EA Sports UFC – Step-by-Step Submission Guide

From takedown to tap out, a complete guide to submitting your opponent.

With EA Sports UFC on shelves for a week, gamers are starting to get the hang of the play mechanics. Well, for the most part. It would seem that some players still have trouble with the submission game. Even though we covered this in a Recent Video, we skipped over the basics to give you some insight on a few of the more advanced concepts.

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That’s our bad.

Since people seem to have such a difficult time with this, we thought we’d tackle the subject again, this time starting at the beginning and walking you step-by-step through every detail of how to tap out your opponent.

Before You Begin


There are many factors that go into submitting your opponent. The first and perhaps the most crucial is you and your opponent’s submission ratings. These are broken down into four categories.

  • Choke Defense
  • Choke Submission
  • Joint Defense
  • Joint Submission

While each category gets its own value, the four of them combine to give each fighter an overall rating in the submission game. For example, Royce Gracie has an overall submission rating of 99. Mark Munoz, on the other hand, only has an overall submission rating of 81. If Royce Gracie goes for a submission on Mark Munoz, there’s a fairly good chance he’s going to be successful, as long as the person controlling the sticks knows what he or she is doing.

The last attribute that people need to be mindful of when going for a submission is stamina. Your overall rating does not play a role, but you need to make sure you aren’t gassed when slapping a hold on your foe. If you look up in the top right or left corners of the screen during a fight, you’ll see a blue or red meter that measures how tired you are. If your bar is full while your opponent’s is empty, this will make submitting him or her much easier. More on that in just a bit.

Getting into Position


Even though there is such a thing as a Flying Armbar, we have yet to figure out how this can be done in the game. If you want to see one in real life, check out Rose Namajunas pull one off at Invicta FC 5. Other than that, however, submissions take place on the ground, so getting the fight to that position is essential to completing one. While there are many ways the fight can end up on the ground, most are beyond your control, other than a takedown. Still, wrestling your opponent to the ground is by far the most common way to get the fight to the mat, so let’s take a look at a few options you have to do that.

  • Standard Single: L2/Left Trigger + Right Stick 3-12
  • Power Single: L2/Left Trigger + L1/Left Bumper + Right Stick 3-6
  • Standard Double: L2/Left Trigger + Right Stick 9-12
  • Power Double: L2/Left Trigger + L1/Left Bumper + Right Stick 9-6

Note: When we say Right Stick 3-12, imagine a clock face. Move the right stick to where 3 o’clock would be, then rotate it up to 12 o’clock.

Of course, even though it’s not voluntary, the fight can end up on the ground due to knockdown, when your opponent takes you to the ground or even a slip (yes, that can kind of happen in this game). Either way, once the fight is on the mat, the real work in submitting your adversary begins.

Ideal Ground Positions

Ideal ground positions are tricky. Different fighters have different moves available, meaning that while a guy like Royce Gracie can submit an opponent while in their guard, Pat Barry would likely need to go for a more dominant position. As much as we would love to cover every fighter, position and submission, it just isn’t possible with so many variables. Instead, we’ll look at a few of the most common positions that players will find themselves in on the ground.

  • Standard Double = Dominant Full Guard
  • Power Double/Power Single = Dominant Side Control
  • Standard Single = Dominant Half Guard/Side Control

A Standard Double Leg Takedown will land you in your opponent’s guard. You will recognize this position because you will be between their legs. This is the least effective offensive position for you, and many of the UFC fighters in the game will need to advance to a better position before attempting a submission. If you want to transition from your opponent’s full guard, move the Right Stick from 9-12 or 3-12. Doing so (if successful) will move you into your opponent’s half guard. If, however, you have a very skilled Jiu Jitsu fighter, you can attempt a submission at any time while on the ground.

  • R1/Right Bumper + Right Stick 12-9
  • R1/Right Bumper + Right Stick 3-12
  • R1/Right Bumper + Right Stick 9-6
  • R1/Right Bumper + Right Stick 6-3

If you press the proper button combination to attempt a submission but nothing happens, it’s likely that you will need to transition before one becomes available. Standard transitions are done by rotating your Right Stick from 9-12 or 3-12. While there are submissions from every dominant position on the ground, not every fighter has the skill to pull them off. With that in mind, the following list should provide a good idea of what positions most fighters will have submissions from, and what positions only the elite will be successful at. We broke the fighter categories down into Low level, Standard and Elite skill sets. The Elite guys will be able to slap a hold on just about anywhere, while Low Level fighters will need dominant positions.

Dominant Full Guard


For this, you will be between your opponent’s legs.  They will have their legs either open or their ankles crossed behind your back. From here, only Elite level submission artists can pull off holds. Consider guys like Royce Gracie or Frank Mir here, although we’re sure there are more.

Dominant Half Guard


This positions means that one of your legs will be between both of your opponent’s. Your opponent will likely use both of his or her legs to tie up one of yours. From here, Standard level submission fighters are able to go for a choke or hold.

