^ Elbows and knees can discourage takedowns, but definitely aren't an effective frontline defense. Furthermore, they aren't applicable since he's fighting amateur, in which elbow strikes and knees to the head are illegal.
I do agree, though, that you've got to get offensive. The most important thing you can do when fighting a grappler is to remember that you're in a fight, not a grappling match! You want to try to hurt him all ranges and not accept his game. You should be punching him from your feet, punching and kneeing in the clinch, and even striking from the bottom (of your guard, not from bottom of a dominant position lol).
That being said, you need to have your MMA grappling fundamentals down. Practicing standing up against the cage, using underhooks to stand, framing and scooting out from guard. All of these skills are pivotal for ruining his day.
Its unlikely -- nay, borderline impossible -- to completely avoid a grappling confrontation when your opponent insists on it. But refusing to play his game by constantly striking and disengaging/standing back up (in a technically sound manner, of course) is a great way to break his will.
Easier said than done, though... My next fight is against a wrestler with a good RNC so lets see if I can put my own advice into practice...
btw, how did your fight go? Looking at the date, this happened ages ago.
Highly opinionated but out of touch with the current MMA scene.
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