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

Find out how to grapple, how to defend grapples, and the best fighters at grappling in UFC 4.

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

On 14 August, EA Sports’ UFC 4 finally officially released for the world to play. Fans are bursting with anticipation to play as their favorite athletes, and you should be too!

Each new and improved UFC game offers fans the experience to play as some of the sport’s very best strikers, grapplers, and submission specialists.

After covering both the striking and clinching facets of the game, we are once again bringing you a complete guide; this time focused on grappling.

Continue reading if you wish to discover how to control and submit your opponent on the ground in UFC 4, along with numerous tips and tricks to help you along the way.

What is UFC grappling?

UFC grappling is a close-range form of hand-to-hand combat that involves gaining a physical advantage over an opponent.

The main aim of grappling within a fight is to advance position and inflict enough damage to finish, whether that be by knockout or submission.

Mixed martial artists often shine in one particular area – Robbie Lawler on his feet, or Kamaru Usman in the clinch, for example. This carries over to grappling also, as fighters such as Demian Maia are terrific in this department.

Why grapple in UFC 4?

The art of UFC grappling plays a critical role – whether that be through wrestling, jiu-jitsu, or sambo moves – in just about every MMA bout.

If a participant is unable to defend a takedown or counter-sweep their opponent, they will almost always lose control.

If you are familiar with the UFC games and have played online, you’ll have likely come across players who have the ability to pin you on the mat while ground-and-pounding you into oblivion.

These scenarios are very frustrating; therefore, you must learn how to defend and attack other players while grappling.

Full UFC grappling controls on PS4 and Xbox One

Below, you will find the full list of grappling controls in UFC 4, which includes how to wrap-up a submission.

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

Ground grappling PS4 Xbox One
Advanced Transition/GNP Modifier L1 LB
Grapple Stick R R
Get-up L (flick upwards) L (flick upwards)
Submission L (flick left) L (flick left)
Ground and Pound L (flick right) L (flick right)
Defend Transition R2 + R R2 + L RT + R RT + L
Transition R R
Additional Transitions L1 + R LB + R
Head Movement R (left and right) R (left and right)
Post Defense L1 + R (left and right) LB + R (left and right)
Ground and Pound Control PS4 Xbox One
Head Movement R (left and right) R (left and right)
High Block R2 (tap) RT (tap) 
Low Block L2 +R2 (tap)  LT + RT (tap)
Body Modifier L2 (tap) LT (tap)
Defense Post L1 + R (left and right) L1 + R (left and right)
Lead Body Knee X (tap) A (tap)
Back Body Knee O (tap) B (tap)
Lead Elbow L1 + R1 + Square (tap) LB + RB + X (tap)
Back Elbow L1 + R1 + Triangle (tap) LB + RB + Y (tap)
Lead Straight Square (tap) X (tap)
Back Straight Triangle (tap) Y (tap)
Lead Hook L1 + Square (tap) LB + X (tap)
Back Hook L1 + Triangle (tap) LB + Y (tap)

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

UFC 4 grappling tips and tricks

In UFC 4, mastering the grappling controls are essential in all modes of the game; whether in career or online, you will encounter grappling aces.

Here are some tips and tricks to improve your grappling game in UFC 4.

How do you grapple in UFC 4?

There are two ways in which you can initiate a grapple in UFC 4. You can either take the opponent to the mat (L2 + Square on PS4, LT + X on Xbox One) or initiate the clinch (R1 + Square/Triangle on PS4, RB + X/Y on Xbox One). From the mat or from within a clinch, you can start grappling.

EA’s designers claim that grappling, in general, has been simplified in UFC 4. However, it’s actually quite complicated to get the hang of.

So, practice how to grapple in UFC 4 as once you get to grips with the controls, it’s a pretty powerful tool.

How to defend against grappling in UFC 4

If you find yourself taken to ground in UFC 4, prioritizing defense is vital. Most offensive grapplers you’ll come up against will be looking to get to work straight away by advancing position or posturing up, where they can land fierce ground and pound. So, defense should be the first thing on your mind.

To defend against grapples use head movement (R stick, flick left and right) and time your get-ups (L stick, flick upwards) to help you escape the submission prowess of jiu-jitsu experts.

When’s the best time to grapple in UFC 4?

When on the mat, stamina is key in UFC 4, and is something that you should definitely keep your eye on when scrapping.

Let’s say you are trying to get back to your feet or submit your opponent with a guillotine choke, stamina is the number one thing that will help you achieve this.

To do either of these things well and with relative ease, make sure that your stamina bar is above half.

You can save your stamina by throwing fewer strikes and defending your adversary’s transitions (R2 + R stick, RT + R stick). On top of saving your own stamina, protecting your fighter will also reduce their stamina.

Selecting the right fighter for grappling

It’s no secret that some athletes in UFC 4 have worse grappling stats than others, hence why you should pick your character accordingly.

Your takedown, grappling, and submission defense are the three attributes that’ll lend you a helping hand when pitched against talented grapplers in the game.

Instead of picking a full-fledged striker like Paulo Costa or Francis Ngannou, consider a more well-rounded option, such as flyweight champion Deiveson Figueiredo.

The Brazilian is well-versed in every area of the game and will undoubtedly be able to keep the fight on its feet (if you time your movements correctly).

Who are the best grapplers in UFC 4?

In the table below, you will find a list of the game’s very best overall grapplers in each weight division.

UFC 4 Fighter Weight Division
Rose Namajunas/Tatiana Suarez Strawweight
Valentina Shevchenko Women’s Flyweight
Amanda Nunes Women’s Bantamweight
Demetrious Johnson Flyweight
Henry Cejudo Bantamweight
Alexander Volkanovski/Max Holloway Featherweight
Khabib Nurmagomedov Lightweight
Georges St Pierre Welterweight
Yoel Romero/Jacare Souza Middleweight
Jon Jones Light Heavyweight
Daniel Cormier Heavyweight

Use grappling to your advantage in UFC 4, but perhaps more importantly, learn how to defend against the potentially fight-ending maneuvers.

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 Clinch Guide, Tips and Tricks to Clinching

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

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

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

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