UFC 4 Tips and Strategies Guide (Top 25 Tips)

UFC 4 Top 25 tips and strategies
Do you want to become champion like Israel Adesanya here?

Do have what it takes to conquer the virtual Octagon and emerge as undisputed champion? Whether you're a seasoned player looking to refine your skills or a newcomer eager to make your mark, this guide has you covered. We'll take you through 25 essential tips and strategies that will help you increase your chances of victory in UFC 4. 

 25. Watch the in-game tutorials: 

Watch & learn  

Watching the in-game collection of instructional videos provided by the YouTuber, ‘IM UH BOXER’ is how you’ll get a headstart. They offer precise instructions that delve into effective techniques and strategies.

We know you want to skip past this part… don’t. That includes even the ground tutorials, you want to be well-rounded for any scenario. By learning from one of the best in the world straight away you’ll avoid beginner mistakes. 

Advice and information:

  • Don't rush through the tutorials or skip parts
  • Pay close attention to each section & you won’t have to come back to it 


24. Learn the basics in practice mode 

Practice makes perfect

Practice mode will place you in a UFC gym against either a stationary AI opponent or at a difficulty level of your choosing. Familiarise yourself with the game mechanics and controls at your own pace, with mini-tutorials also available to introduce you to the fundamentals of striking, grappling, and defence.

This is the perfect place to get the basics down, and then experiment. World-class basics some might say. 

Advice and Information:

  • Study the command list that outlines all the available moves and actions and familiarise yourself. 
  • Start on the inert AI & up the difficulty by one each time you feel comfortable on the current level
  • Explore & test different styles of fighting here


23. Always check your fighters stats

Israel Adesanya's star ratings

Know your fighter. By pressing Y or triangle in the fighter selection menus, you’ll get valuable insights into their strengths, weaknesses, cardio, health, and chin as well as their specific perks. 

If you take an extensive look before selecting your fighter you can often come up with your plan A based on what you’ve seen before the fight starts.

Advice and information:

  • Assess your top moves - The highest star rating attacks are your most devastating and are the easiest path to ending the fight 
  • Consider health and durability amongst other things and tailor your strategy accordingly
  • You’ll know your opposition's strengths & weaknesses as you familiarise yourself with the roster


22. Learn how to use different types of fighters 

Anthony Joshua, a special addition to UFC 4 from the boxing world vs Stipe Miocic

Experiment with different types of fighters in the game & get to know what works for them. Not only will you find favourite fighters you like to use by doing this, but you’ll also learn the differences in styles they have. 

Some are more obvious for example, you may love to throw big hooks & overhands but for a taller/rangier striker like Jon Jones, this wouldn’t be the smartest approach. Other differences in strengths are more subtle & you’ll find them in-game with time so it's best to familiarise yourself. 

Advice and information:

  • Try as many different fighters in as many different weight classes early on as you can
  • Once you learn their strengths, play to them
  • Try to test fighters in each area a fight could go at some point to see their versatility e.g. the striking of an elite wrestler like Khamzat Chimaev or the grappling of Israel Adesanya


21.  Manage your stamina well

Conor McGregor slouches with a drained stamina bar 

Always keep an eye on your stamina and let it recover every time it's depleted. Stamina management is the most underrated aspect of the game to new players as it contributes to the quality of basically everything you do.

If you have high stamina, your strikes hurt more, your takedowns are swifter & the ground transitions are seamless. If you have low stamina then your strikes, takedowns, and transitions & movement not only become laboured but you become far more vulnerable to everything coming back at you. 

Advice and information:

  • Pace yourself - Avoid mindlessly spamming strikes and strategically choose when to unleash powerful or flashy attacks
  • Only throw shots when you’re actually in range to land them as hitting thin air drains your stamina much more than when you touch your opponent, even if they block 
  • Don’t throw strikes when your stamina bar is less than three-quarters full  
  • Protect your body from strikes as much as possible


20. Use your jab

Kimbo Slice with a nasty jab in 'the backyard'

Much like the real world of MMA, the jab is one of the most underrated weapons on UFC 4. It’s a great point-scoring tool as well as your base for gauging distance, initiating combos, and setting up power shots behind it. 

