Five essential Boxing skills required to fight in MMA

Ed Mulholland

Contact Combat sports have always been a fan favorite. Boxing is a classic example of the modern day contact combat sport.

Wrestling has been played all over the world since ancient times and is a part of the Olympics. Both these sports have their own unique characteristics.

While Boxing is more about striking your opponent with sheer power and stamina. Wrestling on the other hand, is all about grappling and pinning down your opponent and strategically holding your opponent to prevent them from taking control of the situation.

MMA is the unification of these two basic combat techniques, combined with a large variety of martial arts, hence the name Mixed Martial Arts.

The spectrum of martial arts used in MMA fights, is very wide. However, the most prominent ones are: Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Muay Thai, Submission Wrestling, Collegiate Wrestling and Western Boxing.

Not only traditional Western Boxing, but other variations such as Kickboxing and Thai Boxing are also included by a MMA fighter in his arsenal.

MMA has also been played by professional boxers in the past. The 1976 match fought by Muhammad Ali and Antonio Inoki turned out to be the foundation of modern day UFC Fight.

Stamina, strength and technique are not the only things essential in boxing.

If you lack the ability to assess the situation and act swiftly according to it you cannot make it through a single round of a boxing match.

People mistake boxing to be nothing more than a game of brute force. Little do they know about the amount of strategies required.

Boxing is one of the predominant techniques used in MMA. The five most important Boxing Skills or moves which are extremely necessary for MMA fights are-


  • Jabs


Jab is a pronated or a straight punch thrown at the opponent in MMA.

The fighter throws a fist straight ahead at his opponent in an overhand manner with a completely extended arm. Jab is more of a defensive move.

The speed and power at which it is executed, prevents the opponent from charging in.

Speed jab involves a series of quickly executed jabs and can earn the fighter a lot of points.

Jabbing an opponent is usually restricted to the facial area because jabbing the body opens up an opportunity for counter punches.


  • Uppercuts


The uppercut or the undercut is one of the most viscous moves of boxing.

In an uppercut the punch is thrown in the vertical plane at the opponent’s chin. They are executed in close range as they are the most effective with proximity.

Also you are likely to miss if you throw an uppercut when your opponent is apart. It’s usually the end move of a combination of punches.

Uppercuts are well known in causing knockouts, as they are one of the most powerful moves in boxing.


  • Hooks and Crosses


Hook is performed by swinging the arm which is bent at the elbow at near about 90 degrees, in the form of a horizontal arc at the jaw or the body of the opponent especially targeting the abdominal region.

It’s an extremely powerful punch when executed with the lead hand and definitely has knockout power.

Cross is a punch which is thrown using the dominant hand as the opponent leads his leading hand. It’s a power-packed punch.

Cross along with hooks and uppercuts are executed in different combinations. It’s one of the most important counterattacking techniques in MMA.


  • Sprawl and Brawl


Sprawl and Brawl technique is used to avoid takedowns. It is essentially stand-up striking using a combination of different types of punches so that the opponent does not get a chance to pin the fighter down .

As a grounded position is the most disadvantageous position in MMA. So, the fighter makes use of sprawling in order to prevent being taken down.


  • Ground and Pound


Unlike traditional boxing, MMA allows the boxer to strike his opponent while he’s down on the ground.

Known as the Ground and Pound, the fighter pins his opponent is down and then releases a flurry of punches on him in this technique.

Sometimes the punches are not thrown in a hurry but in a systematic manner to keep the opponent down using jabs and hammer punches.