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Fighting Styles in the MMA

author image Joseph Eitel
Joseph Eitel has written for a variety of respected online publications since 2006 including the Developer Shed Network and He has dedicated his life to researching and writing about diet, nutrition and exercise. Eitel's health blog,, has become an authority in the healthy-living niche. He graduated with honors from Kellogg Community College in 2010 with an Associate of Applied Science.
Fighting Styles in the MMA
MMA includes a variety of fighting disciplines.

Mixed martial arts, or MMA, is a full-contact sport which allows for several different types of fighting styles and disciplines. Most MMA fighters train in more than one fighting style, such as boxing and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, in order to minimize their weaknesses in the ring, octagon or cage. Some of the other common fighting styles in MMA include wrestling, kick boxing and combinations of multiple disciplines.

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An MMA fighter who is said to feature a “boxer” style of fighting prefers to use punching as the primary means of attack. This style of fighting is common to MMA fighters that may have trained as a boxer in the past, or even those who have more of a street fighting or “brawler” mentality. This type of fighter would prefer to fight in the standing position rather than on the mat.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

This fighting style utilizes ground techniques, submission holds and effective use of the “guard” in a defensive position. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or BJJ, is a fighting discipline that makes use of literally hundreds of different chokes and submission holds, such as the arm bar, rear naked choke and leg lock. BJJ also teaches a fighter how to successfully manage his guard, which is when a fighter finds himself pinned on his back. This fighting style is preferred by many MMA fighters looking to get an edge in the ground game.


A wrestling fighting style makes good use of grappling, the ground game, submissions, takedowns and body leverage. This fighting style is influenced by many different fighting disciplines, although its roots are in the same type of wrestling you would see at the Olympics. Wrestling has evolved in the sport of MMA due to influences by other disciplines, such as BJJ and Judo, to include variations on takedowns, “ground and pound” techniques, defenses, grappling strategies and various submission holds. A fighter that prefers wrestling will try to take the fight to the ground rather than trying to knock the other fighter out with punches and kicks.

Muay Thai Kick Boxing

Muay Thai kickboxing, or simply Thai Boxing, is a martial art with ancient origins and is also the national sport of Thailand. This style of fighting has become popular with MMA fighters due to its devastating striking, defenses and focus on endurance. Thai boxing typically includes: punches, kicks, elbows, flying knees and various grappling techniques. This is a stand-up style of fighting that gives a fighter knock-out power.

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