Precise well-timed jabs can pick apart your opponent's defence & exploit openings or a high-volume approach can overwhelm your opponent, leaving them little space to breathe & disrupting their rhythm.

Advice and information:

  • Sniper or machine gun - Adapt your jab to the situation, choosing between precision or high volume.
  • Great for rangier fighters with a higher reach 
  • Keep them on the end of your jab, don’t jab from too close, or its an easy counter & ineffective
  • If employing a high-volume jab strategy, be active with the jab but don’t be predictable - mix in other strikes.


19. Turn their reach advantage into a reach disadvantage

Israel Adesanya throws a jab at Alex Peireria which is defended

Neutralise fighters with a bigger reach than you using hooks, overhands, uppercuts, knees, and elbows in close to turn their reach ‘advantage’ into the opposite. 

To take someone's reach advantage away from them you either have to be all the way out of range where neither of you can land, or in close range where you can beat your opponent to the shot. Avoid that middle ground, you’re at a disadvantage there. 

Advice and information:

  • Overhands, hooks, and uppercuts break the advantage because their long limbs make it more challenging for them to react quickly to those explosive shots on the inside 
  • Head movement into explosive shots can help you to close the distance rapidly
  • Use the clinch & dirty boxing once you’ve landed your shots on the inside to maintain control


18. Memorise combinations 

Jorge Masvidal unleashes a 3 piece in 'the backyard'

UFC 4 rewards those who strategically utilise combos as you’re way more likely to open up the opponent's defence. They don’t need to be complex at first initially but as you go on you can add to your repertoire.

A great example is -  

  • Jab (to gauge distance and set up the combo) 
  • Straight right or left hook (powerful strike to follow up the jab) 
  • Body kick (to capitalise on the opponent's high guard after the previous strikes​

Advice and information:

  • Start simple - Begin with basic one-two-shot combos to establish a foundation and develop a sense of timing and rhythm
  • Build complexity - Gradually progress to more advanced combos, incorporating different strikes, clinches, or ground transitions for increased effectiveness
  • Create surprises and punish the opponent - Catching your opponent off guard with the combo and then capitalising on openings that come from it


17. Switch stances often

Leon Edwards, the stance switch master himself

UFC 4 benefits the modern style of MMA and so switching stances is a huge element of striking that you need to incorporate. By switching between orthodox and southpaw stances, you can confuse your opponent, opening up new angles for strikes. 

Doing this will not only allow you to be versatile but comfortable if one of your opponent's attacks forces you into the switch. 

Advice and information:

  • Switch stances if you’re getting pieced up on the feet - This will present a different puzzle to your opponent & open up a new array of attacks for you
  • Use it to defend against leg damage - If your opponent is targeting your lead leg with kicks, switching to the opposite stance can protect your injured leg


16. Work the body and the legs 

The Last Stylebenders attacking the body in 'the Kumute'

Target your opponent's entire body rather than just being a headhunter. Mixing body attacks as well as leg kicks into your game will make you far less predictable. 

Body shots in particular are ridiculously overpowered on UFC 4. They’re brilliant for doing big damage right away if timed well or breaking your opponent down for the long game. Leg kicks are the perfect way to limit your opponent's movement from early on or keep them on edge if you damage them.

Advice and information:

  • Don’t throw leg kicks from boxing range/in too close - Leg kicks that land from the correct distance with a bit of space between you and the opponent are extremely damaging
  • Don’t spam leg kicks - If your opponent lifts his shin to check the kick then your legs will damage quickly & you’ll catch them off balance more if you’re less predictable with them
  • Time your body shots well -  Throw them when your opponent misses or has just finished a combination to hurt their stamina more & reduce your own risk of being countered


15. Use feints 

The master of feints, Tyson Fury in UFC 4

A feint is a deliberately deceptive movement or strike designed to mislead your opponent. You start/telegraph a strike and then quickly halt or redirect it before committing to the action. Use feints regularly to dictate a fight to a pace you're comfortable with. 

