8 MMA Sparring and Standup Tips to Take your Game to the Next Level

Standup and sparring are excellent ways to become a better MMA fighter. Strikes, including front kicks, hooks, jabs, and crosses should be practiced meticulously to be mastered. Let’s take a look at 8 MMA sparring and standup strategies that you can harness to become a more well-rounded and dominant fighter.

MMA Sparring Tip #1: Size up your opponent

Make sure that you do this before you engage. For instance, if he strikes first then you know he is an offensive fighter. Likewise, if he waits for you to strike first, he is probably a defensive fighter.


MMA Sparring Tip #2: Find out their strengths beforehand

If your opponent is a strong grappler then you should spend more time defending against submissions. Likewise, if they are strong strikers then your practice sessions should revolve around defending punches and kicks.

MMA Sparring Tip #3: Don’t telegraph moves

One of the biggest mistakes that most fighters make is telegraphing that they are about to do. For instance, they may look at the leg that they are about to kick or lean in the direction that they are going to shoot for. Good MMA strategies to remember would be to stop telegraphing your moves.

MMA Sparring Tip #4: Don’t show fear

Even if your opponent currently has the upper hand, showing them fear will cause them to become even more aggressive. On a related note, you can consider faking your fear in an attempt to lure your opponent to attack.

MMA Sparring Tip #5: Give off small targets

To become an effective standup fighter, you need your head down and your chin tucked. This will serve as a valuable line of defense between you and your opponent, and will lessen the chances of getting knocked out.

MMA Sparring Tip #6: Set up your moves

Always have a setup for your moves. Whether it be a strike, submission, or guard pass, you should always use some form of a “diversion” to successfully accomplish your offensive technique. For example, fake low and strike high or fake the guard pass and go for an ankle lock.

Portland MMA Technique: Primary Kick Targets

MMA Sparring Tip #7: Stay calm before striking

Tension will dramatically slow down your attacks. Visualize yourself as a snake- calm and relaxed, then striking with lighting speed. On the same token, don’t try so hard. Be loose, flexible, and take what your opponent gives you.

MMA Sparring Tip #8: Close the distance

Other effective MMA strategies to remember would be to close the distance whenever possible. Put constant pressure on your opponent, whether it be from the guard position or standup. If you want or think too long before attacking then the opportunity will disappear and you will need to start over and worked towards that same position once again.