What Is The Meregali Sweep In BJJ?

Nicolas Meregali is considered by many to be the current best active Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitor. According to Gordon Ryan, Meregali is only getting more advanced and farther in his grappling skills, making it harder for his competition to catch up in the upcoming years. While Meregali is still fresh in his journey into submission grappling (No-Gi BJJ), he is already submitting the best competitors outside their team, proof of his top-notch Jiu-Jitsu skills. Today, we will talk about the Meregali sweep in BJJ.

 

Who Is Nicholas Meregali?

Regarded as one of the best BJJ competitors of all time, Nicholas Meregali is a multiple-time IBJJF World Champion known for his Grand Slam performance as a colored belt. Meregali has maintained a high submission rate throughout his career, playing with his aggressive style of Jiu-Jitsu and sophisticated guard principle rather than playing around the point system. In 2022, Nicholas started training under John Danaher’s New Wave Jiu-Jitsu team and has since focused on competing in No-Gi.

 

How To Perform The Meregali Sweep

First, let’s understand how the Meregali sweep uses the lasso and spider guard. From the open guard position, start by gripping the opponent’s right collar with your right hand and your left hand gripping their left sleeve with both your feet on their hips. Step on the opponent’s right bicep with your right foot to enter the spider guard.

Use your left foot to apply a shallow lasso by putting your left toe over the opponent’s left bicep. To perform the sweep, shoot your shallow lasso (left leg) deep between the opponent’s legs. At the same time, you step your right foot on the mat and bring the opponent to you by pulling with your lasso hook and right hand on their collar as you push them sideways for the sweep.

To finish with an armbar, after you sweep the opponent, switch your right-hand grip from their collar to a two-on-one grip on their left sleeve. Pull the arm and shoot your hip in to finish with the armbar. Another option is to land on top with a knee on the belly. After sweeping, let go of the left sleeve grip and use your left hand to post on the mat. Without letting go of the right collar grip, come up with your right knee and place it on the opponent’s stomach.

 

The Meregali Sweep Breakdown

To perform the sweep effectively, it is important to understand when and why Meregali enters the deep lasso guard. Meregali typically uses a deep lasso to defend against toreando and establish control over his opponents. Another excellent example of when to apply the deep lasso is when applying a cross collar sleeve and the opponent attempts to pass.

Think of the deep Lasso as a way to transition from a defensive to an offensive cycle. The Meregali sweep can be a viable option using the deep lasso hook. If the opponent passes the guard standing with an elevated hip and bent-over posture, it can be an opportunity to be offensive and insert a deep lasso. It provides tight control over the opponent’s arm, which can be utilized in breaking their posture, particularly against standing guard passers.

Assuming that the opponent remains with high hips either by choice or from having their posture attacked, Meregali likes to transition his lasso leg from under the opponent’s armpit to under the opponent’s hips. This makes the sweep more attainable, similar to how a sumi gaeshi is executed. Meregali ideally finishes the sweep with more of a straight-legged lasso variation. While it is not always an easy option, opponents may quickly react by changing levels, lowering their base, and pulling away.

When this happens, Meregali closes the distance by loading the opponent on top of his hips by pulling his knee toward his chest. He then proceeds by kicking upward to finish the sweep. Meregali sometimes uses his near-side collar grip as a frame when needed. The grip can be used to defend the opponent’s guard pass and offensively by breaking the opponent’s posture and pulling them in the necessary direction to complete the sweep.

Using the collar grip while your other hand controls the opponent’s sleeve is to push the opponent when they’re pressuring forward and pull them when you’re looking to execute the sweep. Although sometimes, rather than gripping the near collar, Meregali switches to a sleeve grip (spider grip) to control the opponent’s posting hand as it can be an effective counter against the sweep.

Meregali also uses a gripping variation where he over-hooks the opponent’s arm and grabs his collar to nullify their posting hand and use it against them. He then proceeds with the sweep, removing the opponent’s option to post on the mat. The different variations to control the opponent’s collar, sleeve, or arm share the same concept: negating their posting hand.

Generally, when setting up the deep lasso or when already positioned, Meregali uses his free leg as a floater. This means that he uses his other leg to apply a DLR hook or rest on the opponent’s biceps or hip. It helps in maintaining the distance or transitioning with other open guards. Assuming you have the deep lasso with your right leg, you can use your left leg to create an angle by planting or allowing the opponent to hip out. It can act as a lever to drive into the ground or as a butterfly hook.

Remember that when attempting to sweep the opponent with a right leg lasso, it is necessary to square up with them or position yourself slightly on the right while performing the sweep so as not to get your guard smash passed.

 

Conclusion

In BJJ, learning how to use your legs to apply different hooks on the opponent can be extremely helpful. It aids in controlling the opponent or applying various sweeping techniques. Work on your ability to seek sweeps from different guard positions to turn defensive positions and end up on top.

 

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