Belal Muhammad explains what it’s like to train grappling with team Khabib

Belal Muhammad recently made an appearance on an episode of the Joe Rogan experience podcast. The two discussed many interesting topics for fans of combat sports.

Ahead of his UFC 280 clash with Sean Brady, Muhammad spent an extended period training along with Team Khabib and he explained the difference in how they approach training compared to other gyms.

Muhammad is known as a grappler yet he faced real difficulty adapting:

“Training with those guys, I tell people, I’m like, if you never train with the guy from Dagestan, from somebody under team, you don’t know what it feels like. It’s not, it’s not regular… it’s like quicksand when you’re in there.”

“You think you’re moving, you’re looking for a way out. You know, I’m, I’m really good at flow rolling and everything is that I’m training with them. My last camp and I’m like, I cannot move to do it with these guys. None of them.”

“Like everybody under team has that same style, same pressure on top. And I’m feeling, and I’m like, I need to change what I do in Chicago. I need to change what I’m doing because these guys are so dominant with the way they play, the way they grapple. It’s like, they’re doing this to everybody. Nobody’s going to mess with them.”

The key difference between Team Khabib and others?

Joe Rogan prompted Muhammad to explain the core difference to which Muhammad replied:

“For, well, for the mentality, I think is the big thing too. You know, when you’re rolling with somebody new, you’ll get a flow roll with them. ”

“You’ll play around to see how they’re feeling. But then they don’t have that at all. It’s, I’m not going to lose around and not going to lose a minute when I’m going against you.”

” You know, I’m on my back. I’m going to my back, starting my back, and I’m like, I let’s move. So I’m trying to play guard, trying to go for armbars or anything like that and then Khabib’s telling me, ‘Get up, we’re not playing jiu jitsu’.”

“Get up. This is MMA. We’re not playing jiu-jitsu. You’re on your back – you’re losing.”

The difference between training sport BJJ and Khabib’s school of grappling

“And their mentality is, let me hold you down because I’m not going to lose this round. I’m going to stay on top of you. I don’t care if I’m in your guard the whole time. And I’m just staying on top of you with the pressure. You just lost. ”

“Even though the rounds over, I’m sitting there like, man, we haven’t done anything. He’s like, I’m just laying on my back. You haven’t done any pressure. No ground and pound or anything. But I just lost because I’m on my back. When I figured that’s their mentality. ”

“They don’t want to lose any round in practice. They don’t want to lose any minute in grappling. They’re taken down. They’re popping right back up. It’s not, let me get taken down, let me play on my back a little bit. Let me flow a little bit like that. No – rough, hard, hard, hard, hard, hard. And I think that’s what transfers their mentality into the, the, the cage.”

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– Editorial staff of BJJDOC