Mixed martial arts is growing in popularity ever since rules were implemented for the safety of those in the ring and you can now watch it on television. It captures an audience both young and old since what happens either in the cage or ring is not scripted unlike wrestling.
There are two main styles of MMA. These are sport and street. In sport, two unarmed competitors fight it out using the same or different martial art discipline. Here, you can’t bite, insert fingers to any bodily crevices, attack the groin and eye gouging. In street, you are allowed to use a weapon of your choice but the first is more popular that the other.
Just to prove how popular mixed martial arts is, various organizations have been formed since the Ultimate Fighting Championships was established in 1993. There is PRIDE, International Fighting Championships and Elite XC.
You can watch UFC fights on pay per view which is featured in Spike TV. Elite XC airs their events after striking a deal with CBS entitled “Saturday Night Fights.”
Aside from its popularity on television, there is an increase in the sale of mixed martial arts merchandise especially in the form of videos which fans can take home. There are also websites which feature upcoming competitions, blogs, forums and everything else related to this sport.
Some fans who have become engrossed in this sport have signed up in gyms that offer this in their classes. This can be done just to work up a sweat instead of lifting weights or running on the treadmill. Those who are serious train hard so they will be able to join a competition and win.
But did this craze really start 15 years ago? The answer is no because mixed martial arts was known by a different name more than 2,000 years ago when this was first introduced by the Greeks during their Olympic Games and that time, this was known as Pankration.
There is no doubt that mixed martial arts as a sport is growing. You can see this in the number of fans who watch it, the sales revenue which happens to be much higher than that of boxing and wrestling, the establishment of academies and gyms as well as the founding of organizations both local and abroad.
There was even a move to make this an Olympic sport in 2004 when the games were held in Greece but this was not added since there were concerns that this venue will not be able to host a list of other new sports.
Four years later, the recently concluded Beijing Olympics did not also have mixed martial arts as one of the new sports. Despite that, there are still fighters willing to make a name for themselves using the other organizations since these events are shown all over the world with millions watching even if the International Olympic Committee has not yet approved it.
Senator McCain once referred to mixed martial arts as “human cockfighting” because according to him, this was too violent. That may be the case but with no fatalities yet compared to boxing which averages 11 a year, this will continue to be part of American society today and it is not going to go away anytime in the foreseeable future.