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

Find out how to perform armbars, shoulder locks, leg locks and choke submissions in UFC 4.


With the release of UFC 4 last week, we’re bringing you all of the information that you need to master the game, along with numerous tips and tricks.

Submissions are a huge part of the sport of MMA, therefore learning the controls and how to choke your opponent unconscious are two skills that are doubtlessly needed to contest with the best, whether you’re online or offline.


What are submissions in UFC 4?

Submissions are the art of forcing your opponent to tap, or in some cases, putting them to sleep, which results in immediate victory. This can be done in a variety of ways depending on which part of the body is locked in a maneuver.

Causing your opponent to submit is one of the three key principles in the game, alongside striking and clinching; in fact, one could argue that submissions overrule both of the other aforementioned elements.

Athletes excel at certain facets of the sport, and this carries over into submissions.

Welterweights Demian Maia and Gilbert Burns are just two contenders that you want to avoid grappling with: their chokeholds and overall jiu-jitsu prowess are enough to end the night early for any user.

Why use submissions in UFC 4?

Submissions are critical to learn if you want to find success throughout the game, whether you’re fighting online or offline.

In career mode, for example, you will face a wide array of fighter types, one of which will be a jiu-jitsu specialist. If you are naive in this department, your character will be exposed and likely defeated.

Going for the submission is usually unexpected in UFC 4, as the majority of online users focus their attention on advanced transitions or rising to their feet. This means that learning to use submissions will give you an edge.

Basic joint submissions in UFC 4

The entire submission aspect of UFC 4 has been revamped. Therefore, you will find that you need to learn the new controls to develop your understanding.

Joint submissions (armbars, shoulder locks, leg locks and twister) include a new mini-game that features two bars – one attacking, the other defending.

As the attacker, your goal is to smother the opposing bar with your own. If done correctly, it will bring you one stage closer to securing the submission.

Here are the UFC 4 joint submission controls that you need to know as the offensive fighter which include armbars, shoulder locks, leg locks and twister.

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

Joint Submissions (Offense)PS4Xbox One
Securing the SubmissionMove between L2+R2 depending on the scenarioMove between LT+RT depending on the scenario
Armbar (full guard)L2+L (flick down)LT+L (flick down)
Kimura (half guard)L2+L (flick left)LT+L (flick left)
Armbar (top mount)L (flick left)L (flick left)
Kimura (side control)L (flick left)L (flick left)

How to defend against joint submissions in UFC 4

Defending joint submissions, or any submission in UFC 4 for that matter, is relatively simple.

Your goal is to do the opposite of the attacker in each mini-game – do not allow their bar to suffocate your bar.

You will have to use L2+R2 (PS4) or LT+RT (Xbox One) to be successful in the submissions defense mini-game.

Basic choke submissions in UFC 4

Choke submissions are among the most menacing in UFC 4, allowing you to claim utter dominance over your foe and claim the fight for yourself.

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

Choke Submissions (Offense)PS4Xbox One
Guillotine (full guard)L2+ L (flick upwards)LT+ L (flick upwards)
Arm Triangle (half guard)L (flick left)L (flick left)
Rear-Naked Choke (back mount)L2 + L (flick down)L1 + L (flick down)
North-South Choke (north-south)L (flick left)L (flick left)

How to defend against choke submissions in UFC 4

Defending choke submissions in UFC 4 is almost identical to defending against joint submissions, with the only distinct difference being that the submission bar is far larger.

The aim is to stop your opponent from covering the bar, using L2+R2 (PS4) or LT+RT (Xbox One) to fend them off and stop them from ending the bout with a choke submission.

How to strike while in a submission

Sometimes, while in or attempting a submission, you will have the option to strike. This option may appear as any of the four color buttons (Triangle, O, X, Square on PS4 / Y, B, A, X on Xbox One) on the controller.

Striking while in this position will further boost your bar and aid you in your attempt to either escape or lock-up the submission.

What are submission chains, and why use them?

While in a submission, submission chains appear as a button input, allowing the user to advance their move by turning a triangle choke into an armbar, for example.

Using submission chains will increase your chances of snatching the submission, as it brings builds your bar higher and higher.

On the other hand, hitting the prompt as the defending athlete will prevent the submission chain from going ahead, allowing you more time to plan your escape.

Flying submissions in UFC 4

Along with the joint and choke submissions in UFC 4, there are also several rather specialist flying submissions for you to get to grips with.

How to do the flying triangle in UFC 4

From the single under or over-under position in the clinch, depending on which fighter you have chosen, you will have the opportunity to land a flying triangle. This can be done by pressing LT+RB+Y (Xbox One) or L2+R1+Triangle (PS4).

How to do the back rear-naked choke in UFC 4

When in the back clinch position, instead of going for a takedown or disengaging, you have the chance to finish the fight via submission.

The back rear-naked choke is an extremely useful chokehold and can be applied in a matter of seconds. To do so, press LT+RB+X or Y (Xbox One) or L2+R1+Square or Triangle (PS4).

How to do the standing guillotine in UFC 4

Standing guillotines are one of the more gut-wrenching submissions in all of MMA, so why not give it a shot yourself?

