Jon Fitch: The Closed Guard Is Dead In MMA

In the wake of Nate Marquardt’s defeat at the hands of Chael Sonnen on Saturday night, Jon Fitch stated his belief that one of the most commonly seen Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and submission grappling techniques has now become redundant for all but the elite competitors in the sport.

“I think closed guard is dead in MMA right now,” Fitch told Fox Fight Game’s Mike Straka.   “Unless you’re Demian Maia or Shinya Aoki forget about it – you’re either getting up, or getting on top.”

It certainly was a strategy that failed to pay dividends for Marquardt at UFC 109, with the Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt struggling throughout the fight to find an opening to exploit against the dominant wrestling of his opponent.

“Forget about pulling off submissions from your back nowadays, strong wrestlers like Chael Sonnen – they’ll just pound you out all day long,” Fitch said.

Fitch, currently 11-1 in the UFC, is himself a black belt in Guerilla Jiu Jitsu, a hybrid of BJJ and Judo specifically geared towards the sport of MMA.

See Jon Fitch’s interview at UFC 109 below:

Further Reading:


  1. Yes, the closed guard IS dead, especially if like Nate Marquardt, you DON’T go for any submissions for the majority of the fight. Nate didn’t use his legs or even attempt to pivot more than once or twice during the entire fight. When you don’t go for submissions, you don’t submit people, that’s usually how it works last time I checked.

  2. Why would you want Phil Davis to face Jon Jones? Davis has had 4 professional fights and Jones would absolutely decimate him right now. The UFC has always been smart about not pitting prospects against each other and they will continue to be smart by not making that fight.

  3. Yeah, Mike Straka seemed really keen on the idea of the Davis Vs Jones match-up, he mentioned it to Dana as well after the fights.

    I agree with you though, It’s not something I’d like to see yet either. For the time being Davis should be given time to learn and develop in the under-cards of UFC events as he’s still very new to the sport.


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