fighter who takes someone’s back, gets their hooks in, and can’t finish their opponent off. They are often in that position for several minutes and sometimes an entire round! See some of Demian Maia’s fights for reference.

Blanket – Someone who lays on top of someone else and holds them down, but can’t do enough to finish. See Sean Sherk or Josh Koscheck when he first started fighting in the UFC.

Pillow – Someone who just lays there in the guard, able to defend enough not to get submitted, but not enough to escape. See Kenny Florian versus Sean Sherk.

GOAT – Stands for the Greatest Of All-time. Also see “Anderson Silva”.

Wrestle-Humping – The ability to take an opponent down and actively work for position. The only problem is the person taken down just gets scooted across the Octagon on their back for a couple of minutes until the round ends, or the ref stands them up. Also see Sean Sherk.

Stand and Bland – Jabbing, keeping an opponent at a distance and winning on points. See post steroid bust Tim Sylvia for reference.

Sprawl and Brawl – Using the sprawl technique to stop a take down from occurring, and allowing that fighter to continue striking, which is usually their strong suit. See Chuck Liddell.

In the pocket – When a fighter is “in the pocket”, they are standing and fearlessly exchanging blows with their opponent. See Dan Henderson and Shogun Rua’s legendary fight.

He got rocked – Usually said energetically by Joe Rogan at some point in every fight. One fighter lands a solid punch that wobbles or staggers an opponent.

Clipped – When a punch lands solid usually right on the chin that sends their opponent to the canvas.

Heavy Handed – Possessing power in their hands that cannot be taught. Chuck Liddell has heavy hands, and any of his title fights before Rampage Jackson should be referenced. Fedor Emilianenko knocking out Andrei Arlovski is also acceptable.

Getting dropped – Usually a heavy handed strike that knocks an opponent out cold. See Dan Henderson knocking out Michael Bisping.

Those are just a few of the terms thrown around in MMA conversations and commentary. Enjoy!

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