Dominant Side Control


Every single fighter in the game can attempt a submission from here, making even Low-level submission fighters a threat. The most standard submission is the Kimura, and this is the most common place it will be attempted from in EA Sports UFC. You will recognize side control when you are laying sideways over your opponent’s chest, and they will not have either of your legs tied up.

North/South Dominant


This position is identified when you have your head in your opponent’s chest, but your feet point in opposite directions. There are some chokes from here, but only Elite level fighters can execute them. You are best to try and transition back to side control or even to full mount.

Dominant Full Mount


This is the nuclear weapon of ground positions. From here, you will straddle your opponent’s chest with your legs. You can unleash brutal ground and pound, or even if you’ve picked one of the Low level submission fighters, go for a choke or hold. While in this position, if your opponent tries to escape there is a chance you will end up in full back mount.

Dominant Back Mount


This one isn’t bad either. Basically you will ride your opponent’s back, and from here, any fighter on the roster should be able to sink in a choke or hold, making even Low-level fighters dangerous.

The Submission Mini-Game


Once you’ve gotten all the way here (Sorry the journey took so long. We wanted to be thorough.), it’s time to finish the submission and collect your bonus check. This part of the process is distinct because an octagon will pop up on the screen. This is where most people get lost, but it’s the most important part of submitting your opponent. Master this, as well as the concepts we’ve explained to you earlier in the article, and you’ll tap out random strangers on your way to an online belt.

The Escape Gate

As soon as the octagon pops up, your opponent will try to escape the hold by moving the Right Stick to the left, right, up or down. You will be able to tell which direction they’re moving by the indicator on your screen. Your job is to press and hold your Right Stick in the same direction. This will block their attempt to escape, however, they may try another direction once you’ve blocked their first attempt. Continue to move your Right Stick (holding it in place) in whatever direction the indicator shows on-screen. If your opponent manages to push their Right Stick to the outer wall of the octagon, their escape will be successful and the submission will be broken.

Progressing the Submission


As we mentioned above, if you are able to block your opponent from moving their Right Stick to the wall of the octagon, eventually a Left Stick indicator will appear on-screen. This is your opportunity to sink in the hold just a little deeper. All you have to do is press the Left Stick in the direction indicated before it disappears from the screen. If you’re successful, you are one step closer to submitting your opponent. If you fail, the submission will be broken and your opponent will have escaped. Keep in mind, you do not have to hold the Left Stick. Just flick it in the direction indicated.

Do You Have to Hold the Right Stick While Flicking the Left Stick?

Great question, and the answer is technically no, but it doesn’t hurt. If the Left stick indicator pops up on your screen, you only need to press it before it disappears, or your opponent gets their Right Stick to the outer wall of the octagon. As an extra measure of care, we continue to hold the Right Stick and block the escape attempt. Like we mentioned earlier, it doesn’t hurt.

My Opponent Escapes so Fast. What do I do?

In our best Mr. Miyagi voice, we’re telling you to scroll to the top of this article and read the Before You Begin section. This is where submission ratings and stamina come into play. If your opponent has a very high submission rating (Like the 99 possessed by Royce Gracie), he or she will be able to move the Right Stick a lot faster than say, Mark Munoz, who has a submission rating of 81. Not to mention, a tired opponent will not be able to escape as quickly as a fresh one. Pay attention to the red and blue stamina indicators at the top of the screen. At the same time, if you try to slap a hold on someone and you’re using a good submission artist, the Left Stick indicator will pop up faster, allowing you to progress the hold quickly.

How Many Levels Before I Finish the Submission

This depends entirely on the hold that you’re trying to pull off. While we don’t have exact numbers for you, it would seem there are an average of four phases to each submission. Sometimes there will be three, and other times there could be (don’t quote us) five. It really just depends on the hold or the choke you’re attempting.

I Understand the Concept, but Can’t Execute the Submission

Welcome to the club. When the demo came out, we only pulled off one or two submissions in a solid 30 fights. It’s not something that’s easy to do, but that’s why you should master it. Most people won’t bother, meaning you will be unstoppable if you can excel at the submission game. Here are a few ideas to practice and get better.

First of all, jump into a fight on Easy. Choose Pat Barry and make your opponent Frank Mir. Barry doesn’t have a high submission rating, but Mir’s is one of the best. Take Mir to the ground, then try to get him to tap out. If he escapes, take him down and do it again. Keep doing this until you are able to submit him at least five times. Once you’re done, back out to the main menu, up the difficulty to Normal and go submit him five more times. If you can pull this off on Normal, you should be ready to take on most people in an online match. Of course, real players are harder to submit, so if you’re still struggling, try to finish Mir on hard five more times.

Safety Note: Keep a series of Nerf toys handy for unavoidable fits of rage. Avoid having breakables near your gaming area. If Nerf isn’t an option, use tinfoil balls as a substitute. Equally as harmless and the cats will love you for it.

He Tapped! He Tapped!


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Prima Games Staff
The staff at Prima Games.