Well-executed feints will disrupt an opponent's defensive rhythm. Tap RT/R2 straight after throwing a strike & it’ll immediately cancel it, and the best part is you can do this with any strike including kicks. 

Advice and information:

  • Land a particular shot frequently to get your opponent expecting it, feint the same shot again, and throw a different one e.g.  damage your opponent with leg kicks and then straight after feint a leg kick before throwing a kick to the body or head
  • Use them to set up takedowns
  • Use them to keep your opponent on edge -  You don’t have to throw a strike after every feint, just get them reacting & fighting to your rhythm

14. Capitalise when your opponent is rocked

Kimbo Slice rocks his opponent in 'the backyard'

When your opponent is rocked you have a prime opportunity to secure the KO victory as they're disoriented and vulnerable. This is the one moment where a bit of reckless abandonment can be a solid idea with the risk-reward ratio high. To dare is to do. 

There is risk involved here so weigh it up but you may not get the same chance to end the fight again. You can’t play it safe 100% of the time.

Advice and information:

  • Seize the moment - Be aggressive and relentless in your attack, all it takes is one more
  • Stay alert - When you’re most aggressive is when you’re most vulnerable to countershots
  • Be composed if they recover - Skilled opponents will often recover well the first few times you hurt them so return to your game plan & note that they’ll be less durable now
  • Jab to the overhand right -  Square/X followed by R2/RB is your friend here if you want to more safely set up a devastating knockout shot


13. Move Away From The Power

Anderson Silva stands just outside the range of Israel Adesanya's front kick

One of the most common mistakes you can make that’ll lead to flash knockouts is moving or weaving into the direction that the opponent's strikes are coming from when you should be moving away with footwork or head movement. 

Head movement is great but if you move into the direction a shot is coming from, you’ll massively add to the impact. So the dodge mechanic is a double-edged sword. Moving away from the power of your opponent's attacks reduces the impact even if they land because they often graze you or you roll with the shots. 

Advice and information:

  • Circle out of danger - Circling out makes it easier to safely get away without giving up too much of the cage whereas just moving in straight lines backwards allows your opponent to corner you 
  • Flow - Fluid movements with a focus on being agile & not repeated predictable movements help you navigate the cage best


12. Clinch when hurt

Jorge Masvidal clinches Nate Diaz as the two 'BMF's battle

If you’re hurt, make it gritty, save some time & embrace the clinch. This is the most valuable defensive strategy when you find yourself in trouble during a fight as it’s the go-to way to regain control in a chaotic situation.

What you need most when you’re hurt is time to recover, time to regain your stamina, and time to think. This is why the clinch is so effective, so long as you navigate it well.

Advice and information:

  • Maintain positional control - Keep using the right stick to control your opponent's posture, this is MMA & they can still knee, elbow, or take you down if you get too comfortable 
  • Block the entire time until you secure the clinch


11. Understand fight momentum 

Special fan art UFC 4 Diaz bros cover

Unless you're playing against an easy AIit’srareyou’ll have everything your way in a fight, momentum will shift. Managing this is what’ll win you fights when you face adversity.

You can be both the hammer & the nail and still win, how you or your opponent starts a fight or a round is not always indicative of how the fight will play out so don’t rest on a great start or don’t be put off by a poor one. 

Advice and information:

  • When you feel the momentum shifting in your favour, increase your offensive output as this is the time to overwhelm your opponent & turn the tide
  • Never Give Up - Regardless of how much damage you’ve taken, flash knockouts & quick submissions occur all the time


10. Learn to Counterpunch 

2014 'Mystic Mac' Conor McGregor added to the roster

This is where you go from a decent player to a great player. Master the art of countering and you can turn your opponent's aggression against them to put them to the sword.

The yin-yang dynamic is definitely present here with the dodge button which can get you into trouble as said in tip #11, but when done right brings high reward. You’ll need precise timing & awareness of your opponent's strikes so this will take time & a lot of trial and error against good opponents. 

