The Most Dominant Fighting Style in the UFC

The UFC is the premier organization in mixed martial arts and has been for over two decades. At that time, many different styles of fighting were represented in the Octagon. So, which one is the most effective? Let’s break it down and find out.

MMA is a unique sport in that it incorporates many different styles of fighting. There are stand-up fighters, wrestlers, submission specialists, and more. And while each style has its own advantages and disadvantages, some styles are generally more effective than others in the UFC.

The most dominant fighting style in the UFC is a subject of debate. While some argue for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu due to its effectiveness in ground fighting, others believe that a well-rounded approach incorporating various martial arts disciplines is more advantageous. Ultimately, success in the UFC depends on a fighter’s individual skill set and adaptability.

So What is the Most Effective Fighting Style in the UFC?

The answer may surprise you, but there is no definitive answer to this question. Different styles are effective against different opponents, and what works for one fighter may not work for another. That being said, we can observe a few general trends. For example, wrestlers tend to fare well against strikers.

Of course, these are just generalities; there are always exceptions to the rule. For instance, a striker with good takedown defense can nullify the advantage that a wrestler might have. Likewise, a jiu-jitsu artist who is also proficient in striking can pose a serious threat to a striker. The bottom line is that mixed martial arts is a complex sport, and there is no one perfect way to win. 

Wrestling is One of the Most Dominant Styles

If we had to provide a single answer to which martial art is most effective in MMA, it would be wrestling. Wrestling is a grappling martial art emphasizing takedowns and ground control. It’s one of the oldest martial arts in the world, and its origins can be traced back to ancient Greece.

Wrestling became popular in the UFC during the sport’s early days when fighters like Mark Coleman and Randy Couture dominated their opponents with their grappling prowess. In recent years, wrestlers like Khabib Nurmagomedov and Daniel Cormier have continued to succeed in the UFC.

Even recently, we saw Islam Makhachev, a Russian wrestler, dominate Charles Oliviera, the person with the most submission in UFC history. Olivier is a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt under  Ericson Cardoso and Jorge “Macaco” Patino.

While other martial arts styles certainly have their place in MMA, there’s no denying that wrestling is one of the most effective. This is especially true at the highest levels of the sport, where wrestlers have consistently found success against some of the best strikers in the world.

Why is Wrestling So Effective for UFC Fighters?

Wrestling is an effective martial art for a few different reasons. First, it’s very effective at taking an opponent to the ground. Once on the ground, a wrestler can control an opponent and prevent them from getting back to their feet. This is important because it allows a wrestler to avoid an opponent’s strikes and take them down at will.

Second, wrestling is very tiring. A match can last for five rounds, and wrestlers often expend a lot of energy trying to take their opponents down. This can be very draining for an opponent who isn’t used to this type of activity, and it can give the wrestler an advantage as the fight goes on. As Khabib noted: He was “drowning” his opponents by taking them down and controlling them on the ground.

Wrestling is also effective because it’s very versatile. A wrestler can use his grappling skills to defeat an opponent by submission or use them to control an opponent and grind out a decision victory. This versatility makes wrestling a dangerous martial art for any opponent, and it’s one of the reasons why it’s been so successful in MMA.

Lastly, wrestling teaches fighters how to control their opponents and maintain top positions. This is important because it allows a wrestler to avoid submission attempts and stay safe on the ground. Wrestling also allows the fighter to gain top position and ground-and-pound an opponent, which can be very effective in finishing a fight.

While there are other martial arts that can be effective in MMA, wrestling is definitely one of the most dominant styles. It’s very effective at taking an opponent down, controlling them on the ground, and tiring them out. This makes it difficult for opponents to mount an offense, and it often leads to wrestlers getting the upper hand in a fight.

Mental Toughness as Competitive Edge

Mental toughness is the ability to push through difficult situations, both physical and mental. It’s what allows wrestlers to keep going when they’re tired or in pain, and it’s what allows them to stay focused and composed in the heat of battle. Mental toughness is a quality that is essential for all athletes, but it is especially important for wrestlers.

Why? Because wrestling is a sport that is all about pushing yourself to the limits. It’s a sport where one mistake can cost you the match and you are constantly physically and mentally challenged. In order to be successful in wrestling, you need to be able to handle pressure and stay calm under duress. You need to be able to endure pain, and you need to be able to push yourself harder than you ever thought possible.

Not to take anything away from other martial artists, but wrestlers often have a different mentality than other fighters. This is because wrestling is such a mentally and physically demanding sport.

Wrestlers are used to training for long hours and are often in better shape than other fighters. This is because they need to be in great shape to make weight since the weight in wrestling can determine who wins and loses.

Wrestlers are also used to being in uncomfortable positions and having to fight out of them. This is because wrestling is a grappling sport, and grappling can often be very tiring. This type of training helps wrestlers become comfortable in uncomfortable situations, which can be very helpful in a fight.

Cutting weight before fights at a young age also helps wrestlers develop mental toughness. This is because they know how to push themselves physically and mentally and are used to dealing with the challenges of making weight. There is rarely a moment in the UFC when a wrestler misses weight, and this is because they have gone through the same process dozens if not hundreds of times.

UFC Champions Who Mastered Wrestling to Dominate the UFC

The UFC has been around for over 20 years, and in that time, there have been some amazing fighters. While there have been many great strikers and submission artists, the most dominant fighters in the UFC have often been wrestlers. This is because wrestling is such an effective martial art in MMA, and it’s a style that can be very difficult to deal with.

