You have probably heard of karate or judo. But did you know that there is such a thing called mixed martial arts?
Mixed martial arts or MMA is a full contact combat support which allows players to fight in a competition using various fighting techniques. The rules allow the fighters to use various striking and grappling techniques both while standing and on the ground.
But MMA was first introduced by the Greeks in 648 B.C. Back then, it was called the pankration which was introduced into the Olympic Games. Records show that there was a similar version of this in the 1800’s which continued on in the early 1900’s until the MMA came out in 1993 with the establishment of the Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC.
The difference between the MMA and those in the past is that this was initially created to find out which hand to hand combat technique works best to fight in a combat situation so fighters of various disciplines were gathered. During that time, there were only a few rules but more than 10 years later, additional ones were adopted to increase the safety of those who computed and to promote the sport.
Today, you can see the Ultimate Fighting Championship on television. Research shows that mixed martial arts is now more popular today than boxing especially when more people were willing to pay to see it on pay per view channels surpassing wrestling and boxing.
There are now 5 weight classes namely lightweight which is 67 to 70 kg, welterweight which is 71 to 77kg, middleweight from 78 to 84 kg, light heavyweight from 85 to 93 kg and heavy weight from 94 to 120 kg. There are 4 other weight classes but these are not currently being used by the UFC.
How someone wins in mixed martial arts is pretty simple. If the opponent taps the floor, the match is over. The same happens if the opponent is knocked unconscious. Should both fighters still be standing at the end of the match, the winner will be decided by the judges.
Illegal contact with the other opponent is called a foul. The referee inside the ring may deduct points from one player or even disqualify that person if the act committed was intentional or no contest if this was unintentional.
One of the biggest differences in mixed martial arts is the ring where the fighters play. Unlike a boxing or wrestling ring that is shaped in a rectangle, competition here is done in an octagon shaped cage. The eight sided structure has walls of metal chain link fence coated with black vinyl. There is padding around the top of the fence and between each of the eight sections as well as two entry-exit gates which are opposite each other.
Competitors who enter the ring have to wear proper attire. This means going into the ring with approved shorts and no shoes. Gloves must also be approved and have at least an inch of padding around the knuckles so the person will still be able to use his fingers and grab the opponent without the risk of injuring the hand.
Is mixed martial arts nice to watch? The answer is yes given that there are now more people watching it and others who want to join the competition. There was even a reality show that come out recently called the Contender which first started airing boxers fighting in the ring.