20 Advanced MMA Striking Set-Ups And Combinations You Should Add To Your Arsenal

20 Advanced MMA Striking Set-Ups And Combinations You Should Add To Your Arsenal

Guest post by Evolve MMA, Asia’s premier championship brand for martial arts with the most number of World Champions on the planet. Named as the #1 ranked martial arts organization in Asia by CNN, Yahoo! Sports, FOX Sports, and more, Evolve MMA is the best gym to learn Muay Thai in Singapore.

So you want to be a fighter? Learning effective techniques you can use inside a cage is only half of the equation when it comes to mixed martial arts. How much power you have or how clean your technique is doesn’t mean much when you don’t have a delivery system for your attacks.

Experienced mixed martial artists often have solid defensive skills and it can be quite the challenge to land clean shots on them when you’re throwing single strikes. Set-ups and combinations are the delivery system that allows you to land clean strikes during your fights.

20 Advanced MMA Set-Ups And Combinations That Are Effective On All Levels

This article will cover a variety of striking set-ups and combinations that are essential for mixed martial artists looking to enhance their striking game. These techniques, ranging from basic to advanced, are designed to improve a fighter’s ability to strike effectively and dynamically in the cage by keeping opponents unsure of what’s to come.

Let’s jump right into our list:

1) The JabCrossUppercut-Low Kick Combo

This classic combination starts with a jab to gauge distance, followed by a cross to engage the opponent’s guard, and then an uppercut, finishing with a low kick to the opponent’s thigh or calf. This combination is effective in breaking down the opponent’s defense and movement. The cross also helps to disguise the low kick.

2) Slip, Rear Uppercut, Lead Hook To The Body

Start off by slipping to your right followed by a rear uppercut aimed at the chin, then a lead hook to the body which softens your opponent’s lower defenses. This combination is excellent for creating openings in a tight guard. You can step in while throwing the uppercut to ensure you’re in range to land the lead hook.

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3) Inside Leg KickSwitch Stance & Counter Right Hook

In order to use this combination, you have to be in a closed stance first. Throw an evident inside leg kick to your opponent and went they try to counterattack, immediately switch stance and throw with a right hook. This combo is especially useful against taller opponents.

4) Shoulder Roll To Spinning Back Fist

When your opponent starts to throw a cross towards you, shrug your shoulder and dodge the punch. Once you succeeded dodging the cross, immediately spin to a back fist. This creates an unpredictable angle of attack, catching opponents off guard.

5) Feint, Fake Body Kick, Strike High And Evade

Pivot your rear foot to feint a rear low kick with your rear arm down to draw your opponent’s guard down as they try to defend against your feint low kick, and immediately throw a non-fully committed kick aka the fake body kick causing them to drop their hand down, leaving their head and face open. This allows you to go for a high strike (like a powerful cross, jab, or hook).

6) Elbow Strike Combinations

Mixing elbow strikes with punches in close quarters can be very effective. A combination you can try is a right body cross to a right knee, followed by a right elbow. Throw a straight right cross to your opponent’s body, followed by a right knee to the body, plant your foot to the back, and end it off with a right elbow to your opponent’s chin.

7) Superman Punch Into A Leg Kick

The Superman punch, where one leg is used to feint a kick but instead propels a punch, can be immediately followed by a quick lead leg kick. It’s often best to aim for the body or legs since your opponent has to bring their guard up to defend against the Superman punch.

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8) Body Jab To Overhand

A jab to the body makes your opponent think low, setting up an overhand strike to the head. In general, changing levels is an effective way to set up overhands in MMA.

9) Jab, Left Push Kick, Feint Knee Into Flying Knee

Throw a touch jab to measure the distance, and follow up with a left push kick to your opponent’s body. Lift up your left knee to feint and draw a reaction from them, while you land forward, immediately throw a flying knee. A flying knee is often used to close distances against retreating opponents. Just remember to keep your guard up while throwing flying attacks since being in the air leaves you vulnerable.

10) Sidekick To Spinning Hook Kick

A side kick aimed at keeping distances or targeting the body, followed by a spinning hook kick, works well as a surprise element.

11) Clinch To Knee, Elbow On Break

Aim to deliver knees to the body or head when you find yourself clinched up, then throw an elbow strike as you break the clinch and create distance. Check out

12) Step-In Jab To Head Kick

A step-in jab closes the distance on your opponent, which enables you to throw an overhand right. While your opponent tries to dodge the overhand right, it will create a space for you to step forward as your head comes down to the right side allowing a quick transition to a head kick.

13) Jab, Fake Cross To Body Shot

The idea is to throw a jab-cross combination to your opponent’s head but instead of committing to the cross, fake it and follow by a quick body shot which can effectively break down an opponent’s guard.

14) Low Kick To High Kick

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A swift low kick to the leg, followed immediately by a high kick to the head, capitalizes on the opponent’s instinctive response to defend the initial strike. You can experiment with either delivering the low kick or feigning a reaction, as both approaches are effective depending on the circumstances.

15) Overhand Right To Takedown

Step forward and throw an overhand right, this will cause the opponent to try and block the punch, leaving their legs open. This helps to set up an opportunity for a takedown.

16) Cross, Rear Knee To Lead Elbow

Start with a cross then a rear knee (thrown from the back leg) followed by a swift lead elbow (thrown with the front arm) combining distance closing with close-quarter striking.

17) Body Lock To Head Kick

Securing a body lock and then delivering a head kick can weaken your opponent significantly. It’s an effective way to ensure your opponents gas out in the later rounds. If your head kick is powerful enough, it can lead to a knockout.

18) Rear Leg Roundhouse To Push Kick

A rear leg roundhouse kick, followed by a quick transition into a push kick, targets different levels and angles.

19) Jab-Cross, Jab, Fake To Spinning Elbow

Do a jab-cross combination and wait for a second before striking with another jab. Afterward, fake a jab and then spin into an elbow strike to catch opponents off-balance and land a powerful strike.

20) Slip And Rip: Slip A Punch, Counter With A Hook

Slipping an opponent’s strike and immediately countering with a hook is a fundamental yet effective technique. It’s an extremely effective way to close distances since you threaten your opponent with strikes as you close the distance.

Putting The Combinations To Work

Each of these combinations requires practice and timing to execute effectively. They should be integrated into your overall strategy, taking into account your strengths and weaknesses as well as your opponent’s tendencies.