Which MMA Fighting Style is Best for You?

By Elite Sports on

Mixed Martial Arts, as the name suggests it’s a combat sport that incorporates fighting styles from all kinds of martial arts.

In MMA you witness some deadly punches that come from boxing, elbows, and kicks from muay Thai, powerful takedowns from wrestling, and some lethal submissions from BJJ.

So, what’s the best fighting style for MMA? This is one of the most debated topics in the MMA community. Every fighter has varied fighting styles that he considers the best.

That’s the reason we can never pick any one MMA fighting style that can stand out from all other fighting styles.

Hang on, because today we will be discussing the best MMA fighting style that goes well with your skills.

 

What Are The Famous MMA Fighting Styles?

Before stepping into the details, you might want to refer to our ‘’Bring Out The True Martial Artist In You’’.

Whether you want to train martial arts for fun or wish to become a professional fighter, there are various disciples that you would train in.

In MMA, there is a long list of fighting styles most of which overlap each other. To sum them up in total, there are basically three fighting styles.

Striking

In martial arts, striking is referred to as stand-up fighting. A strike is a direct physical attack on either part of the human body with bare hands.

The martial arts which primarily involve striking are:

  • Boxing
  • Muay Thai
  • Karate
  • Taekwondo

Takedowns

Talking about takedowns in martial arts, it’s a technique that is used to off-balance your opponent and bring them to the ground.

Martial arts involving takedowns include:

  • Wrestling
  • Judo
  • BJJ

Submissions

In martial arts, submission means putting your opponent in such a painful position that they are forced to tap out and end the fight.

The martial art that primarily consists of submissions is:

  • Jiu-jitsu

So, to become a professional MMA fighter, you need to develop great skills in all 3 disciplines; striking, takedowns, and submissions.

But, unfortunately, no one could be fully efficient in all these disciplines so you can learn the basics of all styles but stick to any one of them.

Martial Arts That Involve Striking

1.     Boxing

Importance of Boxing In MMA

Boxing holds key importance in MMA because punches are the most common strikes for every boxer. It teaches self-defense techniques and allows fighters to develop fast footwork techniques.

It depends solely on the strength of your arms and the art of footwork that makes it a basic fighting style in MMA.

All the professional MMA fighters have taken boxing classes sometimes in their life. The major reason which marks the importance of boxing is that every fight starts standing up.

Effective boxing footwork can help you in establishing control over your opponent at the beginning of a fight.

Famous MMA Fighters Who Use Boxing Style

Here are some famous fighters who use boxing as their primary fighting style in MMA.

  • Conor McGregor
  • Anderson Silva
  • Cody Garrabrant
  • Tj Dillashaw

2.     Muay Thai

Importance of Muay Thai In MMA

Muay Thai is most popular for kickboxing. The only difference between both is that in kickboxing there is a 4-point striking system and in Muay Thai there is an 8-point striking system.

In kickboxing, the striking system involves the use of kicks and punches only. Whereas in Muay Thai use of elbows, knees and grappling is also involved in addition to kicks and punches.

It is one of the most lethal and famous fighting choices for many professional MMA fighters. Muay Thai is also considered a highly dangerous combat sport. But, it’s easy to learn and practice.

The most lethal move that Muay Thai brings to MMA is the clinching tactic. In this technique, the fighters hold each other close and strike the opponent using knees and elbows.

The most powerful kicks in MMA come from Muay Thai. Kicks and knee strikes and can greatly impact your opponent.

Famous MMA Fighters Who Use Muay Thai Fighting Style

  • Jose Aldo
  • Anderson Silva
  • Max Holloway
  • Cris Cyborg

Martial Arts That Involve Takedowns

1.     Wrestling

Importance of Wrestling In MMA

It is a martial art that is primarily based on takedowns, throwing the opponent, pinning them down, and establishing control.

As we know the fight starts while both the participants are standing, your first goal is to bring your opponent on the mat and be in a dominant position.

For pinning down your opponent effectively, wrestling takedowns step in. It teaches a plethora of takedowns from different positions.

Wrestlers are experts in using foot-sweeps, leg drags, and body locks which can pin their opponent on the mat. This marks the importance of wrestling in mixed martial arts.

Wrestling also teaches you effective techniques to fight when you and your opponent are at the bottom position.

One of the crucial components in MMA that is often overlooked is finding dominant angles to strike your opponent for maximum impact.

Wrestling allows fighters to cut the corners and create angles for sweeping the opponent and taking them down.

MMA Fighters Famous for Offensive Wrestling Takedowns

  • Khabib Nurmagomedov
  • Tatiana Suarez
  • Curtis Blaydes
  • Kamaru Usman

2.     Judo

Importance of Judo In MMA

Judo is a martial art that is based on three major types of techniques including:

  • Taking down the opponent
  • Grappling techniques
  • Striking techniques

It is a great martial art but it only compliments other fighting styles such as wrestling and boxing. It means that judo alone won’t help you to survive inside the cage.

Judo will improve your takedowns and striking skills and help you become a better fighter over time. Professional fighters don’t suggest training judo, especially if your goal is to become an MMA fighter.

Although you can learn some striking techniques and innovative takedowns through judo.

Martial Art Involving Submissions

1.     Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ)

Importance of BJJ In MMA

In the last, we have the famous ground-based grappling martial art known as jiu-Jitsu.

To learn everything about BJJ including techniques, exercises, and diet plans you can check out our blog section for BJJ

Mixed martial arts can be primarily broken down into 3 types of fighting techniques from the time fighters’ step into the cage till one of them is knocked out.

  1. Stand-up Fighting: It includes hand-to-hand combat while fighters are in a standing position.
  2. Clinch Fighting: In this, the fighters try to grab and take down their opponent.
  3. Ground Fighting: includes hand-to-hand combat when fighters are on the ground, it mostly involves grappling techniques to make your opponent tap out.

While there are many fighting techniques to help you fight in a standing position, the only effective method for ground fighting is jiu-jitsu.

In the early days when BJJ was introduced in MMA, the fighters had a hard time defeating someone who had good grappling skills.

When the famous BJJ legend Royce Gracie stepped in MMA, the opponents were unable to defeat him due to his great grappling skills and unique style of fighting.

The MMA fighters have now either trained in jiu-jitsu or have developed skills to defend themselves against BJJ techniques.

Famous BJJ Fighters in MMA

These are some of those successful MMA fighters who possess their background in BJJ:

  • Nathan Diaz
  • J. Penn
  • Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira
  • Shinya Aoki

Best Fighting Style Is the One That Is Best for You

As discussed before, MMA is a combination of a wide range of fighting styles.  This is the real essence of MMA is that It’s the only combat sport that involves fight techniques from different cultures.

You should remember that the best fighting style that suits you won’t necessarily be the same as the best martial art for MMA.

Your body type, learning environment, genetics, and even your culture play an important role in determining the best fighting style for you.

The best part about MMA is that any fighting style can mark your victory. The only necessity is determination and putting maximum effort into your training.