why don’t mma fighters use bjj as much

why don’t mma fighters use bjj as much

why don't mma fighters use bjj as much

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport that combines various martial arts disciplines, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). BJJ is known for its effectiveness in ground fighting and submission techniques. However, in the world of MMA, fighters do not always rely heavily on BJJ. This article aims to explore the reasons why MMA fighters do not use BJJ as much as one might expect.

Lack of Control in Striking Range

One reason why MMA fighters may not use BJJ as much is the inherent risk of being struck while attempting to close the distance and take the fight to the ground. In the striking range, opponents can utilize punches, kicks, and knee strikes, making it challenging for fighters to execute BJJ techniques without leaving themselves vulnerable to strikes.

Furthermore, fighters who primarily rely on BJJ may not have developed the necessary striking skills to effectively close the distance and transition to their preferred ground game. This lack of versatility can put them at a disadvantage against opponents who excel in striking.

Strength and Conditioning

Another factor that may limit the use of BJJ in MMA is the physical demands of the sport. MMA fighters must possess a high level of strength and conditioning to compete at a professional level. BJJ techniques often require a significant amount of energy, especially when trying to control and submit an opponent.

While BJJ practitioners are generally well-conditioned, they may not have the same level of strength and explosiveness as fighters who incorporate other disciplines, such as wrestling or Muay Thai, into their training. This can make it difficult for BJJ fighters to overpower their opponents and execute their techniques effectively.

Strategic Considerations

In MMA, fighters must consider various strategic factors when deciding which techniques to employ. BJJ techniques, while effective on the ground, may not always align with a fighter’s overall game plan or style. Some fighters may prefer to keep the fight standing to utilize their striking skills or to exploit their opponent’s weaknesses in other areas.

Additionally, fighters may choose to avoid going to the ground against opponents with superior BJJ skills. By keeping the fight standing, they can minimize the risk of being submitted and increase their chances of winning the fight through strikes or other techniques.

Evolution of MMA

MMA has evolved significantly over the years, and fighters have adapted their training and techniques accordingly. Today, MMA fighters are well-rounded and proficient in multiple disciplines, including wrestling, boxing, and kickboxing. This evolution has led to a more diverse range of skills being utilized in the cage.

While BJJ remains an essential aspect of MMA, fighters now have a wider arsenal of techniques at their disposal. They may choose to focus on other disciplines that complement their overall game plan, rather than relying solely on BJJ.

Scoring Criteria

The scoring criteria in MMA can also influence the use of BJJ. In many MMA promotions, judges heavily favor striking and aggression, which can lead fighters to prioritize striking over grappling. Fighters may be more inclined to score points and impress the judges by landing significant strikes rather than attempting submissions on the ground.

This scoring bias can discourage fighters from utilizing BJJ as much, as they may feel it does not carry as much weight in the judges’ decision-making process.


While BJJ is undoubtedly a valuable martial art in the world of MMA, there are several reasons why fighters may not use it as much as one might expect. The risk of being struck in the striking range, the physical demands of the sport, strategic considerations, the evolution of MMA, and the scoring criteria are just a few factors that can influence a fighter’s decision to rely less on BJJ. Ultimately, MMA fighters must find the right balance of techniques that best suit their individual strengths and game plans.

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