10 Weirdest UFC Fighting Styles

Just when you thought you'd seen it all...

UFC Capoeira

In the famous words of Dana White, 'styles make fights'.

When you create a fighting promotion that invites people from all over the world to test their variations of martial arts against each other, a diverse and unpredictable chaos is to be expected.

In a world of this much diversity, some martial arts will be more successful in the Octagon than others. For example, wrestling and jiu-jitsu have been found in the tool kit of multiple world champions, but who can you remember winning a title with Kung Fu? (And that's not a knock on the style.)

A lot of fighters will adapt a martial art to fit their needs and develop an unorthodox interpretation that can reap rewards. Conor McGregor's amalgamation of capoeira, jiu-jitsu and boxing springs to mind.

It's all down to trial and error. Some incredibly talented fighters just can't find the winning formula in the cage and some invent a new discipline altogether in the hope of discovering the next MMA craze that another generation will then equip themselves with.

Styles are like fashion and some of them can be downright weird to behold - like these odd attempts at scoring a 'W' in the UFC.

10. Pitfighting

UFC Capoeira

Let's start with one of the less glamorous styles to be given a platform on the UFC stage.

David 'Tank' Abbott burst onto the scene at UFC 6 in 1995, when the man ploughed over two men in one night (!), before being pushed nearly 18 minutes by Oleg Taktarov and losing by rear-naked choke.

Three fights in one night was something of a norm back then in the UFC, so the fact that Abbott bulldozed his way to the final isn't what is worth focusing on. The noteworthy story of the night was the martial art of choice for the big no nonsense Californian native.


He opted to absolutely brawl the cr*p out of his opponents. Using his body to knock them clean off their feet, Abbott would suffocate a man with his size and relentless thumping until they had no choice but to surrender.

He would cross over this style into his pro wrestling career in WCW, yet he never caught fire as a character. You'd imagine that if he were in his prime today, Brock Lesnar could have a new dance partner.

It doesn't rank as one of the more majestic martial arts in the game, but this pitfighter got the job done and wouldn't look out of place in an underground bare knuckle competition.

I know where I'd put my money...


Lifts rubber and metal. Watches people flip in spandex and pretends to be other individuals from time to time...