Chris Weidman’s use of the “Can Opener” and Anderson Silva at UFC 168
Grappling in MMA
Chris Weidman used a technique call the “Can Opener” to brilliantly defeat the guard of Anderson Silva at UFC 168. The can opener is a Cervical Compression which can lead to submission but is mostly used to cause your opponent to open their guard. Cervical compression causes weakness in the body by preventing electrical signals from properly traveling through the spinal cord to the muscles. Since this style submission can cause permanent neck injuries it is illegal in many grappling tournaments. Chris has adapted the Can Opener for use in Mixed Martial Arts to negate the effectiveness of common guard techniques especially those that are common Can Opener defenses taught in sport grappling. In the picture below Anderson is attempting to defend by pushing on Weidman’s forehead. This defense is most effective when you are caught deep inside a Can Opener and can no longer simply unlock your legs and scoot your hips to the side.
Trying to escape the Can Opener this way opens Anderson up for strikes. It wouldn’t be until later in the first round that Weidman chose to capitalize on the opening that the Can Opener was creating. Below Weidman positions himself for a Can Opener but throws an elbow instead.
After successfully landing the elbow Chris now returns to the Can Opener position and Silva once again attempts to cross face Chris to prevent the Can Opener.
Anderson was never able to successfully utilize his guard. Chris’s use of the Can Opener in conjunction with patient effective striking turned Anderson’s guard into a nightmare of a position to be in.
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