The Ground and Pound in Mixed Martial Arts

The Ground and Pound in Mixed Martial Arts

In Mixed Martial Arts competitions one form of attack that has come into prevalence is the ground and pound striking. This was popularized by notable UFC fighters like Mark Coleman, GSP, Randy Couture, and Quinton Jackson. This technique is generally used by more powerful wrestler types who can easily take an opponent to the ground then go on an offensive. The ground and pound also has serious potential for knockouts in the hands of an expert.

Getting into the Right Position

The ideal position for ground and pound is full mount and from that position it should be pretty straight forward. However such a dominant position cannot always be obtained. For a solid ground and pound full guard, half guard, or standing over an opponent are the optimal positions to be in. From any other position on the ground, besides a well times punch in a sprawl position, any strikes thrown even from a monster are more distracting and annoying than anything.

From a standing position over your opponent you can land powerful downward strikes and still hae the power from your legs to assist the punch. However when caught in a full guard or half guard position all your power has to come from your arms and torso. This means that these strikes arent necessarily as powerful as using standing strikes but they have been seen to be just as deadly when used properly.

From Half Guard

When caught in a half guard position the ground and pound can be very useful. In strict grappling half guard top is not necessarily a dominant position but with striking allowed it gives half guard top position a distinctive advantage. From this position you are within direct striking distance of the opponent’s head and face. By using the right technique one can isolate an opponents arms and leave them defenseless against strong close ranged strikes.

From Full Guard

striking from the full guard top position in a mixed martial arts match

When in the full guard and trying to use the ground and pound one puts himself in a very dominant position if he uses the correct technique. Strong straight shot punches and hooks can be thrown from this position. These strikes use all arm and core strength though instead of having the power come from the whole body’s rotation including the legs and hips. This means when trying to strike powerfully your arms and body will tire quicker so striking effectively is also important.

Also when in this position and striking your arms are left away from your body. So when striking against a good grappler who is quick and aggressive the use of submissions should be watches out for. Although The ground and pound can cause massive damage from this position but is not an invincible strategy


In defense to this ground and pound strategy an opponent will generally try and do two things. He will try and sweep you and get you into a less dominant position. This is because a solid ground and pound can only be worked from a couple of positions on the ground. Secondly he will try and break your posture because you can strike very well if you are pressed against his body. This means that in addition to power you need balance and precision in your ground and pound game.

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