Wed 15 December 2021 | 8:30

Top 10 signature moves in the UFC

As the UFC is gaining ever more popularity, the number of its exceptional fighters is skyrocketing; making it all the more tremendous that some of them can master specific techniques which are almost synonymous with the fighters. If you are wondering, here is the Top 10 signature moves in the UFC.

Perhaps the MMA owes its grabbing worldwide recognition to the diversity of aspects and techniques it entails as it has taken the best aspects from each art so as to generate a perfect form of fighting with the combination of different martial arts disciplines.

That is the reason why the UFC which is the most dominant MMA promotion, has succeeded to absorb millions of people from all around the globe, watching it for the incredible display of flashy offensive maneuvers and magical techniques.

But those superstars who have managed to make such indelible memories and leave a lasting impact on those watching, are often gifted with a certain knack and aptitude for special techniques, and with athletic body types, they are passionately interested in the techniques they are performing so much spectacularly.

Moreover, some of these giants that have captivated imaginations and have passed the limits of normal possibilities, have performed special moves that are synonymous with their fighting styles.

To be specific, these moves that are called signature moves are vicious techniques only they can perform with a particular flair all of their own.

It means that they have exercised the move a multitude of times impressively, making it being identified with that specific fighter and vice versa.

Top 10 signature moves in the UFC

Here is a highlight of the Top 10 signature moves in the UFC which are employed so effectively that have changed the course of a fight.

Ronda Rousey's Armbar

While rear-naked choke and the straight armbar are somewhat the most commonly used submission in the UFC, the latter one will be always linked with the former UFC Bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey who is included in our list of

30 Hottest UFC Female Fighters


In the armband, Rousey traps her victim's arm between her own legs and twists her elbow abnormally, as it saw her grab the inaugural UFC Women's Bantamweight title, which she learned in her upbringing as a judo fighter.

But what has made it to be among the top 10 signature moves in the UFC is the fact that she has perfect control of her own weight and has an extraordinary ability to dominate her opponent's weight, which makes many escapes simply ineffective.

The other undeniably influential factor contributing to the unprecedented success of Rousey's submissions is her experience and level of competition.

After all, she has been doing armbars ever since she learned to walk, with the stories of her mother attacking her in bed with shouts of "always be ready”.

The former Olympic judoka had already made it her signature move before arriving at the UFC in 2013 as she had won six StrikeForce fights, all with the armbar, and her three amateur fights had ended similarly.

And her early UFC career was no exception, since she made it to be included on the

UFC moves list

by earning three victories using the hold, submitting Liz Carmouche, Miesha Tate and Cat Zingano.

With her conspicuous lack of evolution, she eventually descended to downfall, as she became retired in 2016 following the first two losses of her career.

Yet she went on to further exercise it when she transferred one of the amazing MMA moves and techniques to WWE in 2018.

Diaz Brothers’ Stockton Slap

Nate Diaz and Nick Diaz are widely recognized for slapping their rivals in the octagon, a move they famously called the 'Stockton Slap'.

While they are often unconventional in their fighting styles inside the cage, their infamous 'Stockton Slap' is apparently one of their most deadly weapons.

They are two of the most amusing fighters in the world of combat sports. During a fight, a press meet, or a speak show, they have always managed to steal the show with their unparalleled humour, charisma, and exceptional mic skills.

A 'Stockton Slap' is simply a slap which they frequently use in their fights until now, and while it has roughly zero offensive value, it is effective because it taunts their rivals mentally.

In case you are wondering, Slap is an open palm strike, and unlike hair pulling, crotch hit, and soccer kicks which are banned in this sport, Slap is still assumed to be a legal move.

As one of the famous MMA moves, it is called Stockton Slap because Stockton is the hometown of Nate Diaz and Nick Diaz which is located in California.

When Nate Diaz used it in a victory over Conor McGregor in 2016, his opponent was utterly demoralized and ended up conceding the fight in a second-round submission.

Therefore while some giants like Carlos Condit, Conor MacGregor, Michael Johnson, just to name a few have tasted Nate Diaz's Stockton Slap, it would certainly go down as one of the top 10 signature moves in the UFC.

Dan Henderson's Overhand Right

Henderson's Overhand Right not only is one of the most effective MMA moves and techniques, but also it is quite unbelievable that with this weapon Henderson was assumed to be a threat for several years, well past the age of most combat sports athletes.

The punch is so impressive and effective that fans and media have called it with its own nickname of "H-Bomb". It is to be said that he could change the dynamic of almost any fight with just this punch because in all probability if he landed this right hand punch his opponents would fall on the ground.

Although many fighters have claimed the overhand right as their own signature move, none delivered its immense power like Dan Henderson and that is the reason why he is considered to be among the

best MMA fighters in each weight class ever


But he also had a great wrestling ability and this was his trademark move when he entered MMA. But as time goes by, it was the development of the power in his punch that has flawlessly filled out those wrestling skills leading him to be such a top fighter.

