Multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) antennas with four and eight elements having connected grounds are designed for ultra-wideband applications. Careful optimization of the lines connecting the grounds leads to reduced mutual coupling amongst the radiating patches. The proposed antenna has a modified substrate geometry and comprises a circular arc-shaped conductive element on the top with the modified ground plane geometry. Polarization diversity and isolation are achieved by replicating the elements orthogonally forming a plus shape antenna structure. The modified ground plane consists of an inverted L strip and semi ellipse slot over the partial ground that helps the antenna in achieving effective wide bandwidth spanning from (117.91%) 2.84–11 GHz. Both 4/8-port antenna achieves a size of 0.61 λ × 0.61 λ mm2 (lowest frequency) where 4-port antenna is printed on FR4 substrate. The 4-port UWB MIMO antenna attains wide impedance bandwidth, Omni-directional pattern, isolation >15 dB, ECC < 0.015, and average gain >4.5 dB making the MIMO antenna suitable for portable UWB applications. Four element antenna structure is further extended to 8-element configuration with the connected ground where the decent value of IBW, isolation, and ECC is achieved.