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MMA is one of the youngest, yet fastest growing combat sports.
Fighters have been mixing martial arts systems for 1000’s of years
(like Pankration) but the modern sport of MMA has popularised it
MMA’s modern history and be categorised into three stages
The early days of MMA featured bare knuckle fights in Vale Tudo and
the UFC. These were usually pitting style against style. Famous
fighters from this era include Wanderlai Silva, Rickson Gracie &
Gradually all fighters understood they needed to cross train other
systems to give themselves the best chance of winning. Famous
fighters from this era include Frank Shamrock, Bas Rutten &
Over the next decade fighters started to train specifically in MMA as
its own style. This is the modern evolution of MMA. Famous fighters
from this era include George St Pierre, Demetrious Johnson & Jon
Whilst you can use any system or style you like in MMA but there are
three that have proven most successful in competitio
Is generally considered the best striking base for MMA as it includes
kicks, punches, knees & elbows – plus clinching
Wrestling is the most popular takedown system for MMA as it
contains both upper and lower body takedowns that can executed
from distance & from the clinch
Is generally considered the best submission system for MMA as it
contains ground controls, submissions & escape
MMA is primarily fought across four ranges
Long range is typically thought of as kicking range but now includes
dynamic distance punches like the superman punch
This is inside of kicking range and primarily includes strikes with the
This range is typically where you can grab / wrestle your opponent.
Strikes in this range include knees, elbows & short punches
This range occurs when the fighters hit the ground and can include
long range, mid-range and close range strikes when grappling. This
range is typically thought of as “ground & pound” range.
The best fighters can seamlessly transition between ranges whilst
combining striking and grappling when appropriate
If you watch MMA for long enough you will notice that there are five
primary fighting styles that are seen repeatedly. Most fighters will fit
into one or two if these styles.
This style is favoured by the technical striker who is looking to stay
on their feet and pick and opponent off with superior striking skills. If
the opponent attempts a takedown they usually see it coming and
stuff or stifle it early.
This style is similar to the strike & stuff but the fighter in this case
usually lacks striking finesse and has a tendency to throw big bombs.
This often puts them out of position and means they have to sprawl
hard as their opponent gets deeper on the takedown.
This style takes advantage of superior wrestling ability to pin
opponent against the cage and wear them down with pressure and
dirty boxing. If the takedown is there, they may take it but are also
quite happy chopping away against the cage.
This style is favoured by powerful wrestlers who typically pick their
opponents up, slam them to the matt and smash them with heavy
ground & pound.
This style is often used by BJJ fighters who enter and use low energy
tripping techniques to get their opponent to the mat and secure the
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