Americana: arm lock submission in which an opponent's arm is pinned to the mat, bent at the elbow, palm facing upward, hyperextending the shoulder. Also known as a keylock. Note capitalization.
anaconda choke: arm triangle choke hold applied from front headlock position, facing the opponent, with the opponent's arm trapped and rendered defenseless.
ankle lock: joint lock submission that applies pressure to the ankle, Achilles and calf muscle.
ankle pick: wrestling maneuver that targets an ankle to achieve a takedown.
armbar: joint lock submission that hyperextends the opponent's elbow after trapping an extended arm between your knees.
arm drag: wrestling maneuver in which a fighter grabs an oncoming opponent's arm and uses the opponent's momentum and weight to gain a takedown.
arm triangle choke: submission hold in which a fighter, generally in side control, wraps a forearm around the far side of the neck to elicit a tapout.
ax kick: strike in which a standing fighter extends a leg upward and brings it straight down on an opponent, like the motion one would use with an ax.
back control: grappling position in which a fighter is controlling an opponent from behind, usually with "hooks in" -- that is, legs wrapped around the opponent's legs to restrict movement.
bantamweight: division for fighters weighing from 126-135 pounds. The UFC has bantamweight divisions for both men and women, and we refer to them as "men's bantamweight" and "women's bantamweight."
Bellator MMA: fight promotion founded in 2008, with its first event in 2009; fights are contested in a round cage (not the Octagon).
body lock: grappling maneuver in which a fighter wraps up an opponent's torso with his arms in order to control movement and positioning.
body slam: just like sounds -- picking up an opponent and slamming him or her to the canvas.
body triangle: grappling maneuver in which a fighter wraps legs around an opponent's torso, securing the lock with an ankle, to impede the opponent's movement and in some cases restrict breathing.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu: submission grappling system brought to Brazil from Japan in the early 1900s, based on judo ground fighting.
bulldog choke: submission technique that looks like a headlock but gets under an opponent's chin, like a rear-naked choke applied from the side.
butterfly guard: when a fighter on bottom in a grappling situation positions feet against the inside of the opponent's thighs to exert distance control.
cage: setting for fights not contested in a ring; it's referred to as an "Octagon" (note cap) only for UFC fights.
calf slicer: one of the more painful submission holds, in which a fighter presses a shinbone on an opponent's trapped calf, then pulls the opponent's foot toward him to create pressure.
can opener: neck crank applied from in front, grabbing the opponent's head and forcing it toward the chest.
cauliflower ear: deformity of the external part of the ear caused by a collection of blood and other fluids; often seen in wrestlers and other grapplers.
choke: any submission hold that impedes blood flow in the opponent's neck arteries.
clinch: standing position with fighters facing each other, arms locking their upper bodies together.
closed guard: grappling position in which a fighter on bottom wraps both legs around the opponent and locks ankles to control movement.
Scott Coker: Bellator MMA president since 2014. Previously was founder and CEO of Strikeforce, before the promotion was purchased by Zuffa, the UFC's parent company, in 2011 and abolished in 2013.
collar tie: grappling maneuver in which a fighter grabs hold of an opponent by the back of the neck to control mobility.
cornerman: coach or training partner responsible for attending to and instructing a fighter between rounds.
counterpunch: punch thrown in reaction to an opponent throwing a strike, often utilizing an opening created by the opponent's strike.
cross: straight power punch thrown by a fighter's dominant arm.
crucifix: grappling position in which the top fighter lies perpendicular to an opponent, immobilizing one arm with his own arm and the other with his legs, allowing for unimpeded ground strikes.
D'Arce choke: submission hold locked in from front headlock position, similar to the anaconda choke; named after Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner Joe D'Arce.
De La Riva guard: open guard grappling maneuver, named after jiu-jitsu practitioner Ricardo De La Riva, in which a fighter on his back controls an opponent by wrapping one leg around the outside of the opponent's leg, affecting balance.
decision: when a fight goes the full distance (three or five rounds), the result is rendered from the scores of three cageside judges.
dirty boxing: clinch fighting in standup that utilizes short punches, elbows and knees to the legs and body.
double-leg takedown: wrestling maneuver in which a fighter grabs an opponent by both legs while driving forward to get the fight to the canvas.
elbow: self-explanatory; you don't want to get hit by one of these, as the elbows are not covered by padding. Note: Elbow strikes are not allowed in PFL fights.
escape: grappling maneuver in which a fighter being controlled on the mat either gets the fight back to standing or gets out of the compromising position.
featherweight: division for fighters weighing from 136-145 pounds. The UFC has featherweight divisions for both men and women, and we refer to them as "men's featherweight" and "women's featherweight."
fireman's carry: wrestling takedown technique in which a fighter places an opponent across his or her shoulders before throwing the opponent to the canvas.
