Before you begin, we recommend checking out our Beginner's Tips. After all, you have to walk before you can run.

After spending 15 hours in the Career mode of EA Sports UFC, winning the Heavyweight belt and retiring with a 40-0-0 record, we thought we were pretty good at this game. As it turns out, we weren't as good as we thought, with four consecutive losses in online tournaments. In fact, one of our opponents was so good at blocks and parries that we wondered if we'd simply faced off against the AI on the highest difficulty. Surely, we wondered, no human player could be that good so quickly!

As it turns out, humans are a major step up in competition when playing EA Sports UFC. For that reason, our advanced tips will focus mostly on that portion of the game, and undoubtedly carry over to your Career mode. That's some Mr. Miyagi type lesson right there.

How to Win Rounds

When you're playing online, don’t go in with a set game plan to finish the fight. After all, there is no way to scout your opponent beforehand, meaning you don't know how good he or she is in the clinch, on the ground or even in the striking department. Your best bet is to let the fight play out naturally, then adjust your strategy to exploit your opponent's weaknesses.

If your opponent is an expert striker who easily blocks your attacks, you don't want to stand and let them pick you apart. That's a good way to lose the round and then the fight if neither of you are able to secure the finish. If you're taking more shots to the face then BJ Penn against Rory MacDonald, do the smart thing and drag the fight to the ground, controlling your foe before going for the submission. Even if you don't get them to tap, you've earned points for the takedown, controlling where the fight is taking place as well as the submission attempt. The same holds true for the opposite. If your opponent sweeps you every time you take them down, keep the fight on the feet, stuffing takedowns and going for points by winning the stand up game. The point is, think about winning the round first, then go for a finish if it presents itself.

Learn the Clinch Game

The reason for this is simple. It's the most underutilized aspect of EA Sports UFC, and therefore a lot of players don't know how to use it effectively. By learning it, you have a massive advantage. Even more than just learning the clinch, learn the Thai Clinch, allowing you to deliver some devastating knees with little fear of retaliation. We knocked out several opponents with knees to the head simply because they didn't know how to stop it.

In fact, the clinch doesn't have to be about striking. Maybe you've had a hard time taking the fight to the ground. Go for the clinch, then surprise your opponent with a trip or takedown, landing them on their backs and you in top position. In fact, you can even clinch up if you recently took some damage and need to slow the pace of the fight. Just make sure you learn how to transition, as well as how to block your opponent from doing the same. The last thing you need is to eat some of those Anderson "The Spider" Silva type knees when all you wanted was a hug in the middle of the octagon.

Utilize Fighter Abilities

This refers to Career mode, and it's a big one. EA Sports UFC allows you to develop a fight plan, allotting various perks that can improve your performance inside the octagon. Some examples are more damage output for consecutive strikes, recovering stamina each time you block an attack or progressing through a submission faster.

You don't get to use these abilities online, but you can tailor them to fit your fighting style as you battle your way toward that UFC gold. Just make sure that you check back after each contest, since you are always unlocking more slots and more abilities to fill them with. They don't always mean certain victory, but it can be the difference between winning and losing a close fight.

Kick 'Em in the Liver

We're being completely serious here. An early trend we noticed online is that people are great when it comes to blocking strikes to the head, but not so much to the body. For this reason, mix up your attack and throw power shots to the body. Get your opponent to block high by throwing a few punches, then smash them in the ribs. Just like you can stun someone to the head, you can also do this with body shots, opening up an opportunity to go for the knockout.

Taking things one step further, smart opponents will eventually figure out what you're doing, then start to block those body shots. When this happens, lead with the kick to the legs or torso, then go high with your combination. The idea here is to never be predictable and never throw one punch. It might work for Mark Hunt, but that's the benefit of having tree trunks for limbs.

Lateral Movement and Counter Striking

It's cool to try and block or parry strikes, but without movement you're eventually going to get hit. What we found is that lateral movement and distance are key to winning the stand up game. Hey, seems to work for Jon Jones, so why not us?

Most humans lack patience, and those who play videos games have even less. It makes sense, that's why every multiplayer game out there has a two-second respawn time. The same applies to EA Sports UFC. Expect your opponent to come forward, throwing bombs and trying to knock you into next week. Don't worry about it. Let them wear themselves out.

Your game plan in this instance is to keep moving by flicking the left stick. As your opponent approaches, try to move to their left or right, making them miss their attack and then countering with combos like we mentioned above. Your opponent is never more vulnerable then when they are in the middle of throwing a lunging strike that has absolutely no chance of landing. Our advice: time their attack, then move out of the way and promptly kick them in the face. One of two things will happen: they will hesitate, allowing you to control the pace of the fight, or they'll keep doing it and you'll make them part of your knockout montage. In this case, the choice is theirs.

How to Score an Easy Submission in EA Sports UFC

Just so you don't think our title is a complete lie, this is an easier way to score a submission, rather than a flat out guarantee.

There are two moves that every fighter can do. One is a standard takedown and the other is a Kimura. This is the most simple way to get your opponent on the ground, then bend their arm all crazy until they end up looking like Big Nog after Frank Mir got a hold of him. Seriously, Take a Look for Yourself.

To pull this off, start by taking the fight to the ground, then sit tight for a moment and keep your opponent pinned down. Every time you block a transition or attempt to stand up, they'll lose some more stamina and become more susceptible to tapping out.

Once you go for the submission, immediately press up on the right stick. This isn't a guarantee, but most people's natural instinct is to escape in that direction, and this gives you a shot at blocking it. From there, just continue to block their escapes, advancing your position when you can. If you've got your mic turned on, don't mind the swearing, that's just your opponent throwing a controller out the window.