While in the Muay Thai or single under clinch, you can get to the standing guillotine position by pressing LT+RB+X (Xbox One) or L2+R1+Sqaure (PS4).

After doing this, press X/Y (Xbox One) or Square/Triangle (PS4) to get the submission. From here, you can push your opponent up against the fence.

How to do the flying omoplata in UFC 4

In what may well be the most lackluster submission on the list, the flying omoplata looks unfortunately dull on UFC 4; there isn’t any ‘flying’ done at all.

To perform this submission, press LT+RB+X (Xbox One) or L2+R1+Square (PS4) while in the over-under clinch.

How to do the flying armbar in UFC 4

To complete the flying armbar, you must start in the collar tie clinch. From there, you press LT+RB+X/Y (Xbox One) or L2+R1+Square/Triangle (PS4).

Full UFC 4 submission controls on PS4 and Xbox One

Here are all of the submissions controls that you’ll need to know to navigate every situation in UFC 4.

Submission ActionPS4Xbox One
Securing the SubmissionMove between L2+R2 depending on the scenarioMove between LT+RT depending on the scenario
Armbar (full guard)L2+L (flick down)LT+L (flick down)
Kimura (half guard)L2+L (flick left)LT+L (flick left)
Armbar (top mount)L (flick left)L (flick left)
Kimura (side control)L (flick left)L (flick left)
Securing the SubmissionMove between L2+R2 depending on the scenarioMove between LT+RT depending on the scenario
Armbar (full guard)L2+L (flick down)LT+L (flick down)
Guillotine (full guard)L2+L (flick upwards)LT+L (flick upwards)
Arm Triangle (half guard)L (flick left)L (flick left)
Rear-Naked Choke (back mount)L2+L (flick down)LT+L (flick down)
North-South Choke (north-south)L (flick left)L (flick left)
Striking (when prompted)Triangle, O, X, or SquareY, B, A, or X
Slam (while submitting, when prompted)Triangle, O, X, or SquareY, B, A, or X
Flying Triangle (from over-under clinch)L2+R1+TriangleLT+RB+Y
Back Rear-Naked Choke (from clinch)L2+R1+Square / TriangleLT+RB+X / Y
Standing Guillotine (from single-under clinch)L2+R1+Square, Square/TriangleLT+RB+X, X/Y
Flying Omoplata (from over-under clinch)L2+R1+SquareLT+RB+X
Flying Armbar (from collar tie clinch)L2+R1+Square/TriangleLT+RB+X/Y
Von Flue Choke (when prompted during opponent’s attempt to Guillotine Choke from Full Guard)Triangle, O, X, or SquareY, B, A, or X

UFC 4 Submissions tips and tricks

Just like any area of the game, here are some tips and tricks to help you when trying to use or defend against submissions. From selecting appropriate fighters to keeping an eye on stamina, we have you covered.

Stamina comes first

When attempting to score a submission victory in UFC 4, one tip overrules all: watch your stamina.

There isn’t any point in slapping on an armbar if your opponent possesses considerably more stamina than you, as the chances of them escaping outweigh your shot at success tenfold.

It is recommended that you tire the other fighter before even thinking about putting them to sleep on the ground.

Denying transitions while in a full guard is the perfect way to drain their stamina, and within two or three successful transition denials, finishing the fight with a submission will be even easier than throwing a jab.

Use strikes when they’re available

If you are given the chance of using strikes while stuck in a submission, jump on it; the game is practically giving you the helping hand that you need.

These aforementioned strikes will elevate your own submission bar, and in many cases, striking has saved players from being submitted.

Defend transitions first

To avoid finding yourself wrapped up in Demian Maia’s deadly rear-naked choke, start by defending each transition possible, as one of them may be the submission looking to put you to sleep.

Many players in previous editions of the game abandoned defense while on the ground and paid the price for it, usually resulting in a bitter defeat to an online rival.

This outcome can be avoided, however, as defending transitions stops your fighter from ending up in vulnerable positions.

If you routinely play as strikers on UFC 4, someone like Michael Bisping, for example, this tip should be at the top of your list as the Irishman’s submission defense isn’t up to par with that of the game’s more well-balanced fighters.

Who are the best submission artists on UFC 4?

If you’re going into a fight with the hopes of scoring a win via submission in UFC 4, consider choosing one of these top-class fighters as they are the best at submissions in the game.

UFC 4 FighterWeight Division
Mackenzie DernStrawweight
Cynthia CalvilloWomen’s Flyweight
Ronda RouseyWomen’s Bantamweight
Jussier FormigaFlyweight
Raphael AssuncaoBantamweight
Brian OrtegaFeatherweight
Tony FergusonLightweight
Demian MaiaWelterweight
Royce GracieMiddleweight
Chris WeidmanLight Heavyweight
Aleksei OleinikHeavyweight

Now you know how to perform submissions in UFC 4, how to defend against the almighty moves, and that stamina is one of the most important factors to consider before you go for a submission in the virtual octagon.

Looking for More UFC 4 Guides?

UFC 4: Complete Controls Guide for PS4 and Xbox One

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 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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