two men fight on the street

Does MMA Work in a Street Fight?

A street fight or self-defense situation is often chaotic, and there can be multiple people involved. With that said, having skills in martial arts is a big advantage, especially if a person has been in a few ‘real’ fights before. However, today I’ll explain whether MMA works in a street fight. 

Overall MMA works for a street fight. The objective of MMA is to beat the other person either by points or by submitting them or rendering them unconscious with strikes. To win involves being paid more money so if there was a better method to beat another person at a fight MMA fighters would use it.

MMA competition doesn’t restrict what fighting styles can be used in competition. But, there are generally four core martial arts, boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, and jiu-jitsu. Each of these has advantages and disadvantages so below I will explain if MMA is the best for a street fight, which is the best martial art for a street fight or self-defense situation, and if an MMA fighter would win against another martial art in a no rules/street fight.

Is MMA the Best for a Street Fight?

Because there are many different martial arts it can be difficult to know which is the best or the most effective. MMA fighters are well rounded in striking and grappling – which is throwing and applying submission holds. Here’s a summary of whether MMA is the best in a street fight.

MMA is the best for a street fight. MMA is a well-rounded skill set that involves the two key aspects of a fight, which are striking and grappling. Other martial arts are generally only focused on one of these areas, either grappling or striking.

For example, boxing and kickboxing are focused predominantly on striking. Whereas, judo and wrestling are focused primarily on grappling. A street fight or fight without rules is very different from an MMA, or a professional boxing or kickboxing fight.

In a street fight, any strikes can be used, whereas, in a professional MMA or martial arts fight there are rules about what strikes can be used. For example, in a professional fight:

  • Groin strikes
  • Headbutts
  • Kicks to a grounded opponent
  • Eye gouges

Are not allowed. But, in a street fight, these can occur. A professional fighter does not necessarily train to defend against these types of strikes, and therefore, it’s possible they can be taken by surprise or have a way of fighting that leaves them open to these strikes.

Some other martial arts are specifically taught in a way that protects a person from such strikes. So, they can be better than MMA in that regard. 

In all circumstances, it’s always best to avoid a fight at all costs, according to MMA fighters Bas Rutten, and George St Pierre, as shown in this video:

For example, Brazilian jiu-jitsu is primarily designed to protect yourself in a street fight. And the methodology and way of fighting they teach are very aware of all the possibilities that can happen and has a game plan for how to deal with these.

The anatomy of a street fight and why MMA is one of the best

In a fight, there are two potential scenarios, either people can be standing and striking, or they can be grappling. By grappling is meant they are ‘wrestling’ each other. A well-rounded MMA fighter will have excellent skills in both these areas. This is because they know:

  • Wrestling – grappling
  • Brazilian jiu-jitsu – grappling
  • Boxing – striking
  • Kickboxing – striking

A fighter can also be very good in a grappling art that is virtually identical to Brazilian jiu-jitsu and wrestling which as Sambo, and Judo. For example, Khabib Nourmagemedov one of the most famous and accomplished MMA fighters has a background primarily in Sambo. 

And Rhonda Rousey one of the most successful MMA women fighters was an Olympic wrestler and primarily has exceptional at Judo. Both judo and sambo are almost identical to the skills taught in wrestling, and jiu-jitsu.

Whereas, if a person were to be proficient in only one of these martial arts they would be not as good in either grappling or striking.

Is MMA Better Than Boxing for a Street Fights

All martial arts that have competitive bouts are good at developing skills to be able to defend yourself in a street fight. Boxing involves landing hand punches to knock your opponent down, whereas, MMA is a mix of striking and grappling. So, which one is better for street fights?

MMA is better than boxing for a street fight. A fight or self-defense situation involves striking at a distance, as well as, clinching. Clinching involves grappling at a close distance. Boxing is not as good at fighting in the clinch as wrestling, judo, and jiu-jitsu which are used in MMA.

An MMA fighter will generally have some skills in grappling. Whereas, if you train in boxing you will have very little experience in this area. That’s not to say you can’t learn grappling separately from boxing. However, in MMA you will train both martial arts at the same time. Rather than focusing on one at a time if you train them separately.

Can a UFC Fighter Beat a Boxer in a Street Fight?

A street fight is different from a professional bout because there are no rules. But, UFC fighters and boxing fighters train differently and have different skill sets. So, here’s who is more likely to win a street fight a UFC fighter or a boxer. 

As a general rule, a UFC fighter would be more likely to in against a boxer in a no rules fight such as a street fight. But, either person could win, and it’s not guaranteed. A UFC fighter in general would have a very big advantage if the fight were to go to the clinch or goes to the ground.

Many boxers have tried to fight in MMA. Some were somewhat successful, whereas, others lost very quickly. Here’s a video where a UFC Hall of Famer Bas Rutten talks to some professional boxers about fighting in MMA:

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