This Man Won A Real Life Fight Using Dark Souls Rolls

We've all seen that GIF: the overweight man doing Dark Souls style rolls in a low-level MMA fight.

But would it work in a high-level fight? Like right at the top? Tony Ferguson proved that it kinda does!

Yesterday he was fighting against Josh Thompson, one of the best fighters in the Lightweight division and he didn't just roll once. He rolled like four or five times during the fight. Sometimes he did it to escape being hit, sometimes he did it to bamboozle his opponent, sometimes he did it to reduce the amount of damage he was taking with strikes.

But the crazy thing is — it was effective. It worked. Tony Ferguson won the decision. Which is funny because, in the rapidly evolving world of MMA, what's useful is quickly added to the arsenal of other fighters. Could we see more people doing baddass Dark Souls rolls during fights? I think so.

You can watch more of these crazy rolls here


    He should have done a Raiden cartwheel.

      My cartwheel kick was probably as close as you'll get to seeing one of those.

      More like Dark Wood Grain Ring!

    Legit question:
    Could rolls only be considered a defensive maneouver, and do they negate damage as much as back-stepping?

      If you are hit while rolling the opponent get's +1 to Might and +2 to Dexterity . You will also receive a penalty : -2 Will and -1 Constitution . However Damage Reduction is not affected.

      Last edited 17/07/15 4:16 pm

        If you do actually roll whilst getting hit there would be a damage reduction(as much as half) if successful as is typical in unarmed combat.

      Ebersole was fairly well known for his rolling kicks, so they can definitely be offensive as well. I only found a video of a more cartwheel-style kick, but he's done some forward rolls as well:

      Theoretically, I could see a forward or sideways roll getting you out of a tough spot if you'd been backed into the cage and couldn't back/side step.

    Not the first time Tony Ferg has rolled like this if memory serves correct - He's a bit of a risk taker to an extent but it's got him where he is now!

    Josh Thompson really should have capitalised on those more than he does in those gifs. As Ferguson is standing, he's facing away from his opponent, and Thompson should have charged him down as that happened. Ferguson was clever enough to throw in those backhanded strikes as he stood up, but they weren't really controlled. I think rolling has it's place, but I'd be reluctant to voluntarily go to ground in a fight against an experienced opponent.

      Yeah, I dunno the rules of an MMA fight but in those two gifs he looks wide open for a kick to the head as he is getting up.

        I concur. If anyone tried this at the gwoon I attended for years they would have ended up getting kicked in the back of the head, punched in the kidneys, or even just a good old slap on the lower spine. If anything this just proves UFC is as staged as pro wrestling.

        Last edited 17/07/15 4:09 pm

          Please tell me you're joking. Please...

          To say UFC is staged like WWE is an insult.

          I really hope I'm missing some sort of joke..

            I know people who used to say the same thing about pro wrestling.

              Holy shit you're serious?



              I didn't know such ignorance existed here..

                Yes, I'm sure Rory MacDonald having his face smashed in last week resulting in a shattered nose and two closed, swollen black eyes was all staged. Wow indeed.

                  Actually, there's no reason that couldn't have been staged. Part of the reason that I hate Pro Wrestling so much is that they are essentially taking damage without being allowed to defend themselves. They've agreed before hand to take a certain number of hits to the head with a folding chair, and they take that many hits to the head with a folding chair.

                  At least MMA fighters are supposed to be covering up. And no, I'm not saying that MMA matches are scripted, I'm saying that taking damage does not automatically stop it from being scripted.

                  Don't forget the broken foot too.

                  @badger You really think that fight could have been staged? To me, that's the perfect example of a REAL fight. Good luck paying anyone to take that amount of damage willingly.


          Like.. the wine in a bag?

        The rules are if your hands and knees are off the ground then the front of your head is fair game. Can't hit people in the back of the head or spine, though.

        It's a good rule in theory, although it has led to jerks like Jon Jones crab-walking around the cage with their fingers brushing the floor so that they can't be kicked.

        Last edited 17/07/15 4:51 pm

          Ah ha so it's the bullshit rules in No Rules Fighting that make garbage like this a viable technique, rather than any actual usefulness.

    Akido and Bunjinkan use the roll as a technique, called ukemi if anyone is interested, more used as a breakfall. Can be used to evade in certain situations and a means of attack with a forward roll ending in a kick to the knee. Bit risky though

    It's a "break-fall" not a darksouls roll. Anyone that does judo or ju jitsu will learn it while getting yellow belt. As to being wide open, yeah sure he is. But that is assuming that you aren't going to be wide open yourself when trying to capitalize. The threat of getting punched/kicked/kneed/elbowed in the head at any moment means you might take every "wide - open" opportunity.

      Jiu jitsu is white to blue. Yellow only for kids. And you don't really "learn" break falls in bjj you merely develop them and use it at times. You already know how to evade that's inherently in you

      Last edited 18/07/15 8:09 am

        Didn't do Brazilian Jiu Jitsu champ. So dunno their belt order.

    That's clearly bloodborne inspired...

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