Advice & information:

  • Identify combo spammers -  Patterns in their strikes are usually the same quick combos to try to overwhelm your defence
  • Slip the straight punch and counter - Gently press up or down on the right stick at the right moment to evade jabs or crosses and throw a hook instantly 
  • Slip the hook & counter - Quickly pull back on the right stick when your opponent throws a hook and immediately counterpunch with any shot
  • Snipe - “Precision beats power & timing beats speed”


9. Prioritise Defence and head movement 

Israel Adesanya evades Anderson Silva's head kick

Focus on effective defensive awareness, limiting the damage you take with good head movement and movement in general. Offence is exciting but defensive awareness alone can take you up levels, many players neglect it entirely. 

“Defence is 50% of the game, people use it 25% of the time & wonder why they get hit twice as much.” Responsible defence wins fights so long as you maintain it throughout, not unraveling back to careless aggression just because you get hurt once or twice.

Advice & information:

  • Throw shots from the correct ranges for example hooks in close & kicks from kickboxing range so slightly more distanced
  • Quality over quantity head movement - No unnecessary draining movement
  • Anticipate & slip shots by small margins - Make them miss so you can counter
  • Footwork - Utilise angles and lateral movement to maintain distance, when you land reset your position & assess rather than continuously bombing forward


8. Incorporate wrestling 

Khabib seconds away from securing a trip on Poirier

Wrestling is the fundamental aspect of MMA & is as important in UFC 4. You get to dictate where the fight goes the majority of the time. If you have great wrestling, you can take your opponent down & defend your opponent's attempts to do the same. 

Having great wrestling gives you three great options to approach fights with. Firstly you can go in with a wrestle-heavy approach looking to dominate your opponent from the start. Secondly, you can test the waters on the feet to see how comfortable you are knowing you have wrestling as a backup option to fall back on. Or thirdly you can be an opponent's nightmare & mix it up to keep them on their toes at all times. 

Advice and information:

  • Setups - Use strikes & feints to set up your takedowns & catch your opponent off guard
  • Timing Look for moments where your opponent's balance is compromised or their stamina is low so they’ll struggle to defend the takedown
  • Control the clinch - The clinch provides perfect opportunities to transition into takedowns with double-collar tie, underhooks, and overhooks


7. Master the Art of Submissions

Valentina landing shots on her opponent midway through locking in an armbar

Submissions account for approximately 25% of fight finishes and are one of the most crucial parts of the game to learn to compete at a high level. Whether you use them offensively or defensively, at some point within the game whether CPU or online you’ll face a top-quality wrestler & this is the ground threat you need.

From the tutorials and practice mode you should have a base but go out of your way to take the fight to the ground online or against higher level CPU as the best way to learn from here is to be put in bad situations that you have to escape. 

Advice and information:

  • Defend your opponent's transitions every time - Practice in offline fights with activated on-screen arrows helping you, then turn it off and practice without it 
  • Watch your opponent's stamina bar - Your opponent is way more vulnerable to submissions when not recovered
  • Vary both chokes & joint attacks - Your opponent may be strong at defending one but weak at the other
  • Predict where your opponent will move his analog during the submission mini-game by reading their patterns at the very start of it


6. Patience to survive ground & pound or submissions:

The Oliveira player is about to secure their transition whilst Makhachev tries to block it (bottom right instructions on that)

Composure & patience has a far better chance of saving you in a bad ground situation instead of losing your cool and trying to force your way up. Sometimes you will get Khabib’d. You’ll be getting tied up on the ground or mauled with ground and pound & to get out you’ll have to be patient & opportunistic. 

If your opponent is all over you trying to finish the fight, your opportunity will come through watching their stamina bar. Wait for them to exert energy & then transition to try to get up or get your own submission in. 

