The MMA Formula, which was popularized by Jeff Patterson, is a simple, efficient, and effective formula that you can use as a reference for your MMA training. Basically, it breaks down MMA combat into three basic phases, each of which can be mastered with repetition of MMA drills. With that being said, let’s learn more about this formula.

Understanding the MMA Formula

Basically, MMA can be broken down into three main phases:

  • Striking (punches, kicks, and elbow/knee strikes)
  • Standup Grappling (clinches)
  • Ground Fighting (submission and sweeps)

Each of these phases branch off to other moves and positions. But for now, we will focus on the fundamentals of the MMA formula.

Phase #1: Striking

The striking phase includes punches, kicks, knee strikes, elbow strikes, and head butts. Obviously, each technique offers dozens of sub-categories which can also be mastered with the help of MMA drills. For instance, with “kicks”, you could narrow it down to front kicks, roundhouse kicks, and even spinning sidekicks.

Phase #2: Stand up Grappling

This phase includes any kind of grappling that occurs when both opponents are standing up. This phase is very important because you will find yourself here more often than you might think while fighting. The two main sub-phases here include:

  • Clinch: This can include the whizzer position or the double under-hook/over-hook position.
  • Takedown: These include your typically takedowns- high crotches, double leg takedowns, and single leg takedowns.

By breaking down each position and phase, you will be able to master your stand up grappling by utilizing MMA drills on a consistent basis. Now, let’s go on to talk about the final phase that you will encounter in MMA.

Phase #3: Ground Fighting

The ground is where 99% of finds end up in MMA. But to become a good ground fighter, you need to understand the various positions and situations that occur here. The two main areas of focus include:

  • Submission Attacks and Defenses: These can include submissions like triangle chokes, arm bars, and rear-naked chokes, as well as sweeps like the scissor sweep (from the guard) or the butterfly sweep.
  • Striking Attacks and Defenses: Since MMA isn’t solely about submissions, you need to focus on defending punches while on the ground. You also need to learn more about the various offensive strikes that you can use from this position.

The ground fighting phase is just as important as all of the others, which is why you should do MMA drills to perfect this area of your technique.

Becoming a Specialist in All Three Phases

To become a successful MMA fighter, you need to become a specialist in each one of the main phases and sub-phases listed above. If you can become proficient in all areas of your standup and ground game, you will become a fighter who nobody wants to tangle with.