In UFC Undisputed 3, players can select from over 150 fighters on the deep roster. Each of these fighters have strengths, and each has what is referred to as a "base" style of fighting. There are karate fighters, jiujitsu grapplers, wrestlers, boxers, Muay Thai kickboxers and even big ol' street brawlers. But, despite the differences in how the fighters began their training, they all do battle in the same octagon, and they all follow the same rules.
[Use all skill areas in a match to be a well-rounded MMA fighter.]
With this in mind, you should fight the battles to your fighter's strengths and understand your opponent's style, strengths and weaknesses. The UFC (and Pride) rules will dictate the flow of the match in some capacity, but all MMA bouts will start on the feet. From there, the match can be won in the standup striking game, a wrestling control match, or in a technical grappling match that ends by submission. Here is a breakdown of the "flow" of a match. Refine your skills from each position to make your martial arts skills truly "mixed".
Each match can be fought from essentially four technical positions. There are offensive and defensive positions or each and the fight can be finished from anywhere, anytime.
Striking from range will be a necessary component of any match. Identify your fighter's solid strikes and look to incorporate those into combinations or as counters. One of my favorites was a stepping-away quick front kick as the opponent lurches in (Anderson Silva and Kendall Grove come to mind), followed by a flurry of step-in and quick strikes.
Having a good clinch game--or at least being able to manage the transitions--can help you not only do some good damage to your opponent, but help you to control if the fight stays standing or goes to the ground. Check your fighter's action list to see if he has some leveled up strikes or takedowns from the clinch. Lots of fighters with a boxing or Muay Thai background have power punches, elbows and knees from here. Pressing your opponent up against the cage can add some power to your strikes and takes power out of theirs.
Wrestling and Judo
Whether its from striking range or in the clinch, your fighter might be at his best when you take down your opponent an control them from the top with some ground and pound. Look for judo hip throws that will land you side control to open up some big offense. Also, look to counter a superior striker's onslaught by dropping down for a takedown as they begin their combinations. Often this will land you in their guard, but you can posture up and rain down heavy blows and try to pass.
The Ground Game
A good UFC Undisputed 3 player can take a jiujitsu-based fighter and have success on the feet. But, with fighters like BJ Penn or Demian Maia, it may be alright to keep it standing, but the real domination begins on the ground. Ground grappling experts will flow from position to position, and block the opponent's transitions to take away their offense. Submission artists are going to have a greater advantage in the submission mini-game (unless the opponent has excellent submission defense), but it's hard to say how much credit you get for attempting submissions in the eyes of the judges. In my tests, I made sure I damaged my opponents with strikes too, and then stuck with leveled up submission techniques to maximize the advantage I had going into the attempt. Also, learn what position you'll be in if the opponent escapes. Some will move you from a dominant position to a very unfavorable one (you on top in side control to your opponent on top in side control for example). Gambling on the ground can put you in harm's way very quickly.
Stay tuned tomorrow for Part 2 where we explain what to do when it comes time to finish a match. In the meantime, be sure to order your copy of the UFC Undisputed 3 Official eGuide by clicking here.