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My David vs. Goliath Match up with Roy “Big Country” Nelson

Back in 2003, I entered a 16-man Grapplers Quest West Absolute Division in Las Vegas. For some reason, I always end up drawing the largest specimens in every absolute I enter. Cyborg, Jeff Monson, Xande, Robert Drysdale, and in this match, the biggest of the bunch – Roy “Big Country” Nelson.

This was my third match of the tournament, with the first two being won handily – so I was pretty fresh for this battle:

Bigger man will ALWAYS tire faster than the smaller man. Moving around all that mass (especially if it is mostly muscle) is going to fatigue them faster no matter what they do. This is important to understand, because you want to approach the match with this in mind.

I was 200lbs here, and Big Country was probably around 270lbs. I did NOT want to have him on top of me. Because that is the one place a bigger man can tire you out faster. Just by him laying on you, your body will have to use up more energy to avoid being squished. This can be tricky, because bigger man are stronger and harder to take down. They also usually have good wrestling skills because of the inherent advantages of being on top is important for a big man. However, my wrestling skills paid off big time in this match – pun intended. 🙂

If you notice, I am controlling all the tie ups in this match. Using a mix of the under hook, double bicep, and collar tie ups. For some reason, Roy didn’t resist this, which made it easy for me to defend his take down attempts and give me the opportunity to setup my own. I used a body lock knee reap for my first take down, and a single leg to back trip for the second.

From on top I was very conservative. This is because it is much easier for a big man to roll you over. In particular, Roy has a large mid section so it raised my hips even higher – causing weaker balance for me. I also was focused on keeping him down, as I knew from on top there would be no way he would score on me. Normally I like to pass from open positions using my speed and creativity to my advantage, but when someone wants to stand up it isn’t a good idea. So I played tighter, using the half guard squeeze position for most of the match and scoring a pass towards the end.

This was a good match for me, and I hope you learned something from it.

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