why is strength important in mma

why is strength important in mma

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a combat sport that requires a combination of various martial arts disciplines. In order to excel in MMA, athletes need to possess a wide range of skills, including striking, grappling, and submission techniques. However, one aspect that is often overlooked but crucial to success in MMA is strength. Strength plays a vital role in almost every aspect of the sport, from striking power to grappling ability. In this article, we will explore why strength is important in MMA from various perspectives.

Enhanced Striking Power

One of the most obvious reasons why strength is important in MMA is its direct impact on striking power. A stronger athlete can generate more force behind their punches and kicks, making them more effective in knocking out opponents or causing significant damage. Additionally, strength enables fighters to maintain their striking technique and power throughout the duration of a fight, even when fatigue sets in.

Furthermore, strength also contributes to an athlete’s ability to absorb strikes. A stronger fighter is better equipped to withstand and recover from powerful blows, reducing the chances of being knocked out or seriously injured.

Improved Grappling Ability

Strength is equally important in grappling, which involves techniques such as takedowns, clinches, and submissions. A stronger athlete has an advantage when it comes to executing takedowns, as they can overpower their opponents and control their body position more effectively. This allows them to dictate the pace and direction of the fight.

why is strength important in mma

In addition, strength plays a crucial role in clinch situations, where fighters engage in close-quarters combat. A stronger fighter can exert more force in the clinch, making it easier to control their opponent, execute throws, and land devastating strikes.

Strength is also beneficial in submissions, as it enables fighters to apply more pressure and force when attempting to secure a submission hold. This makes it more difficult for opponents to escape or resist the submission, increasing the chances of a successful outcome.

Injury Prevention

Strength training not only enhances performance but also helps prevent injuries in MMA. The physical demands of the sport can put a significant strain on the body, and having a strong musculoskeletal system can provide better support and stability.

Strong muscles and connective tissues can absorb impact and protect joints from excessive stress, reducing the risk of injuries such as sprains, strains, and fractures. Additionally, a well-rounded strength training program can improve overall body mechanics and movement patterns, minimizing the chances of overuse injuries and muscular imbalances.

Increased Endurance

While cardiovascular fitness is crucial for endurance in MMA, strength also plays a role in improving overall stamina. Stronger muscles require less energy to perform the same tasks, allowing fighters to conserve energy and maintain a high level of performance for longer periods.

Moreover, strength training can improve muscular endurance, enabling fighters to sustain repeated explosive movements, such as throwing strikes or executing takedowns, without experiencing significant fatigue. This can be a significant advantage in longer fights or during intense grappling exchanges.

Mental Resilience

Strength training in MMA not only strengthens the body but also builds mental resilience. The physical and mental challenges of intense strength training sessions help fighters develop mental toughness, discipline, and determination.

Having the mental fortitude to push through physical discomfort and fatigue can be invaluable during fights. It allows fighters to maintain focus, make strategic decisions, and persevere in the face of adversity.

Better Body Composition

Strength training promotes lean muscle growth, which can improve an athlete’s body composition. A higher muscle-to-fat ratio not only enhances physical appearance but also provides functional benefits in MMA.

Increased muscle mass improves overall strength, power, and agility, allowing fighters to generate more force and move more explosively. Moreover, a leaner physique can contribute to better weight management, making it easier for athletes to compete in their desired weight class without sacrificing strength or performance.


In conclusion, strength is a crucial component of success in MMA. It enhances striking power, grappling ability, and endurance while reducing the risk of injuries. Strength training also builds mental resilience and improves body composition. Therefore, athletes aspiring to excel in MMA should prioritize strength development alongside their technical skills and conditioning.

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