Advice and information: 

  • Never panic and try to force your way out of submissions - This is the worst thing you can do, instead, stay composed and try to outsmart your opponent in the minigame with gentle fluid movements
  • Only ever attempt to transition with a strong or full stamina bar
  • Use head movement on the ground by left the right stick left or right to evade their ground strikes & reverse your opponent to gain top position
  • Don’t be content to just hold block if they’re having success with ground and pound - Block if necessary but eventually, they will break your block if you wait there


5. Use Strike Record

Leon Edwards vs Kamaru Usman whilst strike record is on in practice mode

We all have weak points or vulnerabilities that we can’t see in real-time. To find them, use strike record, a valuable feature within practice mode that records training sessions and tracks statistics related to your striking performance.

You can identify your own patterns once you’ve done a few short sessions against a difficult AI tracking yourself. Use it to adapt your strategies going forward and understand where you can improve. 

Advice and information: 

  • Identify effective strikes: Review the data on your strike accuracy and effectiveness 
  • Learn your playstyle - Decide if you like it and if you don’t, start practising the changes you’d like to make 
  • Practise what you struggle to defend against and slow down the footage to see where you go wrong or can improve


4. Play the career mode 

UFC 4's Career mode reveal poster

The career mode offers you the chance to develop your own fighter from scratch. It's a great opportunity to improve your skills as you’ll have to upgrade every aspect of your game through training which is centred around sparring & learning..

If you play the career mode on a high enough difficulty for your level, you’ll find some of the grittiest fights within it. It’s a more realistic fight experience with the AI designed to simulate real fighters.

Advice and information: 

  • Tactical adaptation: The AI opponents in career mode adapt to your playstyle and adjust their strategies accordingly meaning you’ll have to do the same to beat them
  • Learn new techniques- Use the chance to learn new techniques you aren’t familiar or good with by training with specific fighters you can select
  • Experiment & test with your new techniques in open sparring after you’ve accomplished the sparring goal


3. Learn from losses

Bisping celebrates in UFC 4 in the iconic fashion he did after shocking the world & knocking out Luke Rockhold to win the UFC middleweight title 

Everyone, including the best players in the game, loses regularly. Losses, especially when you know you’ve been outplayed are great, as the better players or higher difficulties will exploit your weaknesses & force you to improve if you want to overcome them. 

The best way to approach your losses is to have the mentality of knowing you either ‘win or learn’.

Advice and information:

  • Be honest with yourself and it’ll be easier to identify your mistakes and where you need to improve
  • Don’t avoid the weak parts of your game - Put yourself back into the sections of fights that you’re typically losing in until you improve


2. Play blitz battles regularly

Blitz battles taekwondo gets set to begin

There is nothing in the game that’ll test your skills and decision-making under pressure as much as blitz battles. If you want to improve or test one specific section of your game against other players online without having to worry about the other factors of MMA, this is the mode. 

Blitz battles are designed to simulate intense & high-speed encounters so the number one factor that’ll often determine if you win any round in particular is quick-thinking. 

Advice and information: 

  • Stay alert at all times
  • Keep going after losses - It often takes people 30+ tries to finally win the tournament 
  • Feint - Every strike is essential here for points so feinting is a great way to bait & set up your opponent who’s probably as on edge as you are


1. Test yourself and go up the ranks in online world championships 

UFC online world championships after becoming champion & defending the title

Online world championships is the best competitive environment in UFC 4 and the litmus test for what your level really is. Rise up the ranks & go as far as you can to compete with the best players you can beat.

Consistency is key here. You’ll go on 5 fight win streaks before a 6 fight loss streak straight knocks you below the rank you were in the first place, & vice versa. 

Advice and information: 

  • Find your go-to favourite fighters in each weight class and use them in the crunch fights
  • Wait for your opponent to choose first & pick fighters that match up well
  • Exploit players who don’t block their body 
  • Take a break if you lose two in a row after a win streak
  • If your opponent has a wild-looking created character, expect a wild fight style with every spin kick in the game nine times out of ten - Fighting smartly with composure will usually best them


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From crafting winning strategies to scouting the next rising stars whether it be FIFA or Football Manager, I consider myself a digital Jose Mourinho.
Gamer Since: 2003
Favorite Genre: Sports
Currently Playing: UFC 4
Top 3 Favorite Games:Fifa 15, The Walking Dead, Batman: Arkham Asylum

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