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UFC Fighting Styles
Note: This article is from Wikipedia, an excellent source of MMA knowledge
UFC Fighting Styles: Training
Today, mixed martial artists train in a variety of styles that have been proven effective in the ring, so that they can be effective in all the phases of combat. Although fighters will try to play to their particular specialties, they will inevitably encounter all kinds of situations; a stand-up fighting style specialist will probably get taken down at some point and a submission artist might need to fight standing-up for a while before he can complete a takedown. A mixed martial artist might train in a particular style to enhance his or her skills in the phase of combat that the style encompasses. Typical styles, known for their effectiveness, that have been trained prior to the mixed martial arts career, and that are trained individually to enhance a particular phase of combat, are:
Fighting styles have to be adapted slightly for use in the sport. For example, several boxing stances are ineffective because they leave fighters vulnerable to leg kicks or takedowns. Similarly, Judo techniques have to be adapted to an opponent not wearing a judogi. Commonly, modern fighters do not train in any particular style, but either train in multiple styles with multiple coaches, or train in teams with other athletes focusing specifically on competition. Energy system training, speed drills, strength training and flexibility are also important aspects of an MMA fighter's training. Mixed martial arts competition is very demanding physically, and the athletes need to be in top shape to be successful.
While mixed martial arts was initially practiced almost exclusively by competitive fighters, this is no longer the case. As the sport has become more mainstream and widely taught it has become available to all ages. Proponents of this sort of training argue that it is safe for anyone, of any age, with varying levels of competition.
UFC Fighting Styles: Strategies
The following are various nicknames applied to different fighting styles. Although fighters are usually much more versed in one fighting style such as Muay Thai, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, Judo, and other martial arts, the following terms are used to describe how a particular fighter is attempting to accomplish a particular victory. For instance, BJ Penn and Fedor Emelianenko score victories both striking, "ground and pounding," and submitting depending on the strengths of their opponents. Furthermore, some styles are not complete styles; rather, they are merely phases in a fighter's game.
Sprawl-and-brawl is a stand-up fighting tactic that consists of effective stand-up striking, while avoiding ground fighting, typically by using sprawls to defend against takedowns.
A sprawl-and-brawler is usually a boxer, kickboxer, Thai boxer and/or full contact karate fighter who has trained in wrestling to avoid takedowns and tries to keep the fight standing. Usually these fighters will study enough submission wrestling so that in the unfortunate event that they are taken down to the ground, they can tie their opponents up and survive long enough to either get back to standing or until the referee restarts the fight. This style is deceptively different from regular kickboxing styles, since sprawl-and-brawlers must adapt their techniques to incorporate takedown and ground fighting style defense.
Clinch fighting style
Clinch fighting is a tactic that consists of using a clinch hold to prevent the opponent from moving away into more distant striking range, while at the same time attempting takedowns and striking the opponent using knees, stomps, elbows, and punches.
The clinch is usually utilized by wrestlers that have added in components of the striking game (typically boxing), and Muay Thai fighters. Often, wrestlers that have added the striking game are partial to strikes from within the clinch, particularly wrestlers who have already developed a strong clinch game. In the case that an exchange on the feet does not go in their favor, they can bring the fight to the ground quickly as their true expertise lies in wrestling, so they are ultimately less timid about trading blows. Through the use of Greco-Roman clinching techniques and Muay Thai strikes, neck clinching and body locks clinch fighting style could be used to devastate ill-prepared opponents.
Wrestling components include pummeling and underhooking arms along with "bodylocking" the waist. Pummelling is commonly learned as a drill and is similar to the "snaking hands" drill used for practicing the plumb clinch.
Muay Thai typically employs the neck clinch where the back of the head is held and the elbows locked together. From here you can knee, wrestle, stomp the feet and calf, or perform Greco-Roman fighting style trips using the feet and knees as leverage, much like trips and slams in Greco-Roman wrestling. Thai boxers will also clinch or bodylock the waist and either perform throws or force the opponent to the floor using their chin as the force and the bodylock as the fulcrum, with the legs provinding thrust.
Ground-and-pound is a ground fighting style tactic consisting of taking an opponent to the ground using a takedown or throw, obtaining a top position, and then striking the opponent. Ground-and-pound is also used as a precursor to attempting submission holds.
This fighting style is used by wrestlers or other fighters well-versed in defending submission holds and skilled at takedowns. They take the fight to the ground, maintain a grappling position, and strike until their opponent submits, is knocked out or is cut so badly that the fight can not continue. Although not traditionally considered a conventional method of striking, the effectiveness and reliability (as well as recently-developing science) of this fighting style is proven. Originally, most fighters who relied on striking on the ground were wrestlers, but considering how many fights end up on the ground and how increasingly competitive today's MMA is, strikes on the ground are becoming more essential to a fighter's training.
Apart from being a general martial arts term, submission grappling is also a reference to the ground fighting tactic consisting of taking an opponent to the ground using a takedown or throw, obtaining a dominant position, and then applying a submission hold to defeat the opponent. Some submission grapplers are also content to work from the bottom position because they are confident that they can find a way to secure a submission. They will sometimes fall back into the guard position, dragging the opponent with them. This is known as "pulling guard."
Submissions are an essential part of many disciplines, most notably Catch wrestling, Judo, Sambo, Pankration, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Fighters with a strong background in these sports often use submission grappling as a tactic to win their fights.
An example of a submission grappling tournament is ADCC or Grapplers Quest.
"Lay-and-Pray" is a derogatory term for a strategy sometimes used by fighters who can take an opponent down but are not adept at finishing moves such as the strikes of Ground-and-Pound or Submissions to continue offense from the gained position. They seek to maintain control of positioning and smother any offense by the opponent, yet mount little or no offense themselves, hoping for a decision win. In some MMA organizations, fines can be imposed for lay-and-pray techniques when the referee determines that the fighter is stalling. Notable fighters that employ this technique include Tito Ortiz, such as his win over Wanderlei Silva, and Tim Sylvia. Less commonly, the term has been applied to a defensive strategy in which a striking-based fighter who has been taken down and seeks to cause a stalemate in the action by tying up the opponent and "praying" for the round to end or a stand up by the referee so that they can continue with a striking offense.