Everyone who was set to cope with him knew exactly what was awaiting him coming, yet hardly anyone could manage to defend against it.

Even when he was about to concede a fight, like in his second fight against Mauricio Rua, with just one H-Bomb he could change the result and grab triumph.

The most amazing use of this punch, which is one of the top 10 signature moves in the UFC, was when he exercised it to the head of Michael Bisping at UFC 100 and demolished him terrifically.

Anderson Silva's Knees from the Clinch

While Anderson Silva who is one of the

most influential fighters in MMA history

, is especially recognized for his speed and precision in the standup, the most vicious aspect of his fighting was when he worked in close to wrap his powerful hands behind an opponent's head.

This technique of landing knees from the Muay Thai clinch, which is considered to be among the best MMA moves, gave him a lot of attention throughout his illustrious career.

The real nub of the matter is, how Silva moved his opponents' heads into the right place to mount his brutal knees, Is both so much devastating and stylistically beautiful at the same time.

But what landed this knee strike a spot among the top 10 signature moves in the UFC, is their excessive effectiveness in comparison to other fighters strikes.

More importantly unlike most fighters, Silva did not simply throw knees to the abdomen when the head is pulled upon in the clench, instead, he tended to target the unprotected rib cage. In case he threw a knee straight up the middle to the body, it would raze right on the solar plexus rather than the opponent's abdominal muscles.

Poor unassuming Rich Franklin had not the slightest presentiment about the intensity of the pain he would take when his head was clasped in the hands of Anderson Silva at UFC 64, as Silva pulverised him giving the most dreadful facial ever by breaking Franklin's nose with a knee to the face.

Daniel Cormier’s Overhead Slams

As one of

The Greatest MMA Fighters of All Time

, Cormier who is a former simultaneous two-division UFC World Champion had a glorious career in the promotion’s heaviest weight divisions.

The reigning UFC Light Heavyweight World Champion, with an amazing knockout victory over former titleholder Stipe Miocic, grabbed the UFC Heavyweight World Champion too.

The former US Olympian performed so much spectacularly in the UFC in the light of his greatest talent of world-class wrestling and terrific brute strength, which had let him overpower his opponents with relentless takedowns and ground-and-pound abilities.

But part of his success is due to his signature technique of emphatic Overhead Slams which is included on the UFC moves list too.

When he closed the gap on a rival, he got any sort of hook, except for those whom he was up against to go for a ride, regardless of how big or how strong they were.

He implemented this move in the overwhelming majority of his fights, to the extent that he took the giants like Anthony Johnson, the legendary Anderson Silva, Alexander Gustafsson, as well as Dan Henderson for dramatic slams to the canvas.

When he landed his monstrous slam on Dan Henderson, he lifted him in the air after a brief exchange on the feet until he slammed his opponent to the ground with enormous force.

This was one of the most memorable slams to ever take place inside the Octagon and therefore Cormier's move which is a pro wrestling finisher named in his honour would be always remembered as one of the best

MMA moves and techniques


Conor McGregor’s Straight Left Hand

Boasting a monstrous left hand, the former UFC Featherweight and Lightweight World Champion “The Notorious” Conor McGregor swept the board in the UFC’s featherweight ranks, dethroning its biggest names until he smashed the former pound-for-pound great Jose Aldo with a single left on one of the

Best UFC Events of All Time

in 2015.

Since then he has become the UFC’s most marketable star and throughout his entire UFC career, he has used his left-hand jab, which is one of the most famous MMA moves, to edge out many great veterans like Chad Mendes, Marcus Brimage, and Eddie Alvarez among others.

From his jaw-dropping feats in the fights against Chad Mendes and Jose Aldo, it is crystal clear that he has tended to land his left hooks just when his opponents were at a distance from him, or when they were trying to close the gap between them.

While he is one of the

Famous southpaw UFC fighters

, he often uses his powerful left hand to deliver knockout-worthy punches against his rivals who rarely can manage to stop it.

Yet it is to be said that he has grabbed most of his victories in the initial stages of his fights, coping with problems whenever he has been had to go to the distance.

Be that as it may, the Irish superstar has exercised his left hooks in almost every contest and as a result, MMA veterans consider it to be one of the

top 10 signature moves in the UFC


Jose Aldo's Leg Kicks

Although there have been many fighters who have used leg kicks throughout the years in the UFC, perhaps not any other fighter in the history of MMA has been more synonymous with the use of leg kicks more than Jose Aldo.

At the prime heyday of his career, the legendary former UFC Featherweight champion has made an exhaustive list of great fighters like Kenny Florian, Chad Mendes, Frankie Edgar and Ricardo Lamas all feel the force of his insane kicks.

