If you had to point out the single attribute that make great MMA fighters a threat in the cage, it would be difficult. This is because MMA fighters are well-rounded in a variety of martial arts, and each of the “greats” have something that makes them special. What makes a MMA fighter great? Let’s break down this question and talk about what skills all good MMA fighters share.

What Makes a MMA Fighter Great?

Great MMA Fighters Have a Strong Background in Jiu-Jitsu

All great MMA fighters are similar in the sense that they all have great ground games. They can tap opponents from virtually any position, and maintain the ability to control the pace of a fight from the ground, which is an important skill to have as a fighter. If you analyze great MMA fighters like Anderson Sylva or George St. Pierre, you’ll notice that aside from their seasoned striking abilities, they are all very skilled in submissions and takedowns.


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A Great MMA Fighter Works Hard

This goes without saying, but natural athletic ability can only take you so far. If you aren’t willing to put in the work, then you’re going to get passed by a fighter who is. Forest Griffin, a once very prominent UFC fighter, was well-known for his tedious workout sessions. Because of his intense regimens of cardiovascular training, he could go an entire fight without exhausting, which comes in handy when the opponent that you’re facing is more skilled or experienced than you are.


Portland MMA Technique: Sleeper from the Guard with Professor Jeff Patterson

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Great MMA Fighters Have Great Coaches

All great MMA fighters are backed by great coaches. Without a good MMA coach, you won’t be able to master all of the minor intricacies associated with this sport. While athletic ability, background experience, and work ethic all play a role in becoming a great MMA fighter, there’s no doubt that having a great coach ranks high on the list.

What Makes a MMA Fighter Great?

What Makes a MMA Fighter Great?


Great MMA Fighters Are Intimidating

A fighter who is afraid is a weak fighter thus, having the ability to make an opponent feel afraid prior to a fight is going to make them easier to beat. All great MMA fighters share this quality, and it actually becomes quite useful when you’re trying to defeat your opponent psychologically before a fight even begins. What makes an MMA fighter great? Aside from the ability to work hard and intimidate an opponent, the best MMA fighters have strong backgrounds in grappling and are backed by quality MMA coaches.