fish hooking: foul in which one inserts a finger or fingers into an opponent's mouth or other orifice and pulls against the tissue.
flattening out: grappling maneuver in which a fighter manipulates an opponent's body to flat on the canvas, typically in prone position, to make it hard for him or her to defend.
flying knee: standup fighting attack in which a fighter runs and leaps toward an opponent, knee first, looking to land a strike.
flyweight: division for fighters weighing up to 125 pounds. The UFC has flyweight divisions for both men and women, and we refer to them as "men's flyweight" and "women's flyweight."
foul: examples are eye poke, groin strike, cage grab, small joint manipulation, eye gouge, headbutt, etc. Although MMA initially was billed as no-holds-barred fighting, there always have been rules, and violating one of these generally leads to a referee's warning (or two), followed by a point deduction and ultimately a disqualification.
full guard: grappling position in which a fighter on his back wraps his legs around an opponent situated on top of him, which restricts the opponent's movement and minimizes the amount of damage that can be inflicted. Full guard also can become the first step toward a submission from on bottom.
full mount: grappling position in which the top fighter in ground fighting has passed the opponent's legs (guard) and is in full control of the torso. When the fighter on top is situated on the opponent's chest, it is called high mount; when the top fighter is on the opponent's abdomen or thighs, it is low mount.
Gable grip: palm-to-palm clinch, named after wrestler Dan Gable.
gi: martial arts uniform, used in jiu-jitsu and judo. Not allowed in a fight in major MMA promotions.
gogoplata: choke hold, typically executed from guard, in which a fighter slips a leg under the opponent's chin and locks his arms behind the opponent's head and pulls downward, applying pressure with his shin.
grapevine: grappling technique in which a fighter twists his limbs around an opponent's limbs, like a vine, in order to gain control.
grappling: wrestling, jiu-jitsu, judo -- any fighting that is more about grabbing and pulling than punching and kicking.
Greco-Roman: style of wrestling in which a competitor cannot attack an opponent below the waist.
ground-and-pound: fighting technique in which a fighter on top of an opponent on the mat unleashes punches and elbows, which can result in a KO or sometimes leave an opponent vulnerable to a submission.
guard: grappling position in which the fighter on bottom wraps legs around an opponent to impede maneuverability in attack.
guard pass: grappling maneuver in which the top fighter moves from full guard into a more dominant position, such as half guard (good), side control (better) or full mount (best).
guillotine choke: submission technique applied from in front of and facing an opponent, in which a fighter wraps his arms under the neck.
half guard: grappling position in which the fighter on bottom is partially in control of the opponent's body, with one of the opponent's legs trapped between the fighter's own legs, or guard.
hammerfist: punch delivered with the side of the hand in a downward motion, mimicking the motion of hammering in a nail.
headbutt: striking an opponent with the head, generally the forehead. It is a foul in most athletic jurisdictions.
headlock: wrestling move in which a fighter controls an opponent by securing an arm tightly around the opponent's head and squeezes.
heavyweight: division for fighters weighing from 206-265 pounds. The UFC has a heavyweight division for men but not for women; thus, we do not need "men's" when referring to this weight class.
heel hook: joint lock in ground fighting, in which a fighter wraps both legs around an opponent's leg, immobilizes the opponent's foot in the armpit and twists, to create torque on the ankle.
hip toss: wrestling move in which a fighter uses the hip as a fulcrum to throw an opponent to the mat.
hooks: grappling term for a fighter legs when each is wrapped around one of an opponent's upper legs to prevent the opponent from using legs to escape or gain better position.
jab: straight punch thrown with the lead fist.
judo: grappling-focused martial art that relies on throws and takedowns to immobilize an opponent and set up a joint lock or choke submission. A practitioner is known as a judoka.
karate: striking-focused martial art that relies upon punches, kicks and strikes by a knee or elbow.
keylock: see "Americana."
kickboxing: fighting discipline utilizing kicks and knees as well as punches.
Kimura: armlock named after Japanese judoka Masahiko Kimura, who used the maneuver to defeat Brazilian jiu-jitsu pioneer Helio Gracie in a seminal mixed martial arts bout in 1951.
kneebar: leglock submission in which a fighter traps an opponent's leg between his or her own legs and applies pressure with the hips to force the opponent's leg to straighten and hyperextend the knee.
knockout: fight result when a strike or combination of strikes renders a fighter unable to continue. "KO" for short. When the referee determines that a fighter is not unconscious but is unable to defend himself, the ref declares it a technical knockout (TKO).
leg kick: kick typically targeting an opponent's calf, thigh or knee area.
level change: technique in which a fighter in standing position surprises an opponent by changing from an attack on the head or upper body to attack the legs, often with a takedown attempt.
light heavyweight: division for fighters weighing from 186-205 pounds. The UFC has a light heavyweight division for men but not for women; thus, we do not need "men's" when referring to this weight class.
