WATCH: Fighter Tries to Imanari Roll, Gets KO’d Instead

If you’ve ever watched the footage of Daniel Gracie training with Renzo Gracie, you’ll know what Renzo thinks of flashy jiu-jitsu moves. A diehard believer in the strengths of the basics of jiu-jitsu, Renzo famously told Daniel that “you can take that somersault sh*t, and shove it up your ass… try that sh*t in the ring, you’ll eat a knee to the head”.

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Masakazu Imanari’s “Imanari Roll” developed as a result of the veteran fighter’s inferior striking. Imanari would prefer to drop down to his side and grab onto his opponent’s legs, rolling into a heel hook or toe hold submission attempt. Fans of traditional jiu-jitsu may have looked down their noses at the techniques, but the 22 submission wins on Imanari’s professional mixed martial arts record beg to differ.

Photo: Flo

You don’t see the imanari roll a whole lot in the cage, though Ryan Hall has used it to some success and both Rory MacDonald and Tony Ferguson have given it a go a few times. Then there was Marcin Held, who decided to try and hit an imanari roll in the third round of his bout against Damir Hadzovic, and had it go disastrously wrong. Renzo Gracie was right you WILL eat a knee to the head.

Photo: Flo

After taking the first two rounds in a very convincing fashion, Held dropped down for an imanari roll and that’s where it all fell apart. With one incredibly well-timed knee Hadzovic put “the Polish prodigy” to sleep in a vicious fashion, sending the crowd at UFC Stockholm into a frenzy. The follow-up punch from Hadzovic saw Held’s head bouncing off the canvas while the referee, who was a little bit too far away for comfort tried to dive in to stop the fight. Thankfully after one rubber stamping punch, Hadzovic knew the fight was well and truly over.

Now with a record of 0-3 in the UFC, Held night be seriously regretting his actions in the post-Zuffa UFC world.

Check out the footage of the knockout below and let us know what you think!



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