MMA has been around for quite a while now, but a lot of people still get confused and think that MMA is a fighting style. Not it’s not. It is a mixture of a lot of fighting styles.
If you can perform several techniques from different styles then basically you are already an MMA fighter. Just not a professional one.
Restriction in MMA fights
To understand which styles are among the most effective fighting styles in MMA, you need to know the restriction and what counts as a victory.
Different MMA fights organizers may have slightly different rules on the restriction, but generally, the below would be strictly forbidden among all organizers.
- Attacks aiming at the groin
- Knee attacks to an opponent on the ground
- Pulling hair
- Attacks to the back of the head or the spine
- Attacks to the throat
- Fingers or toes breaking
- Throwing opponents out of the fighting cage
Here is a list of the top 5 fighting styles for MMA fights.
Top 5 Most Effective Fighting Styles In MMA
As stated above, any sort of underhanded or deadly technique is almost forbidden. That means that a fighting style that emphasizes on facing the enemy head-on like boxing is exceptionally effective.
Boxing emphasizes the power of the fist and dodging opponents’ fists. It is essentially training to knock-out your enemy with swift and strong punches to the non-vital areas on your body.
Everything that a boxer train has nothing to do with fingers-locking, joint-locking, or anything that is forbidden in MMA. All that a boxer does every day is training to smash your face and destroy your liver which neither is banned in an MMA fight.
That’s what makes a professional boxer very deadly in an MMA fight.
Similar to boxing, Muay Thai also focuses on deadly blows to the opponents. However, there is one key difference here. A Muay Thai practitioner also learns how to every part of the body to deliver those blows.
That includes fists, elbows, knees, and legs. Muay Thai practitioners can deliver quick and heavy knee and elbow backs. They do by skillfully generate force through the entire body.
The recipient of these attacks is sure to get knocked-out should they receive even just two or three blows.
Another reason why Muay Thai is one of the best fighting styles is because of the training. Practicing Muay Thai is not that much different from a full-body workout. And you should know that having sufficient stamina to push through all rounds are incredibly crucial in MMA fights.
Jeet Kune Do
JKD is a style developed by the legend himself, Bruce Lee. It was based on another popular style called Wing Chun.
Wing Chun itself is a fascinating style. The focus of Wing Chun is to use the minimum force to generate maximum damage. The style teaches you how to achieve that through the “choose the closest weapon within reach to the opponent’s face” philosophy. The centerline of a humanoid figure and the center of gravity are also what you will learn in Wing Chun. But that’s an article for another day.
However, Bruce Lee felt that the style could be quite rigid and abundant in principles sometimes. Afterward, JKD has been developed based on Wing Chun with only one philosophy that is to eliminate unnecessary movement.
As a result, practitioners of JKD are not grounded and restricted by a rigid stance and movement. You will always be in a moving-state seeking to strike your opponents swiftly. This is especially effective in an MMA fight because you will still be looking to punish your opponent for giving an opening.
Knocking your opponent out cold is not the only way to victory, sometimes locking them to submission is also equally effective.
The human body has specific weak points where, if grabbed and pinned down correctly, could render a person completely immobile regardless of the strength difference.
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu is one of the best martial arts for MMA by exploiting these human weaknesses. Remember, if you accidentally strike banned vital points, you will be disqualified. However, joint-locking a person to submission is completely allowed during an MMA match. All it takes is one mistake, one opening or one slight distraction, and an opponent built like a beast will be on the ground tapping out in no time.
In the recent seasons of MMA fights, wrestling has been dominating quite a lot of them. Another way to victory, apart from striking and joint-locking, is to keep the fight where you want it.
Wrestling is one of the best among the most effective fighting in MMA matches. It is a style that keeps your opponent fighting in a position where you know he/she does not have the advantage.
The practitioner will excel at locking the opponent in a variety of situations. If you know that your opponent has weak lower body strength and coordination, keep him/her locked in a clinch position. If you see the opponent has weak arm strength, keep the fight on the ground.
A professional wrestler could easily win a match without throwing many punches but only by rendering an opponent excelling in striking pinned in a problematic situation.
The thing is that there is no best fighting style for a person. Instead, there is only the best person for a fighting style.
That said, there would be a couple of choices that can be called the best fighting style for MMA specifically. And those are the above-mentioned styles.
Given enough practice and proficiency, any style could be significant in MMA, but there will always those that are generally better than most.