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So learning to defend against them should always play a part in your training — especially if your opponent has a higher Grapple stat than you. Make sure you pick a wrestling or jiu jitsu-focused camp, and use training routines from the Train sub-menu to increase that stat. Quick Shoots and Wrestling Class are perfect for this, so focus on them as well as using Learn with a grapple-focused training partner.
When it comes to fighting from a vertical base, knowing the right combinations of strikes as well as where and when to use them is everything. Each UFC fighter will have a set of boxing, kickboxing or Muay Thai strikes and each one can be strung together. The difference is knowing which ones work best. Using an uppercut after using jabs to close distance is one, or a low kick to the shins followed by a heavy overhand punch. Just like real fighting, the jab is fast and can counter almost any strike.
As we mentioned in our review of UFC 3, kicks have been heavily tweaked this time around making them a lot more cumbersome, yet just as dangerous if used correctly. But higher, slower kicks should be used as part of a larger combo or as a surprise strike. Knees are also a powerful target, which are great in the clinch or when defending against a telegraphed shoot. Watch out for the punches though, those can help your opponent to a quick victory. Grappling, submission and punching are a huge part of the game but take your time during a match.
If you start with a bunch of kicks and punches early on, you will get tired and your opponent could use that against you. You will not have much defense against punches and your opponent will have a bigger chance of getting a tap out. Remember, most of the moves reduce your stamina, so take your time and try different punches and kicks. You will get some of that stamina back after every round, but if you start off a match with a lot of punches and kicks, you will lose stamina faster and you will be exhausted at the end of the match.
If you want to just punch and kick, the game also features KO mode. There is no grappling in the game mode, so kicking and punching is the only way to win. The game features many fighters and most, if not all, are good in some areas but not so good in others.
You have to know not only their strengths and weaknesses, but yours too. Good luck and have fun! Who is your favorite fighter? Let us know in the comments.