The Bulldog Choke

Lets to take a look at the Bulldog choke. It’s a rare submission first used in the UFC back at UFC 31 when Carlos Newton submitted Pat Miletich.

Historically the Bulldog choke has been favoured by catch-as-catch-can wrestlers because it forgoes the safety of securing a solid back position and instead directly attacks the head for the submission. So instead of securing back hooks for a dominant position when going for the Bulldog choke, you will attack the head and bring the body with you.

The Bulldog choke essentially becomes a modified headlock or a headlock mixed with a rear-naked choke. In Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, a headlock is seen as an amateur or beginner move as it gives up an easy pathway to the back for the person being attacked. But if you get your hand underneath the chin and can sit your feet and hips out in front of the head of your opponent, it becomes challenging to execute that escape quickly.

Instead, you can use your entire body weight on the head neck and draw your opponent to choke them and crank their neck. The Bulldog choke will most commonly be taught from the side back or turtle position, and it becomes a good option when the opponent is so intent on defending one side of their neck from the rear-naked choke that you can come in on the other side with the Bulldog. But an opportunity for a bulldog choke can come up in many scramble situations where enough time has been had to collect the neck but not enough time to establish back hooks.

With that being said, the Bulldog choke is still an uncommon submission to see in high-level MMA. However, at UFC 181, it was scored twice in one night by Raquel Pennington and Urijah Faber. They both finished their opponents with Bulldog chokes next to the fence, and the fact that it has been proven to work at that high level before means it may be a technique you want to keep in your arsenal for the future.

The Bulldog Choke in MMA – Analysis & Study

Bulldog Choke References


Olavarria, P. (2014). The Bulldog Choke: Catch Wrestling Renaissance | FIGHTLAND. Retrieved from http://fightland.vice.com/blog/the-bulldog-choke-catch-wrestling-renaissance
Zahar, C. (2016). Is The Bulldog Choke Part Of Your Jiu-Jitsu Arsenal?. Retrieved from https://www.jiujitsutimes.com/bulldog-choke-part-jiu-jitsu-arsenal/
Andrew Lalnunmawia Vs Chandan Yadav SFL CONTENDERS: https://youtu.be/_nWeNthbAI0
BAMMA 29: Terry Brazier vs Walter Gahadza: https://youtu.be/EGS2y9llGBI
Ben Jones – Bulldog Choke: https://youtu.be/14yYfGX7Jsc
Bulldog Choke Instructional from Phuket Top Team: https://youtu.be/dUghLQe12cE
Catch Wrestling: Attacking the Turtle w/Crossface Neck Crank & Bulldog Choke: Legit Pro Wrestling: https://youtu.be/vs8wPYjRqDk
Erik Paulson teaching Catch as catch can wrestling: https://youtu.be/fPIkXpcSNeY
Fight Replay Tim Elliott vs Charlie Alaniz: https://youtu.be/gqpyHzqJ9yU
Mike Murphy vs Kolby Howell: https://youtu.be/xcHYrylAVDE
No-Gi Choke Bulldog Choke with Coach Robert Follis: https://youtu.be/TfJl3S2FIh0
RUBICON II Josh Huber vs Manuel Gallardo: https://youtu.be/GSTygO5XDQE

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