lightweight: division for fighters weighing from 146-155 pounds. The UFC has a lightweight division for men but not for women; thus, we do not need "men's" when referring to this weight class.
liver shot: punch, kick or knee to the right side of the ribcage, causing shock to the liver and often incapacitating the opponent.
majority draw: decision result in which one judge scores the fight in favor of one of the competitors and the other two judges score a fight a draw.
middleweight: division for fighters weighing from 171-185 pounds. The UFC has a middleweight division for men but not for women; thus, we do not need "men's" when referring to this weight class.
mission control: grappling position in which a fighter in full guard positions one foot against the opponent's hip and hooks the other leg behind the opponent's neck, to control posture and potentially set up a submission.
muay Thai: martial art from Thailand that utilizes standup strikes (punches, elbows, kicks, knees), some delivered from in a clinch.
mount: dominant grappling position in which a fighter controls an opponent by sitting on his torso while facing toward the opponent's head. See "full mount."
neck crank: spinal lock submission in which a fighter controls the opponent's head and twists the neck beyond its normal range of motion.
no contest: fight result when a bout ends with no winner or loser and is not scored a draw. Usually the result of an accidental foul rendering one of the fighters unable to continue.
north-south position: grappling position in which a fighter is lying prone on top of an opponent in an inverted position, with head over the chest of the opponent.
Octagon: eight-sided cage in which UFC fights are fought. Other fight promotions use a cage of a different shape.
omoplata: shoulder lock submission similar to a Kimura, except the fighter uses a leg to apply the lock rather than a figure-four of arms.
One Championship: Singapore-based fight promotion that holds bouts in MMA, muay Thai, boxing and other disciplines; founded in 2011 and formerly known as ONE FC.
open guard: full guard grappling position in which the fighter's legs are not wrapped around the opponent's back, allowing the opponent mobility on top but also allowing the fighter on bottom to set up a submission.
over-under position: wrestling position in which each fighter has an underhook on one side.
overhook: wrestling maneuver in which a fighter controls an opponent by wrapping an arm over an opponent's arm while in a clinch, securing either the arm or torso. Also known as a "whizzer."
Peruvian necktie: choke hold in which a fighter uses arms and legs, as well as the opponent's own arm and positioning, to apply pressure to the neck.
PFL: Professional Fighters League, which debuted in 2018 as a rebranded World Series of Fighting and features a season and playoff format, culminating in weight-division winners each earning $1 million. (WSOF was founded in 2012.)
Pride Fighting Championships: defunct MMA promotion, which was based in Tokyo and active from 1997 until 2007, when it was bought and shut down by Zuffa, parent company of its chief competition, the UFC. Pride's co-founder, Nobuyuki Sakakibara, went on to create the Rizin Fighting Federation in 2015.
pulling guard: grappling move in which a standing fighter grabs and pulls an opponent down on top of him into full guard, to control the opponent and possibly set up a submission.
pummel: grappling maneuver in which a standup fighter in a clinch uses arm positioning to achieve control of the clinch.
push kick: standup fighting technique in which a fighter maintains distance with a straight kick to an opponent's legs or body, similar to a jab. Also known as a "teep."
question mark kick: kick aimed initially at the body that, in mid-movement, changes direction and targets the head.
rear mount: dominant grappling position in which a fighter is on top of a prone opponent and controlling movement, often in the process of setting up a choke. An announcer will say the fighter "has his back."
rear naked choke: submission move in which a fighter immobilizes an opponent from the back and wraps arms around the neck to elicit a tapout. Abbreviated as "RNC."
reverse mount: grappling position in which a fighter in mount is facing toward the legs of the opponent beneath him, which can set up leglock submissions.
rounds: MMA fights typically are contested in three five-minute rounds, with one-minute breaks in between. Championship bouts and UFC main events are five five-minute rounds.
rubber guard: grappling position in which a fighter on bottom, maintaining full guard, positions one foot against the opponent's hip and hooks the other leg behind the opponent's neck, to control posture and potentially set up a submission. See "mission control."
sambo: martial art developed in Soviet Russia in the 1900s. Sport sambo is similar to wrestling and judo, involving grappling and some submissions, while combat sambo is more similar to MMA, with striking involved.
shrimping: grappling maneuver in which a fighter uses hip movement to either escape from underneath an opponent or create distance and better positioning.
side control/side mount: dominant grappling position in which a fighter lies perpendicular to a face-up opponent, controlling the torso without the opponent having any control with the legs, as would be the case in guard position.
single-leg takedown: offensive move in wrestling that sounds just like it is -- a fighter gets an opponent down by "shooting for" and grabbing a leg to put the other fighter off balance.
split decision: A judges' decision in which all three scorecards do not favor the same fighter. If two cards favor one fighter, that person wins a split decision. If two judges score the fight even, it is declared a majority draw.
sprawl: defensive wrestling technique in which a fighter quickly moves his legs backward and out of the way of an opponent shooting for a takedown, while landing his torso on the opponent's back to foil his attack.
strawweight: division for fighters weighing up to 115 pounds. The UFC has a strawweight division for women but not for men; thus, we do not need "women's" when referring to this weight class.
strike: punch, elbow, knee or kick -- anything that hits an opponent.
