Is Sambo Effective? | Explained

In this page we will go cover whether Sambo is effective, who has used it in Mixed Martial arts, and what Sambo is.

khabib sambo

Table of Contents

Is Sambo Effective?

Sambo is extremely effective and has been used by Mixed Martial Art greats Khabib Nurmagomedov and Fedor Emelianenko to dominate their opposition. Khabib is a 2 time Sambo champion and Fedor is a 3 time Sambo champion. Sambo uses a combination of different martial arts in order to win hand to hand combat.

The combination of multiple martial arts allows Sambo practitioners to be well equipped when transitioning into MMA or using self-defense in a street fight.

Instead of only learning one skill at a time, Sambo speeds up the learning curve and allows students to learn multiple skills and combine them to use together to enhance their arsenal.

Khabib Using Sambo in MMA

Khabib Nurmagomedov is widely regarded as the best Russian UFC fighter who would retire in his prime with a 29-0 record.

Khabib's background as a 2 time Combat Sambo World Champion has allowed him to use his chain wrestling to overwhelm his opponents.

Essentially when Khabib was able to take down his opponents, they were never able to get back up during his MMA run.

Khabib effortlessly starched elite MMA fighters such as Conor McGregor, Justin Gaethje and Dustin Poirier.

Fedor Using Sambo in MMA

Fedor Emelianenko at one point would feature a 31-1 record, despite having fought absolute monsters during that run including 4 former UFC champions, a Pride FC champion, and two Olympic Gold medalists.

Unlike Khabib, Fedor possessed vicious knock out power in his hands, and rather than using chain wrestling, he would use his Sambo to compliment his knock out power.

This created large problems for his opponents as it became a near unsolvable puzzle.

Try to take him down and Fedor was very skilled in the clinch and on the ground. Try to strike with him, and you may get caught with one of his punches and your lights will be out.

What is Sambo?

Sambo in Russian stands for 'samozashchita bez oruzhiya' which literally translates to ‘self defense without weapons’. It is a hybrid martial art that uses techniques from Wrestling, Judo, and Jiu Jitsu all in one martial art.

Besides all of the different types of tosses and take downs that fans think of when they think of Sambo, Sambo features a large amount of leg locks. Leg locks can be some of the most devastating submissions with minimal strength and effort.

The reason for the incorporation of leg locks is that Sambo was originally developed for the military.

The thought process was if a military member was able use a leg lock to injure an enemy soldier to the point where they couldn't move appropriately, it would take at least another 2 enemy soldiers to grab the injured soldier and move him/her out of harms way.

This would create an advantage of numbers for them, and give them a window of opportunity to take advantage of.