UFC 4: Complete Clinch Guide, Tips and Tricks to Clinching

Find out everything that you need to know about offensive and defensive clinching in UFC 4.


With EA Sports launching UFC 4 in early access, gamers and MMA fans have been quick to fire out their opinions and critique of the game. Despite this, there are some visible changes to the franchise’s newest instalment.

One of these major changes is the clinch, which has been entirely revamped in order to give fans the smoothest and most realistic experience possible.


Below, you will find all of the UFC 4 clinching controls, as well as some tips and tricks to help you clinch.

What is clinching in UFC 4?

The clinch is a very frequently used move in mixed martial arts. Basically, a clinch is when both competitors are grabbing hold of one another while standing; it often acts as the middle-man between striking and grappling.

In today’s modern era of MMA, the clinch has rapidly risen to stardom and is used by some of the sport’s brightest stars, with the likes of Petr Yan displaying its use to full effect.

The potential danger that a talented clinch fighter possesses is unnerving, and this can be felt within UFC 4.

Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman is just one fighter that you do not want to be messing around with in the clinch. His power, technique, and overall strength outweigh most of his counterparts in this year’s game.

Why use clinching in UFC 4?

Just like in the real UFC octagon, the clinch is a pivotal part of UFC 4, and this year provides fans with an all-new experience.

Developers have attempted to make the clinch a smoother maneuvers, allowing players to fall into it as opposed to reaching out and grabbing their opponent, as was the case in previous editions.

In the new title, it might just be the single most important part of the game – to be successful, you need to understand clinching.

Neglecting this aspect of the game will often result in defeat, particularly when facing players online: anticipate the games online to be full of clinching.

How to clinch in UFC 4?

Clinching at the wrong time can result in your fighter absorbing massive amounts of punishment. Therefore, it’s essential to know when to engage the clinch.

One of the best occasions to use the clinch is in the pocket after an exchange, when stamina is low and both combatants are standing right in front of one another. This often catches opponents off-guard as they will be looking to regain health and stamina – presenting itself as the perfect moment to attempt a clinch.

To initiate a clinch use R1 + Square (PS4) or RB + X (Xbox One) to grab your foe in a single collar clinch. Following this, you have several options, including striking or taking the fight to the ground.

From the single collar clinch, you can transition to the other clinch positions by pressing R1 + Triangle (PS4) or RB + Y (Xbox One). When in your clinch position of preference, you can drive your foe to the cage by pushing the L analogue.

You can also use the clinch to your advantage when your fighter is badly damaged on their feet. This will permit them time to recover (if you defend strikes within the clinch) and may even open an opportunity to land a takedown, which could change the outcome of the fight.

Full UFC 4 Clinch Controls on PS4 and Xbox One

Below, you can find the full list of clinch controls in UFC 4, including the offensive clinch controls, clinch transitions and how to defend a clinch in the game.

In the UFC 4 clinch controls below, L and R represent the left and right analogue sticks on either console controller.

Clinch (Offense)PlayStation 4Xbox One
Initiate ClinchR1 + SquareRB + X
Takedown/Submission ModifierL2LT
Advanced Transition ModifierL1LB
Rotate, Push and Pull OpponentLL
Grapple StickRR
Left PunchSquareX
Right PunchTriangleY
Left KneeXA
Right KneeCircleB
Strike ModifierR1RB
High BlockR2RT
Low BlockL2 + R2LT + RT
Single/Double Leg ModifierL (flick)L (flick)
Advance PositionR1 + Square R1 + TriangleRB + X RB + Y
Trip/ThrowR1 + X R1 + CircleRB + A RB + B
SubmissionsL2 + R1 + Square/Triangle  LT + RB + X/Y
HooksL1 + Square/TriangleLB + X/Y
UppercutsSquare + X Triangle + CircleX + A Y + B
Body KneesL2 + X/CircleLT + A/B
Head KneesL1 + X/CircleLB + A/B
ElbowsL1 + Square + X L1 + Triangle + CircleLB + X + A LB + Y + B
Clinch (Defense)PlayStation 4Xbox One
Defend Takedown/ThrowL2 + R2LT + RT
Defend SubmissionR2RT
Single/Double Leg Defense ModifierL (flick)L (flick)
Clinch EscapeL (flick left)L (flick left)

READ MORE: UFC 4: Complete Controls Guide for PS4 and Xbox One

UFC 4 clinching tips and tricks

The clinch is one of the most crucial parts of the UFC 4 gameplay. If one lacks even the basic knowledge needed, they will find themselves eating knee after knee, Anderson Silva versus Chris Leben style.

Because of this, the one tip when it comes to the clinch is to practice, practice, practice.

Advancing position

A solid place to start is to set the difficulty low and then practice advancing position in the clinch. If you do this, you’ll get to grips with how to consistently land takedowns at the opportune moments, discovering which methods yield you success.

It’s likely that you’ll eventually struggle in UFC 4 if you don’t know the basic controls of the clinch – the opposition will regularly seek to clinch you in the single collar position.

However, after discovering how to advance your position (R1+ Square for PS4, RB + X for Xbox One), it becomes easier to escape dangerous scenarios.

Strike while clinching

At this point in time, it looks as though unloading a flurry of strikes while in the clinch is extremely overpowered; within four rapid knees, you will find your adversary flat on the canvas.

To do so, you will need to learn how to throw in some knees (L1 + X/Circle for PS4, LB + A/B for Xbox One) and elbows (L1 + Square + X for PS4, LB + X + A for Xbox One). These strikes are fired at a quick rate and give the offensive fighter a chance to get a huge lead.

This revamped clinch game has allowed the time and space needed to strike in close quarters, with throwing both knees and elbows being the perfect way to sway the momentum of a fight.

Defending takedowns and escaping the clinch

Becoming a good defensive clinch fighter will be key in UFC 4. As previously mentioned, the clinch in this game is very overpowered, and players online will happily spam knee after knee while wrapping you up in a clinch.

To avoid succumbing to such a fate, you’ll need to learn how to escape the clinch and defend against takedowns.

Defending against takedowns (L2 + R2 for PS4, LT + RT for Xbox One) is all about timing, meaning that players will probably struggle when playing in their first few competitive matches.

However, it doesn’t take too long to learn this skill in UFC 4, and it will help out your athlete a great deal come fight night.

Escaping the clinch will be critical in all game modes for UFC 4, so, it’s recommended that you master it as soon as possible. After all, it is fairly simple controls-wise: for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players, you flick the L analogue left, creating for your fighter to allow you to return to striking.

Looking for More UFC 4 Guides?

UFC 4: Complete Controls Guide for PS4 and Xbox One

UFC 4: Complete Submissions Guide, Tips and Tricks for Submitting Your Opponent

UFC 4: Complete Striking Guide, Tips and Tricks for Stand-up Fighting

UFC 4: Complete Grapple Guide, Tips and Tricks to Grappling

UFC 4: Complete Takedown Guide, Tips and Tricks for Takedowns

UFC 4: Best Combinations Guide, Tips and Tricks for Combos


Steven Rae

Steven is an avid gamer and enjoys mixing his love of sports with the world of gaming. On top of writing for Outsider Gaming, he focuses on the combat sports world, where he is known as both a journalist and analyst.

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