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UFC on ESPN 15, The Morning After: The Muay Thai plum claims two victims

Here’s what you may have missed!

UFC Fight Night: Villanueva v Wright Photo by Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Grabbing a double-collar tie and kneeing the crap out of your opponent is not a new strategy.

Remember those violent Chute Boxe boys Mauricio Rua and Wanderlei Silva? They were kneeing opponents and discarding their corpses through the ring ropes in the early 2000s. For the modern UFC fan, Anderson Silva is the go-to example of the double-collar ties destructive potential, and he earned that legacy by destroying Rich Franklin’s nose way back in 2006.

Last night, however, two men replicated these feats of violence, while their two opponents failed to learn from such history.

On the preliminary card, Jordan Wright stoped Ike Villanueva from the Muay Thai plum. Wright wrapped up control of the double-collar tie, and Villanueva responded by ... arm-punching the body? That worked for Fabio Maldonado like one time many years ago, but even “The Steel Hillbilly” understood that it’s only an acceptable strategy for fighters with zero regard for their face.

Wright jammed a knee between Villanueva’s eyes, and while it didn’t knock him out, it nearly removed his eyebrow. That’s a rough night at the office!

Just four fights later, Mike Rodriguez simply demolished Marcin Prachnio from the same position. Again, Prachnio did not correctly address the situation when Rodriguez latched onto the top of his head. Like Villanueva, he focused more on small punches to the mid-section than actual defenses like hand-fighting or transitioning to a takedown.

In this case, however, it was not the knee that sent Prachnio on a journey to the shadow realm. Instead, when his arms dropped to block the path of the knee, Rodriguez smartly switched his approach, bludgeoning the side of Prachnio’s skull with his elbow.

Ultimately, this is not likely the start of the double-collar tie renaissance. I would not expect any upcoming UFC title fight to be decided by which man is better able to yank his foe’s head into a knee. However, the pair of stoppages did convey an important message for the fighting world: the Muay Thai plum is deadly! It is not a position to ponder one’s own offensive options.

There are many answers to the position. Fighters trapped in the double-collar tie can attempt to drive forward and snatch up the body lock. Pummeling inside and grabbing the opponent’s head is almost never a bad idea. Reaching around the outside of the arms and turning the head is a viable strategy. Hell, even trying to catch a knee or duck out are risky ways to potentially escape.

Trading body shots thrown from poor posture in exchange for full power blows to the chin? Not the best idea.

For complete UFC on ESPN 15: “Edgar Vs. Munhoz” results and play-by-play, click HERE!