If you are willing to temporarily turn your back to your opponent, a spinning back elbow can be the perfect strike to add to your MMA game. The spinning back elbow requires a lot of speed to assure that you aren’t left exposed to your opponent and maximum torque to provide knockout power. Here’s how to land a spinning back elbow.
Right Cross Feint
Watch Jon Jones demonstrate how the torque needed to hit with the spinning back elbow can be generated with a feinted right straight. The right cross is a meat & potatoes boxing punch that can be used to deceive your opponent for a spinning back elbow set up. (For orthodox stance) Step forward with the right foot as you throw your right cross and aim to the left of your target. The goal is to trick your opponent to block your right cross while the real strike comes to their undefended left. Watch how Jon Jones likes to use this set up.
Jones did not use the same setup against Stephan Bonnar, but it demonstrates the power and potential of the spinning back elbow in MMA. You can see the converse of this strike against Bonnar where he uses the ball of his left foot to swing his right elbow around for the strike.
Dong Hyun Kim used the spinning back elbow to knock out John Hatthaway with the same principles listed by Jones. “The Stun Gun” used the strike as a counter, dodging Hathaway’s right elbow and landing the left elbow where hey had no prepared defense.
How to Land a spinning Back Elbow
1-Step and Pivot
Your rear leg has to come forward to be the point from which you will pivot your body. Stay on the ball of your stepping foot to get the best surface area to encourage easy rotation.
2-Aim For your Target
Watch your opponent carefully as you step forward and turn your head to aim where you want your elbow to land. Turning your head as quickly as possible will allow you to spot your target and make sure you land your spinning strike on point.
3-Twist for power
Balance and good footwork are an extremely important component for this move to be successful. Twist your body as one whole unit to maximize the power of your strike and maintain your balance as you attempt the strike.
4-Connect and Return
While you will temporarily expose your back to your opponent, the motion of the turn will provide you with the momentum to get back to your fighting stance as soon as possible.