The debate of who would win in a fight between an MMA (mixed martial artist) fighter and a street fighter has been going on for years.
The argument is that someone experienced in the martial arts would be able to best the street fighter due to their ability to use mixed martial arts techniques such as grappling, striking, and submission holds.
On the other hand, some people argue that most street fighters have more real-world street fights experience which gives them more flexibility than what an MMA practitioner might have.
The rules that an MMA fighter usually has to follow could be their demise.
But in a fight between MMA vs Street Fighter – who wins?
A mixed martial artist is more likely to win in a street fight due to their increased work rate of increasing fitness and learning dominating techniques that an average fighter wouldn’t know how to defend against.
Keep reading to find out what the most effective martial art is in a street fight.
Can an MMA fighter beat a Street Fighter?
Whilst a street fighter will have real-life street fight experience and be less concerned about breaking any rules, they are less likely to have the skills knowledge in defending against a variety of attacks that an MMA fighter can output.
The streetfighter has to worry about a variety of martial arts like grappling, striking, and submissions which an MMA fighter might be well versed in. The streetfighter can get close and go for lethal attacks with more ease due to their lack of rules in comparison.
In the end, it comes down to experience and what you are more comfortable with but all else equal, mixed martial arts would win over street fighting hands-down.
One interesting point that is usually made during this debate is whether or not someone who’s had training in both could have an edge on someone who will only train to fight on the street, or in the gym.
Thankfully we have examples of this. There are quite a few notorious street fighters that became MMA and UFC professionals, like:
- Eddie Alvarez
- Kimbo Slice
- Jorge Masvidal
It shows that street fighters, in general, are often well versed in… well… a fight!
Is it better to be a boxer or MMA fighter?
A boxer cannot compare with the threat output of an MMA fighter if they are permitted to use all techniques in a street fight. Grappling, submissions, and sweeps are just some of the huge advantages an MMA fighter would have over a boxer.
When comparing boxing and MMA, the main difference between these styles is in regards to grappling. A boxer will never grapple with their opponent whereas martial arts fighters will always be looking for an opportunity on the ground to take advantage of.
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If you enjoy throwing punches but don’t want any trouble from being taken down or pinned then the sport of boxing may be your style!
A lot of people think that it’s better to have some knowledge about both wrestling and striking forms of martial arts since this allows them more options when defending themselves.
What is the most effective martial art in a street fight?
Muay Thai offers the most variety and mixture of attacks and control to be useful in a street fight. As most street fights happen on the feet, Muay Thai will give you the art of 8 limbs of attack in defeating your opponent.
That being said, it does leave open a wide gap for ground fighting. A lot of imbalances and weight being pushed around can quickly cause some trips and stumbles for fighters to end up on the ground.
If you’re in an actual street fight, most likely your best action is to get the hell back up to your feet so you can properly defend yourself or flee is necessary.
Most people don’t know how to fight on the ground, so that’s likely to be their first reaction, too.
With having a good base in Muay Thai you’d have a lot at your disposal, like throwing kicks to ward off your opponent or even send them crippling to the ground pretty quickly.
Muay Thai is one of the most diverse of the martial arts.
And if things were to get in close, Muay Thai also teaches you how to grapple up close with your opponent on the feet and trip them up – turning things to your advantage very fast.
“MMA” has also become its own martial art in its own right, and offers a unique optimum method to handling any given situation. The training is a cut above any single form of martial art. The problem can be being able to master a big list of MMA techniques.
Of course, I don’t recommend engaging in any fight and especially not attacking an opponent who is grounded. The consequences could be lethal and are not worth it.
Can a UFC fighter fight in the street?
A UFC fighter is essentially one of the best performers in the world at fighting in a competition. But just because it’s a sport, don’t let that fool you to think that they couldn’t take this ability outside of the octagon.
One thing you might have going for you as a martial artist is having better footwork and speed than your opponent, who will likely rely more on brawling or boxing skills.
Most boxing skills from your average street fighter aren’t actually trained but assumed from sight and swinging hail mary’s. Martial artists focus heavily on training to perfect their abilities.
There has already been plenty of news reports about high-level MMA and UFC fighters involved in street fighting or bar brawls and most often coming out on top even against multiple attackers in the fight.
Knowing how to dodge and move fluidly is something that can only be learned by significant hours in the gym. Most MMA and UFC fighters out-class average people in every method of footwork, head movement, and picking shots.
If you’re going to pick a fight, don’t pick it against one of the most experienced fighters in the world.
What is the most effective martial art in a street fight?
Most street fights take place on the feet and so having a good knowledge of boxing technique will be a big advantage. However, a martial art like Muay Thai would give you more options to defend yourself.
That being said, there are some martial arts that take things to a whole other level. If you were a skilled wrestler or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner then street fights will probably take a different angle for you as your main aim will be to take the opponent to the ground.
For someone who doesn’t know how to defend a takedown attempt or to get out of a tight wrap BJJ-style then it could be really difficult for them.
Not only that, but the kinds of submissions that an experienced ground fighter might know will probably send your attacker into shock not having any idea how to deal with it and wanting to get out of the situation fast.
There’s just one thing, ground fighting experience does almost nothing for you if there are multiple attackers. To be able to handle multiple offenses, you need to stay on your feet and be able to counterattack, dodge and flee at the right moment.
Being well educated in MMA fighting is going to help you respond to a variety of attacks, though. It’s a good idea to be well trained for whatever could come your way.
Muay Thai fighter vs Street Fighter
Muay Thai is highly effective in a street fight because of the high knockout potential of attacks. Muay Thai fighters can use their elbows and head kicks which can easily cause their opponent to blackout and end up on the floor.
Many mixed martial artists would agree that Muay Thai is highly effective. It is a common part of any pro martial artists’ skillset.
Attacks like the knee, elbow, and head kicks are pivotal winning attacks in any MMA fight and the same would apply to a street fight.
It would be very difficult for the untrained person to be able to defend an elbow or knee, or even know when either was coming towards them without being significantly trained for it.
The constant training that an MMA or Muay Thai guy will go through, like hard sparring, sets them above any average guy.
How to beat an MMA fighter in a street fight
A person trained in MMA would have more advantages over an untrained opponent when it comes to a physical altercation on the streets. The best way to beat an MMA fighter in a street fight would be using dirty tactics like punching them where they’re not expecting.
Blows to the stomach and attacking them from behind if possible or even off-guard by throwing something at them that they don’t see coming, such as rocks and other objects found lying around outside of buildings.
Another strategy might be targeting sensitive areas which may make them very uncomfortable: some people find that kneeing boys below the beltline works immediately.
I don’t condone you using any of these actions to hurt someone else. Even if they are a trained MMA fighter!
Most martial artists go through a significant amount of training for a fight. Even if that fight is inside of a ring or octagon and with some rules, they are still very experienced in fighting.
MMA training makes you better at fighting, period.
The overwhelming majority of skills that can be taken over into street fights still makes them the clear favourite even against a street fighting guy, in my opinion.
An untrained fighter against a trained one (especially in MMA); the latter is always coming out on top.
Joe Bloom is the lead author and editor of MMA Hive. Joe has been a passionate mixed martial artist in training since 2019, having studied Boxing and Muay Thai at BaliMMA and Soma Fight Club, as well as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with RitualsJJ.