Breaking Down Common UFC Terminology For New MMA Fans

Hey there new MMA fans! If you're confused by the lack of UFC cards over the last few weeks, then kindly teleport yourself back to 2005. Afterwards, return to the present-day and realize how awesome it is to be a MMA fan and a fan of the UFC. I understand that this sport is not the easiest to follow, particularly when the UFC has never really put much emphasis on explaining the rules, grappling positions, strike techniques, etc. The majority of the terminologies you may be unfamiliar with are often spewed out of the mouths of Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan, the leading commentary pair in our beloved organization. No need to worry, as I have got it all covered. I will break down the most uttered phrases in the UFC (okay, mostly the nonsense from Goldie and Rogan) and make it so that even the common fan can grasp it.


  • Stand-and-bang. Possibly a sex position, but a phrase used to describe two fighters who sloppily trade punches with each other. It's not very technical, but can generally be fun. Perhaps one of the greatest moments of "Stand-and-bang" is Chuck Liddell vs. Vernon White, a fight in which White was knocked down 162 times but managed to almost survive a tiring Liddell, only to be knocked out by a short punch to the eye.
  • Dirty boxing a la Randy Couture. When a fighter has his opponent in the clinch and punches him from short distance, whether via uppercut on the inside or holding the opponent's head and landing short hooks over the top. Please note you cannot use "Dirty boxing" without mentioning Randy Couture, as Couture apparently is the pioneer for this maneuver in the eyes of Mike Goldberg.
  • ROCKED! When a power punch of any sort lands flush, a fighter is deemed to be "rocked" even when he isn't.
  • PUNCHES in BUNCHES. Combinations.
  • Knees reminiscent of Anderson Silva. Any Muay Thai clinch with a knee to the head immediately invokes the memories of Anderson Silva vs. Rich Franklin I and II. It's also a really stupid thing to say multiple times over, so I advise you MMA newbies not to use this as a reference every single time a fighter has the clinch.


  • Random Eddie Bravo terms. Joe Rogan will abandon any formal calling of grappling positions and submission attempts due to his long affiliation with Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Eddie Bravo and his 10th Planet gym. It's hard to pinpoint which term means what, but don't ever get into a discussion with a serious MMA fan and mention "Rape Choke", "Crackhead Control", "Gangsta Lean", or get excited over anything to do with "Rubber Guard". It is often rumored that guillotine chokes are going to be renamed the "French Turtleneck" in Bravo's gym.
  • IT'S DEEP! A submission attempt that is deemed to be close to finished thus leading towards a tapout, but is only ever accurate 4 times out of 100. Noted dullard and professional troll Jacob Volkmann set a record with 37 "deep" d'arce chokes against Danny Castillo, but Castillo managed to escape every time.
  • Omoplata. A shoulder-lock submission often blurted out by Joe Rogan any time he sees an inkling of a smidgen of an omoplata process. It is a move rarely ever finished in MMA and to my knowledge has never been successful in the UFC. The day there's an omoplata victory in the UFC is the day that Rogan will get an erection so hard that he'll have to thaw it out in the refrigerator at his house that night.

General Fighter Descriptions

  • Explosive and Athletic. The fighter is black.
  • Hardworking and Relentless. The fighter is white.
  • An MMA Legend. Almost every relevant Japanese fighter who has ever fought in the UFC.
  • Ever-improving. The fighter has a terrible facet of his game and the UFC covers it up by saying it's steadily improving. It is often used to describe Jake Shields' stand-up, Dan Hardy's ground game, and Matt Riddle's everything.
  • Tough Battles and Setbacks. The UFC wants you to believe that they have the best fighters in the world, and that even the lesser tier they televise are all quality. This is why 90% of the time they stubbornly refuse to call losses "losses". An actual paraphrase from Matt Brown's recent fight against Chris Cope in the pre-fight buildup saw Mike Goldberg describe a list of "tough, entertaining battles" against Chris Lytle, Brian Foster, Seth Baczynski, Pete Sell, and John Howard. He went 2-3 in those fights but if you just say "tough battles" it'll always sound like he's a killer!
  • (SUBJECT) 101. A common terminology Mike Goldberg has no clue how to use. You remember English 101 in high school right? Well replace the subject and put in the name of any notable fighter or a type of fighting style like judo, and it becomes a course. During Chael Sonnen vs. Anderson Silva, Sonnen got a takedown and Goldberg shouted "Chael Sonnen 101!". Similarly, when Yoshihiro Akiyama judo-tripped Chris Leben that became "Judo 101". Any complex move, including Jon Jones' spinning elbows or Edson Barboza's wheel kick, would probably be slapped on with a 101 tag. Then again, when you listen to Mike Goldberg talk, you can understand why he can't even grasp the idea of "102" or "201".
  • K-1 level striker. Above-average kickboxer.
  • WAR. A term used by Dana White and Lorenzo Fertitta to describe fighters who are favorites of theirs on an arbitrary metric of "bringing it" with wild inaccurate punches and any other strike along with a disdain for ground fighting. Leonard Garcia and Dan Hardy are at the top of this list, and White also made it clear that he thought Sean Pierson vs. Matt Riddle was the best fight at UFC 124, despite Riddle landing punches at a rate worse than even Tim Tebow completing passes. Dana White goes along the lines of calling any striking slopfest the equivalent of the Arturo Gatti vs. Micky Ward trilogy. Let me say right off the bat it is March 2012 and there is never going to be anything in MMA that you can legitimately say is the equivalent of Gatti vs. Ward.
  • Meteoric Rise. When a hot young prospect gets on a winning streak and makes his way to the UFC PPV main cards, Goldberg will make a point of discussing that prospect's "meteoric rise to the top". To this day, no one has had the heart to tell Goldberg that meteors also fall and crash straight towards the Earth.
  • OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE. Joe Rogan's assertion that every victory is an outstanding performance, even when most of the time it's not. Similarly he likes to use "THIS IS THE BEST PERFORMANCE OF (FIGHTER'S) CAREER!" , most notably in almost all of Michael Bisping's finishes and Joe Lauzon's destruction of the vaunted Gabe Ruediger.
  • UNBELIEVABLE!!! Again, a Roganism whenever a fight ends in a stoppage. Sometimes the word fits, like when Matt Serra defeated Georges St. Pierre in the biggest upset in UFC history, other times he utters it for the totally predictable KO of Tommy Speer at the french-fry grease soaked hands of Anthony Johnson. Rogan really took it too far when Jonathan Goulet was knocked out due to an unexpected gust of wind and screamed "THAT IS THE MOST AMAZING KNOCKOUT IN THE HISTORY OF THE UFC!".

There. Hopefully I've covered everything for you and now your knowledge of MMA and the UFC in general has increased greatly.

\The FanPosts are solely the subjective opinions of Bloody Elbow readers and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloody Elbow editors or staff.

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