Current UFC Fighters and Their Signature Moves

Alexander MetalisContributor IIIMay 24, 2012

Current UFC Fighters and Their Signature Moves

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    No matter the arena, it’s cool to own a signature move: a move that’s associated uniquely with one person.

    Our favorite fighting game characters have them. Our favorite wrestlers have them. And, upon inspection, some of our favorite MMA fighters have them, too. 

    Each fighter prefers certain techniques, techniques that they’ve honed their entire lives. Some fighters have cultivated certain techniques to become go-to moves, moves that can be relied on. But a signature move is one that is often relied on and often yields success. 

    The following list certainly doesn’t incorporate every signature move in the UFC, but it covers most of the obvious ones.

    So without further ado, here they are: the most notable signature moves in the UFC.

Diaz Brothers: Stockton Slap

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    No one punches quite like the Diaz brothers do. The "Stockton Slap" is poetry in motion.

    With their triathlon-level cardio handy, Nick and Nate Diaz overwhelm their opponents with volume; they value quantity and technique over power, and boy, does it pay off.

    They're unrelenting with their pitter-patter shots, never giving their foes a chance to regroup. The "Stockton Slap" doesn't take a break. The first few "slaps" may not deliver much damage, but as the "slap" gains momentum and finds a rhythm, blood will be drawn from those who oppose it and they will wilt. 

    Recent victims of the "slap" are Donald Cerrone, BJ Penn and Jim Miller. 

Lyoto Machida: Straight-Left Counter

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    Lyoto Machida employs an arsenal of fancy moves, but perhaps his most plain strike defines him the most.

    Machida was practicing karate in utero, so his ability to slip incoming punches and return fire with haste is brilliant. The southpaw finds great success with his left-hand counter, having used it to stun Thiago Silva, Rashad Evans, “Rampage” Jackson, Tito Ortiz and Randy Couture, among others.

    The impeccable timing of “The Dragon” allows his straight-left counter to be his go-to move. 

Jon Jones: Spinning Elbow

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    Jon Jones owns perhaps the most badass-looking signature move. Spinning strikes please the eye, especially if they’re spun by “Bones.”

    According to Sport Science (, Jones’ spinning elbow has been clocked at over 900 degrees per second. That’s faster than an Apache helicopter blade.  

    “Bones” first unleashed his whirling propeller on the head of Stephan Bonnar, a stunt that planted Jones on everyone’s highlight reel. Continuing to milk the flashy move, Jones has also used it tactfully against “Shogun” Rua and “Rampage” Jackson.

Anderson Silva: Matrix Mode

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    When he drops his hands and starts flaunting his head movement, Anderson Silva is as Anderson Silva as he gets.

    His opponent is being made a clown, in a way only Anderson is capable of clowning.

    His “fight” with Forrest Griffin showcased Silva’s showmanship and reaction time. “The Spider,” after gauging Griffin’s strikes and realizing they came in slow motion, dropped his hands.  Dancing in between punches, Silva slipped and countered Griffin’s strikes at a rate that defies electrochemical synapse.

    Anderson also famously applied “Matrix mode” upon Yushin Okami, Rich Franklin and Chris Leben.

    Boxing has been graced by fighters with unbelievable head movement, but Anderson’s reigns supreme in the realm of MMA.

Cody McKenzie: Guillotine Choke

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    If you’re unfamiliar with Cody McKenzie, take a peek at his official record: (

    That’s not a typo. The scraggly Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu player has finished 11 of his 13 career wins by guillotine choke.

    The Alaskan’s one-dimensional game is vexing. How does a fighter succeed with just a single choke in his arsenal? The rest of his MMA game might be lacking, but it hardly matters: the results speak well of McKenzie’s go-for-the-choke approach.

Rousimar Palhares: Diving for a Leg (Leg Locks)

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    Rousimar Palhares possesses perhaps the most frightening, and dangerous, signature move on this list.

    It’s not a surprise. When he enters the cage, Rousimar is there to secure his opponent’s leg, contort it until he begs for mercy, and leave him limping away from the arena. Such treachery has happened routinely.

    “Toquinho” has proudly mangled seven legs in his MMA career, and many more in his submission grappling career. 

    Middleweights without top-notch submission defense would be wise to stay far, far away from the Brazilian tree stump, lest they lose months of their career due to leg damage.  

Quinton Jackson: Slam

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    As a budding star in PRIDE, Quinton Jackson built a reputation for overpowering his foes. Jackson’s superhuman strength allowed him to pick up his opponents, like mere pillows, and smash them into canvas.

    Ricardo Arona became a pillow soon after he tied up “Rampage” in his guard, failing to realize Quinton owns the strength of three gorillas.

    In legendary fashion, “Rampage” picked up Ricardo off the floor and proceeded to smash his head off the canvas, thereby turning off Arona’s lights.

    "Rampage" slammed his way through PRIDE with sheer, unadulterated strength.

    Alas, as age weighs on Jackson’s bones and his fighting ambition crumbles, we may have seen the last of “Slampage.”

Dan Henderson: The 'H-Bomb'

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    How many souls did Dan Henderson’s right hand steal before it was properly bestowed with a nickname?

    Too many.

    Henderson owns 13 wins by knockout, and among them are some of the most prodigious in MMA history. Among his victims, Wanderlei Silva and Michael Bisping can certainly attest to the destructive nature of the “H-bomb.”

    In fact, Dan nearly decapitated Bisping with that fateful blow, a punch that was thrown with the intent to capture the Brit’s soul.

    As the “H-bomb” dropped, Bisping went stiff, and his seemingly lifeless body fell to the canvas like a broomstick to a kitchen floor.  

    If you haven’t seen the knockout, you should. I believe it’s the most aesthetically pleasing punch in MMA history.

    Hendo’s ascending age hasn’t disarmed the “H-bomb.” In fact, Dan’s right hand seems to be even more dangerous recently: he finished three of his last four foes with punches.