As one of the

Most athletic fighters in MMA history

, while he was a soccer player in his youth, he had such amount of strength in his legs that was extraordinary even for an MMA giant.

Therefore he took advantage of the immense strength using it seriously to tenderize his opponents with brutal leg kicks that would make them limp for days.

But even before establishing it as one of the

famous MMA moves

, during his reign as WEC featherweight champion, he exercised it against the fellow legend Urijah Faber at WEC 48 in 2010 as he dismantled his opponent and made Faber's leg into a swollen mess so as to defend his first World Extreme Cagefighting title.

Ever since then, every fighter who was set to cope with him, knew exactly that they had to prepare themselves for the threat of Aldo pummeling their legs, and thereby it took no time that his amazing leg kicks were included among the best MMA moves.

Jon Jone's Spinning Elbow

At some point in time, Jon Jones was one of the most beloved and shining lights in the Light Heavyweight category of the UFC.

While he is also included in the list of

The Highest Paid UFC Fighters of All Time,

he had succeeded in terrifically toppling down established fighters like Matt Hamill and Brandon Vera with some of the most creative offences ever observed in the sport.

Therefore it is no wonder to see that during his span with the UFC, among a variety of low-percentage moves, he managed to anchor his name to one of the

best MMA moves

, which was his spinning elbow.

While for the first time, he used this strike in his UFC debut against Andre Gusmao back in 2008, he put on show the terrific potentials of his signature move, when he used it at UFC 94 so as to smash Stephan Bonnar's head with such an intensity that it bounced off the mat like a basketball.

Ever since then, almost all of his opponents, have undergone the side-effects of his spinning elbow, which has destructive power even if it has not been mounted cleanly.

Not to mention that in his famous 2013 UFC Light Heavyweight title defence against Alexander Gustafsson, although he was down on the scorecards, with implementing his trademark spinning elbow in the fourth round, he left Gustafsson on wobbly legs so as to win the toughest fight of his career.

Following this fight which is an indispensable part of the Sportmob's

Best UFC Fights of All Time

, it is not conceivable to see a spinning elbow without thinking of Bones and the beauty of his mind-blowing trademark move.

Mirko Cro Cop Left High Kicks

The Croatian Heavyweight trademark move of Left High Kicks has a special place among the

top 10 signature moves in the UFC

while it is widely described as “right leg, hospital; left leg, cemetery".

This description fairly deserved him a lot especially had you imagined that if the Kick has the power to smash trained MMA beasts so terrifically, what would happen if it was implemented in a street fight; murder for sure.

While he could throw the strike at any time during a fight, if it was mounted, the fight usually tended to be over. But what has made it to be such an impressive and dreadful weapon in MMA, is its speed, power and perhaps most significantly, the accuracy of Cro Cop's left high kick.

But the only reason why this move has not grabbed the spot number one on the UFC moves list is Cro Cop's incapability to use this technique at a high level in the UFC.

Much to the chagrin of his fans, especially when he was knocked out in his second UFC fight by Gabriel Gonzaga with a right head kick, his UFC career turned out to be not too much illustrious.

But at the prime heyday of his career, he put a raft of his rivals to sleep with the use of his head kick skills whereas Alexander Emelianenko, Alberto del Rio, Wanderlei Silva and Igor Vovchanchyn were a few of his victims.

Besides, while you can read the full account of his fight against Igor Vovchanchyn on the Sportmob's list of the

Top 10 Head Kick Knockouts in MMA

History, it is quite amazing how the hell, his foot was not broken from such a precise and vicious kick.

Georges St-Pierre's Double Leg Takedown and Superman Punch

Although GSP's Double Leg Takedown is not as flashy or breathtaking as some other moves on this list, its effectiveness is by far more than any aforementioned entry, taking the first position among the

top 10 signature moves in the UFC


It is a bit dichotomous to consider Double Leg Takedown, the trademark move of GSP, in as much as it is a wrestling move, while he had never got training in wrestling.

As one of the

UFC fighters who retired as champions

, he wrote in his book "The Way of The Fight" about fact that it is not the "how" of his takedown that makes it so great, but the "when".

That is to say, he had such a dominance in his fights that particularly knew the exact moment to sweep an opponent off his feet and drive him to the mat.

Likewise, while he had the ability to dictate where each fight must occur, his takedowns were consisted to be one of the effective weapons in MMA.

Moreover, apart from his Double Leg Takedown, his superman punch or razor-sharp jab are also considered to be his outstanding trademark moves.

But when it comes to GSP's signature move of the superman punch, it is notable to suggest that in this technique, he brought the rear leg forward to fake a kick, then he snapped the same leg back so as to throw a straight punch.

This had made his punch much more powerful, while it provided him with a way to dart into range against those rivals that were reluctant to engage.

Finally, because much of GSP’s game is predicated on approaching his opponents to bring them down to the mat, he always tended to use the superman punch efficiently.


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source: SportMob

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