Strikeforce: defunct combat sports promotion that was active from 1985 until 2013. Founded by Scott Coker (current president head of Bellator MMA) as a kickboxing company, Strikeforce held its first MMA event in 2006, was bought by UFC parent company Zuffa in 2011 and shut down two years later.
submission: fight result when a fighter cannot escape a choke or joint lock and either taps out or verbally submits.
superman punch: striking technique in which a fighter brings the rear leg forward in a kicking motion, then snaps it back while throwing a punch, generating power.
suplex: wrestling throw used in a clinch, involving lifting the opponent and bridging backward in order to slam the opponent to the mat.
sweep: grappling maneuver in which a fighter on bottom changes the positioning in order to end up on top.
taekwondo: Korean martial art that emphasizes head kicks, sometimes incorporated into a fighter's standup repertoire.
takedown: wrestling maneuver to take an opponent to the mat and seize control.
tapout (n)/tap out (v): fight-ending move by a fighter who is caught in a choke or joint lock and wishes to submit, ending the bout.
technical knockout (TKO): fight result in which the referee ends the contest, in the belief that a fighter being struck can no longer put up intelligent defense.
technical submission: fight result in which the referee declares the end of a bout without either fighter tapping out or verbally submitting; generally, the ref waves off the bout in the belief that the fighter under attack has been rendered unable to submit.
teep: straight kick to the legs or body, similar to a jab. Technique derived from muay Thai kickboxing discipline. See "push kick."
triangle choke: submission maneuver in which a fighter chokes an opponent by wrapping legs around the opponent's neck and one arm in a figure-four alignment in the shape of a triangle.
turtle position: grappling position in which a fighter covers up on the mat in order to avoid as much damage as possible. When one turtles up, the end is near, as the referee will jump in if the fighter is putting up no defense.
twister: spinal crank submission in which a fighter forces an opponent's body to bend sideways while cranking the neck, causing stress to the cervical spine.
two on one: grappling maneuver in which a fighter uses two hands to attack one hand or arm of an opponent.
UFC: Ultimate Fighting Championship, the most prominent fight promotion in MMA, founded in 1993 and headquartered in Las Vegas, with Dana White as president.
unanimous decision: fight result in which all three judges score the bout in favor of the same fighter.
underhooks: wrestling maneuver in which a fighter gains control by hooking arms under the arms of an opponent.
unified rules: set of MMA rules utilized in whole or in part by most of the leading state athletic commissions and fight jurisdictions.
uppercut: punch thrown in an upward vertical trajectory toward an opponent's chin or upper body.
vale tudo: full-contact combat sport popularized in Brazil as a precursor to MMA. Name translates to "anything goes" in Portuguese.
verbal submission: fight ending in which a fighter submits not by tapout but verbally.
weight class: The UFC has 12 divisions, eight for men and four for women. Men: heavyweight, light heavyweight, middleweight, welterweight, lightweight, featherweight, bantamweight and flyweight. Women: featherweight, bantamweight, flyweight and strawweight.
welterweight: division for fighters weighing from 156-170 pounds. The UFC has a welterweight division for men but not for women.
wheel kick: a spinning kick in which a fighter pivots on the front foot and swings the back foot in a circular motion toward an opponent.
Dana White: UFC president since 2001.
whizzer: wrestling maneuver utilizing leverage from hooking over an opponent's arm to avoid a takedown. See "overhook."
World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC): defunct MMA promotion that was active 2001 until 2010, known for being the home of lighter-weight fighters at a time when the UFC did not have weight classes for them. The UFC's parent company, Zuffa, bought the WEC in 2006, and the promotion continued to operate until being merged with the UFC in October 2010.
wrist control: defensive grappling maneuver used in a clinch or in ground fighting to restrain an opponent from either landing strikes or securing a submission.
Zuffa: parent company of the UFC, founded in 2001 by Las Vegas casino owners Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta III when they bought the MMA promotion. The name derived from the Italian word for "fight." The Fertittas and minority owner Dana White sold the in 2016 to entertainment company WME-IMG, which later was renamed Endeavor.
10-point-must system: scoring system for boxing and MMA, in which the fighter who wins a round gets 10 points and the loser 9 or fewer. Dominant rounds can be scored 10-8 or even 10-7, though the latter score is rare.
12-to-6 elbow: foul in which a fighter throws an elbow in a straight downward position, as if from 12 to 6 on a clock.