Viewed by many as the best base for an MMA fighter, the sport of wrestling continually develops and produces top tier mixed martial artist. Between the tireless grind, wrestlers must endure to excel in the sport to the regimented weight cutting to their ability to attain and maintain top position wrestlers are essentially built to succeed in MMA.

One of the biggest shortfalls wrestlers must overcome to become great in MMA is technical striking. Having never trained or limited training in the striking arts, wrestlers are generally the most vulnerable on the feet; that just so happens to be where all fights start out. While some go on to develop and evolve their striking game, there are those who just simply don’t put it together.

But even the wrestlers who never become strikers can find a way to excel when the fight is standing. All they need to do is take a page out of the great Randy Couture’s play book and incorporate dirty boxing into their repertoire. Dirty boxing is a striking style that combines a single collar tie clinch with short strikes. In wrestling – especially in the higher weight classes – the single collar tie is utilized to control and opponent’s movement and to set up trips, ankle picks and throws. In the context of MMA and dirty boxing, if a fighter can control the head of their opponent, they can essentially control the fight.

From the single collar tie, hooks and uppercuts are the weapons of choice for most wrestlers, but elbows and knees are also extremely effective.

To intensify the effectiveness of the single collar tie, fighters will look to utilize the cage itself as a weapon for control. By pressing an opponent into the cage, a fighter is able to really limit the mobility of that opponent. It may not be flashy and it may not be a fan friendly style, but dirty boxing is a great technique for fighters with a strong grappling background to cover up any striking inadequacies.


About The Author

RJ Gardner
Content Coordinator

RJ Gardner is a rabid sports fan and a long time MMA enthusiast. After watching UFC 1 at ripe old age of 11 RJ was hooked and his passion for the sport has continued to blossom over the years. RJ has been covering MMA since 2007 and has had work featured on Bleacher Report,, and RJ is also a Petroleum Transportation Operations Manager during the day.