Garry Tonon suffered the first loss of his career by knockout after attempting a leg lock in his clash with Thanh Le. While this experience has made him more cautious about the dangers of leg locks, Tonon says he won’t completely avoid them out of fear of getting knocked out again.
In a recent interview, Tonon explained that the loss to Le was an important learning experience. He acknowledged that being knocked out for the first time added “a certain gravity” to being in bottom positions looking for leg locks. Tonon says he will likely have more urgency to get back up rather than staying on the bottom searching for a finish.
“But I don’t catastrophize to the point where I go, oh, man. Yeah. That just doesn’t work anymore. Like, you can’t. Like, I have enough there’s one of the beauties of being at the point that I’m at Mixed Martial Arts is, like, There’s been a lot of people that have come before me to do this, and even in the leg locking world. And I have pretty a lot of evidence that This stuff works, man. You know? I got a lot of evidence from myself, but I also have evidence from other people, and it’s like it’s like, yeah, I know that, you know, like, locks could be dangerous, you know, and both for the person I’m applying them to and for me as well in a fight. But, man, it’s a it’s a fight. Everything’s dangerous.”
While Tonon says he will be more cautious in certain positions, he won’t let fear dictate his grappling game. As he put it, “everything’s dangerous” in MMA. In his view, not throwing left hooks because you might get countered would be similarly silly to avoiding all leg lock attempts after getting knocked out once.
Tonon remains confident in his grappling pedigree and leg locking ability. He is willing to evolve his approach based on experience, but not abandon techniques entirely due to one harsh lesson.
Fans can expect to continue seeing Tonon’s dynamic submission game, including leg locks, as he pursues a world championship in MMA. The loss may have introduced some helpful “gravity”, but it won’t stop Tonon from leveraging his world-class grappling skills in pursuit of victory.
He is set to face Martin Nguyen over at ONE FC this weekend.