If you’re a fan of UFC or just a casual watcher, you’ve probably heard the term “ground and pound.” Like many other phrases, UFC commentators don’t always take the time to define it. Thankfully, we have all the answers you need to help you become more familiar with UFC terminology.

In the UFC, ground and pound is the term for a fighter getting their opponent to the ground and hitting them. These hits can consist of punches or elbow shots to the head or body. Fighters often use this technique to wear down their opponents. 

Several things go into achieving a successful ground and pound. Let’s talk more about this technique and why it is so effective. 

How Does a Ground and Pound Work?

The ground and pound starts with a takedown or trip of some sort. Once they knock down their opponent, the fighter then releases consecutive hits. The goal of the ground and pound is to injure the opponent and keep them at a disadvantage. 

The ground and pound has to start with a good takedown. That is the most vital part of performing this technique successfully. But after the fighter completes the takedown, there is still more work to be done. 

One of the most difficult parts of the ground and pound is maintaining control of your opponent. After the takedown, there won’t simply be a rain of hits as the opponent takes it. To get any hits in, the fighter has to bring their opponent to the ground and control them. Only then can the hits and elbows begin. 

The ground and pound will only last as long as the fighter can control their opponent. Fighters can only do impressive ground and pounds because they can hold their opponent to the mat while striking them. 

Why Is Ground and Pound So Common in UFC?

Ground and pound is so common in UFC because it’s an effective way to control and wear down your opponent. It is not easy to accomplish, but it can do a lot of damage when done correctly. 

Ground and pound is a common technique used by UFC fighters to help them gain an advantage in a fight. The ground and pound combines the takedowns of wrestling with the hard-hitting of MMA. It allows a fighter to gain the upper hand in a fight and do some damage as well. 

Hard To Pull Off

The ground and pound may look simple, but it is difficult to execute successfully. First, you need to be able to perform some sort of takedown on your opponent successfully.

As UFC fans, we see takedowns quite often. It may seem like something simple, but they are pretty difficult to pull off. 

Takedowns in UFC are difficult to achieve because they require a lapse in defense from the opponent. There will be short periods where the other fighter will make themselves vulnerable throughout a UFC fight. Takedowns happen during these times. 

Takedowns require patience, timing, strength, and skill to achieve. And once that is done, you still have to maintain control of your opponent on the ground. Remember, your opponent is not going to just lie there and allow you to hit them. You have to execute the hits while also maintaining control of your opponent on the ground. 


While the ground and pound can be difficult to pull off correctly, it is very effective. This move will get your opponent on their back and into a defensive position. This gives you the opportunity to hit them with multiple strikes. 

Done correctly, the ground and pound will put your opponent at a disadvantage and allow you to dominate the fight. The reason it is so common despite its challenging nature is that it is so effective. Once you get your opponent to the ground, you remain at advantage until they gain the upper hand. 

Ground and pound can do plenty of damage as long as you throw punches or elbows. It also drains the opponent’s energy, as they will be using their full strength to recover. 

Changing Fight Dynamics

When discussing the popularity of the ground and pound, it is vital to discuss fight dynamics. Sometimes, if a fighter is not having luck with standing blows, they will take the fight to the ground. 

This change in dynamic can alter the course of the fight quickly. Something like a takedown or a full ground and pound can give you the upper hand in an otherwise lost fight. You’ll see many fighters go for a ground and pound because they can’t gain an advantage in a standing fight. 

We’ve seen the ground and pound win UFC fights before, and it will remain effective as long as it keeps evolving. UFC fighters constantly change their methods to account for counters and familiarity.

How Is Ground and Pound Different From a Takedown?

The ground and pound is different from a takedown because of what happens after the takedown is done. A takedown is the process of getting your opponent to the mat. The ground and pound involves getting them to the ground and then hitting them. 

A takedown in UFC is how fighters can gain a quick advantage over their opponent. The process involves getting your opponent to the mat. But after the takedown is complete, fighters will struggle to maintain control while implementing the next step in the plan. Sometimes this involves hitting your opponent or applying a submission hold. 

The ground and pound starts with some sort of takedown. From there, the fighter will start consecutive hits on the opponent once they hit the ground. The takedown is a vital part of the ground and pound, but what happens after sets them apart. A takedown does not require hits. After the opponent lands, the takedown is complete. 

Which UFC Fighters Have the Best Ground and Pound?

Some of the best ground and pound UFC fighters include Tito Ortiz, Matt Hughes, and Mark Coleman. These are just a few of the best ground and pounders in the UFC.

Let’s talk more about what makes them so great at this move. 

Tito Ortiz

Commonly described as an animal in the cage, Tito Ortiz made his presence known with a good ground and pound. His wrestling background allowed him to excel at takedowns. Once the opponent was down, he would rain punches and elbows down on them, sometimes ending the fight right there. 

What made Tito Ortiz so good at the ground and pound wasn’t just his ability to execute it. He excelled because of his ability to maintain control while they were on the ground. This control allowed him to get more hits once his opponent was on the ground. This made his ground and pound game effective and devastating. 

Matt Hughes

Not only was Hughes good at the ground and pound, but he was also good at keeping control. He was able to successfully turn the ground and pound into submissions when it wasn’t enough to take out his opponent. This is what made his ground and pound so devastating. 

Not only did opponents have to take blows once they hit the ground, but they had to escape submissions after. If they actually could escape, the opponent would be exhausted from it. This is how Hughes won many UFC fights. Not only was his ground and pound effective, but it was also just the first step in the process. 

Mark Coleman

It is difficult to have a conversation about ground and pound without mentioning Mark Coleman. The “godfather of ground and pound” didn’t invent the move by any means, but he did help popularize it. In fact, he stated a few times that he was disappointed that he didn’t trademark the term

Coleman was the first UFC fighter to make the ground and pound his main approach. He got so good at the technique that it became his go-to method of winning fights. While he wasn’t the first fighter to use it, he was effective and used it more often than anyone else. 

In his approach to the ground and pound, Coleman focused on controlling his opponent’s shoulders and head. He was an excellent practitioner of using his weight to control his opponent. This is what made his ground and pound so effective. His methods helped fighters after him perfect their ground and pound methods. 

Final Thoughts

The ground and pound is a common technique for UFC fighters. It has continued to change and evolve as the fighters continue to learn and grow. While Mark Coleman introduced the ground and pound to the UFC scene, it has grown exponentially since then. 

Fighters like Tito Ortiz and Matt Hughes have found success with their ground and pound methods. Though they aren’t the exact same, they are both quite effective. The ground and pound will continue to grow in popularity and evolve for as long as it works for fighters.