Some of the greatest fighters in UFC history are wrestlers; many have used their wrestling skills to become UFC champions. Here are some of the most successful wrestlers in UFC history:

Brock Lesnar

Brock Lesnar is a former NCAA Division I heavyweight wrestling champion and a former UFC heavyweight champion. He is one of the most successful wrestlers in UFC history, and he has used his wrestling skills to become one of the most dominant fighters in the sport. His enormous size and strength make him a very difficult fighter to deal with, and his wrestling skills have allowed him to control opponents and win fights.

Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre is a former UFC welterweight champion and is widely considered one of the greatest fighters of all time. He was not a wrestling prodigy like many of his opponents during his early career; however, over time, he developed into one of the best wrestlers in MMA. He used his improved wrestling skills to become one of the most dominant champions in UFC history, and he is considered to be one of the best pound-for-pound fighters of all time.

Daniel Cormier

A former Olympic wrestler, Daniel Cormier is one of the most successful wrestlers in UFC history. He is a former UFC heavyweight champion, and he has used his wrestling skills together with his amazing stand-up skill to become one of the most well-rounded fighters in the sport. He is considered to be one of the best heavyweight fighters of all time, and his wrestling skills have played a big role in his success.

Khabib Nurmagomedov

Khabib Nurmagomedov is a previous UFC lightweight champion and one of the most successful wrestlers in UFC history. He is a former Russian national combat sambo champion, and he has used his wrestling skills to become one of the most dominant fighters in the sport.

As you can see, wrestlers are some of the most successful fighters in UFC history.

Best Stand Up Fighting Style in the UFC

Stand-up fighting is a crucial aspect of MMA and the UF). While there is no one “best” stand-up martial art for UFC fighting, there are several popular styles that fighters often use. These styles include Boxing, Muay Thai, and Kickboxing.

Stand-up fighting in UFC is more entertaining than grappling, as jabs or powerful punches can easily win rounds by knocking people out.


Boxing is a popular stand-up martial art used in the UFC. While it is not a complete fighting style on its own, it is an essential aspect of MMA as it teaches athletes how to strike and defend themselves with their hands. Many UFC fighters have a background in boxing, and some have even competed professionally in the sport. Boxers often have an advantage in striking exchanges due to their precise punches and footwork.

In the UFC, fighters who use boxing often rely on their jabs and hooks to set up their strikes and defend themselves from their opponents’ attacks. They also use footwork to move around the octagon and create angles to attack their opponents. In addition, boxers in the UFC often have a high boxing IQ, allowing them to read their opponents’ movements and counter their strikes effectively. Notable UFC fighters with a boxing background include Conor McGregor, Anderson Silva, and Jorge Masvidal.

See Also: Fighters with Pro Boxing Backgrounds

Muay Thai

When it comes to stand-up fighting, there are few martial arts that can compete with Muay Thai. Muay Thai, sometimes called “The Art of Eight Limbs,” is a striking-based martial art that uses punches, kicks, elbows, and knees to strike an opponent. Muay Thai has been used by some of the biggest names in MMA, including Georges St Pierre, Anderson Silva, and Jose Aldo.

The versatility of strikes in Muay Thai makes it a very dangerous and effective martial art in MMA. Muay Thai practitioners can use punches, kicks, elbows, and knees to strike an opponent from all angles; this makes it very difficult for an opponent to defend against.

Another advantage that Muay Thai has over other striking-based martial arts is that its techniques are generally more powerful. Because Muay Thai incorporates kicks and elbows into its repertoire, fighters who have trained in this martial art tend to have more knockout power than, for example, their boxing counterparts. This is not to say that boxers don’t pack a punch—they definitely do!—but Muay Thai fighters tend to have an edge in this department.

Muay Thai also has an advantage when it comes to defense. Because Muay Thai techniques make use of all eight limbs, fighters who have trained in this martial art are better able to defend themselves against strikes from all angles. Boxing defense typically relies heavily on the Guard position, which can leave openings for strikes from below the belt line—something that can be very dangerous in MMA. 


Kickboxing is another popular stand-up martial art used in the UFC. It is a hybrid martial art that combines elements of boxing and karate and focuses on powerful kicks and punches. Fighters who use kickboxing in the UFC often have an advantage in striking exchanges due to their powerful kicks and quick footwork. They also have a wide range of strikes to choose from, including low kicks, high kicks, and spinning kicks.

In the UFC, fighters who use kickboxing often rely on their kicks to keep their opponents at a distance and set up their strikes. They also use their footwork to move around the octagon and create angles to attack their opponents. Additionally, kickboxers in the UFC often have a high level of cardio and endurance, allowing them to maintain a high pace throughout the fight. Notable UFC fighters with a kickboxing background include Israel Adesanya, Stephen Thompson, and Donald Cerrone.

What Other Martial Art Styles Are Effective in MMA?

While wrestling is the most dominant martial art in MMA, other styles can also be effective. Sambo, for example, is a Russian martial art that uses grappling and striking to defeat opponents. Sambo is similar to wrestling in many ways but incorporates submissions and striking into its repertoire. This makes it a very effective martial art for MMA.


Sambo is a Soviet martial art that was created by Vasili Oshchepkov and Viktor Spiridonov in 1928. Sambo combines techniques from several different styles of grappling, including Judo, Freestyle Wrestling, Greco-Roman Wrestling, Catch Wrestling, and even some striking techniques from boxing and Muay Thai.

In Sambo competitions, there are three main types of matches: sport Sambo (which is similar to Judo matches), combat Sambo (which are similar to Mixed Martial Arts matches), and freestyle Sambo (which can include both Grappling and striking).

Fedor Emelianenko, widely considered one of the greatest heavyweight MMA fighters of all time, used his Sambo skills to great effect throughout his career; he won many matches via submission using Sambo techniques such as chokes and leg locks. 

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