Who are some prevalent UFC/MMA fighters that spar with an actual Karate stance, not just a little bit. Only one I can think of is Stephen Thompson.

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Resources: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7U1Ai4H9ao

  • 2
    Lyoto Machida of course. Commented Dec 29, 2021 at 18:03
  • hi @SteveWeigand feel free to place as answer, and I can send points, thanks
    – mattsmith5
    Commented Jan 14, 2022 at 21:03

1 Answer 1


Guy Mezger did - you can see the bounce and the "rush" that karate points fighters have, he came from a kyokushin background though so not as long a stance as the more shotokan influenced stylists.

Robert Whittaker is another - longer stances the Guy Mezger and you can see that blitz/rush style a bit.

Machida's the obvious one, he's also the main shotokan stylist who competed, the others tend to come from other styles.

Kyoji Horiguchi is a less well known one - 3 years in the UFC, now a bellator fighter, also a shotokan stylist.

Gunnar Nelson's another Goju guy, with a noticeable karate influence in his stances. I think it's his main striking background combined with BJJ.

If you look at Japanese fighters, especially at the lighter weights, there's an unsurprising number of karate guys.

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