In the UFC, anything can happen. Whether a punch to the face or a kick in the legs, a UFC fighter must be ready for everything. Here are the three fighting styles every UFC fighter needs to master if they want to be successful in the octagon.
The fighting style many fans love to watch, striking is usually how fighters knock out opponents. There are many different forms of striking, but in the UFC, most strikers are grouped into one style.
For example, boxing is a useful, powerful striking style. A UFC fighter who’s good at boxing, like Conor McGregor, will be fast with their hands and can get knockouts with them. Not only that, but a good UFC boxer can also avoid taking hits. McGregor showed this off when he won his second title. His opponent Eddie Alvarez simply wasn’t able to touch him with his punches.
Kickboxing is the other most popular striking style in the UFC. Kickboxing includes Muay Thai, a kickboxing style from Thailand. A good UFC fighter doesn’t just use kicks though. They’ll incorporate their hands, elbows, and knees. Anderson Silva, the former middleweight champion, is one of the best kickboxers in the UFC. He’s knocked people out with his hands, elbows, knees, and legs.
2. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Although Brazilian jiu-jitsu, or BJJ, is not the only kind of submission style in the UFC, it’s by far the most popular. This style usually involves fighting your opponent on the ground. It can include trying to break a limb or choke out the other person.
BJJ is extremely necessary in the UFC. Royce Gracie, a BJJ legend, dominated early UFC fighters because no one knew how to defend his submissions. Gracie would go to the ground with his opponent, grab a leg or an arm, and win by submission.
At the very least, current UFC fighters know how to defend against a BJJ submission, but a few BJJ specialists still exist in the UFC. People like Demian Maia, Ronaldo Souza, and Nate Diaz are all masters. They can make anyone tap out.
Like striking, there are two main styles of takedowns in the UFC: judo and wrestling. The purpose of this style is to get the opponent onto the floor where they submit or get punched in the face. The most popular takedown style is wrestling, and many UFC champions are great wrestlers. Khabib Nurmagomedov, the current lightweight champion, has wrestled since he was a child. When he was growing up, he even wrestled bears.
In the UFC, Nurmagomedov uses his wrestling skills to take almost everyone he’s fought to the ground. He’ll use wrestling to keep his opponent there, usually trapping them between him and the cage. From there, Nurmagomedov usually either beats up his opponents or chokes them out.
Judo is the other popular takedown style. One of the most famous judo practitioners is Ronda Rousey. An Olympic judo medalist, she won the bronze medal in the 2008 Olympic games. In the UFC, Rousey famously used her judo skills to take women to the ground and either beat them up or snap their arms. Her high-level judo allowed her to go on her win streak.