Why Judo Fighting style is effective in MMA

There are several mixed martial arts that people believe to be the most effective, including BJJ, Muay Thai, Wrestling, and Karate. Fighters combine the knowledge and techniques of several martial arts to introduce their style. However, if any practitioner wants to improve their grappling skills, Judo is the go-to martial art. 

Judo is the most influential martial art that many people worldwide employ. In addition, it is best for self-defense and very effective in MMA. Judo is a practical martial art, and the most famous MMA fighters came from a Judo background. By learning Judo, one can gain a competitive advantage over their opponents, so one must practice hard with premium quality MMA gloves and Judo Gi to stay safe. 

Which MMA fighters use Judo?  

The most successful fighters in the UFC include Ronda Rousey and Khabib Nurmagomedov. Many MMA champions have black belts in Judo that depict Judo’s effectiveness. Karo Parisian, Fedor Emelianenko, Hector Lombard, and Vito Belfort are some of the excellent MMA fighters who use Judo and are excellent judokas. 

  • Khabib, “the eagle”, is one of the greatest fighters ever and the longest-reigning UFC lightweight champion. His career contains 29 wins and no losses due to his immense skills to take you down, and you are gone for good. He is the king of sambo, a combination of Wrestling and Judo. His techniques in Judo are pretty distinguishing in his fighting style.  
  • Ronda Rousey is a black belt in Judo and brought more effectiveness in Mixed Martial Arts. Exclusively she used judo techniques to win most of her fights as she won the first eight professional fights via armbar or armlock Judo. In her MMA fights, Ronda sure Judo submissions to get her opponent to the ground. Depicting that her fighting style is pure Judo. She started learning Judo at 11 from her mother, who was the first American to win a gold medal in the 56kg weight class at the World Judo Championship. Currently, Ronda Rousey holds a 6th-degree black belt in Judo. Before getting into UFC, Ronda proved herself a master Judoka. At 17, she qualified for the Athen Olympics, where she was the youngest Judoka. She won gold medals in the year’s World Junior Judo Championship and Pan American Judo Championship.  
  • Fedor Emelianenko is a fantastic judo black belt that would often use Judo in MMA. Many people considered him the most significant heavyweight fighter of all time. Even being unmatched and small compared to other heavyweights, his judo skills are why he can grapple with the more prominent people. He is also a sambo expert and adeptly uses leverage and momentum to take down his opponents. He was able to use his Judo against some of the great wrestlers in the world.  
  • Karo Parisian is a pure judo fighter, heavily relying on Judo to win the fight. He began training when he was nine years old, and during the Olympic trials, he got a call from the UFC to compete. He used Judo to defeat some of the greatest MMA fighters.
  • Hector Lombard is another excellent fighter who has shown Judo’s effectiveness in MMA. He is 4th dan black belt in Judo and had a great career in Judo and MMA. Hector was the first ever Bellator middleweight champion and defeated some of the prominent MMA fighters. Due to his effective judo techniques, he beat some of the best grapplers.

 Is Judo as effective in MMA as Wrestling? 

Wrestling is a combat sport while Judo is a martial art, and Judo Gi is used for Judo practice. Judo involves throws, joint locks, or chokes not used in Wrestling. Points and pinning an opponent determine a win in Wrestling, whereas submissions are in Judo. 

One should learn both to become a better MMA fighter and Grappler. We will look specifically into throws, pins and holds and throw the differences in some depth. 


Due to Judo Gi, throws are executed by grabbing an opponent’s attire and scoring a point when you land them on your back or side. On the other hand, in Wrestling, the dress comes in tight fitting so one cannot grab it, so gripping is harder in Wrestling.  


The best way to take an opponent down is to pin them, but pins are execute differently in Wrestling and Judo. In Judo, you must hold down the opponent for twenty seconds, and one must pin their shoulders to the ground. Or you must have held them down on the mat when you are behind them. 


In Wrestling, submissions such as chokes and arm locks are not legal, but in Judo. So as takedowns, one can get more points that translate to a pin, and Judo involves different takedowns scoring different points. 

 Concluded note

Judo can be used in real fights, as it equips various skills to grab and throw opponents to the ground while using holds or chokes to subdue them. It also teaches fighters how to avoid injury if knocked down. Judo will always give you an edge, even in street fights and self-defense, so one practices in full swing. 

Star combat comes with premium quality MMA gear, including MMA gloves and Judo Gi to ensure protection during intense training drills. 

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