BAMMA 15 "Thompson vs. Selmani"
April 5 | London, England
Jesse Denis: Few things can melt a grappling lover’s heart like a topside triangle. If you serve that up with a magnificent sweep and finish, well, baby, you've got a stew going.
When Duquesnoy met Teddy Violet at BAMMA 15 in London, he found himself on his saddle to start round two, courtesy of a power double off the cage. With prodigious instinct, “Fire Kid” immediately reached between his opponent’s legs for a switch and as his compatriot flattened his hips to defend, the 21-year-old Frenchman would sweep to take mount. Within a heartbeat, Duquesnoy would lock up the previously mentioned topside triangle, fire off a few punches, and roll his man over to secure the choke. While Violet defended valiantly, one final adjustment to the hold was all it took to force a “no mas” from Violet. Awesome technique from a talented youngster.
Patrick Wyman: French featherweight Tom Duquesnoy is one of the very best prospects in MMA, a total package of wicked striking, lethal grappling, great wrestling, and blinding speed, all acquired before his twenty-second birthday. His best facet, however, is his unreal ability to scramble and transition on the mat, and in no fight did this come out more clearly than his BAMMA scrap with Teddy Violet. In the space of 35 seconds, Duquesnoy went from butterfly guard to hitting a switch to advancing to the mount to locking up a topside triangle to rolling to his guard, tightening the triangle, and eliciting the tap.
Keep an eye on Tom Duquesnoy in 2015. He spent most of October, November, and December doing a big tour of top-notch American gyms, from Xtreme Couture to Jackson-Wink MMA and many others. This comes after Duquesnoy spent a big chunk of time in Brazil at Nova Uniao in 2014, and his game clearly benefited. The Frenchman might just be the next big thing.
Jordan Breen: While I might be undecided on the long-term potential of Duquesnoy, there's still plenty to be excited about. It's not just the smooth technique or dedication to training with elite fighters and getting better, as Patrick mentioned. It reinforces that he is a fighter passionate about that game, that wants to do things the right way, and I think it's also evident in his actual fights.
I remember watching Duquesnoy break down James Saville at BAMMA 14. He dropped him and nearly finished him in the first, but didn't go bonkers trying to finish him. At the time, I thought it strange that he didn't put the pedal to the metal with such an obvious advantage against an overmatched opponent. I thought it was a weakness, a sign of strategic inattentiveness. But, Duquesnoy never abandoned the overhand left, leg kicks and punch flurries that he was scoring with, then was able to use them to sock Saville in the second round, then brutally elbow him for a finish. By taking his time like a veteran, Duquesnoy didn't overexert himself, gave himself the benefit of more ring time and finished with a proper execution of technique. That's what I saw against Teddy Violet.
Duquesnoy could have gotten to full mount and just pounded away, but he saw the value of attempting a topside triangle, knew when to sweep his foe and then knew how to adjust for the finish. While Violet is by no means compliant or under skilled here, the Frenchman plays him like he's going through the steps, frame by frame, for a grappling instructional. This is a brilliant Hatsu Hioki impersonation by Tom Duquesnoy, a technique freak prospect whose dedication to the craft could really buoy him over a long MMA career.
Number 9 » “Paddy the Baddy” Goes for a Climb