If you’re an MMA enthusiast you probably want to know as much about the fighters and people surrounding them as possible. Mixed martial arts isn’t new but it’s only within the last few years that it’s become a popular spectator sport even for online casino Australia no deposit bonus aficionados.
After reading our previous 6 Fun Facts about MMA article, you asked for some more interesting tidbits about MMA. So here we go!
Mixed Martial Arts
MMA stands for Martial Arts. It includes a wide variety of contact styles including boxing, Muay Thai, Jiu-Jitsu, boxing, and other types of striking and grappling actions. Any combination of two or more martial arts styles is considered “Mixed Martial Arts.”
How Far Back in History Does MMA Go?
Many people think that MMA started with Bruce Lee, the actor/fighter who stared in many hand-to-hand combat films. Actually, mixed martial arts dates back to the ancient Olympic Games of the 5th century BCE. The ancient Greeks considered the martial training of Greek armies — pankration — to be a sport and the Olympics featured the combination of kicking, hitting, wrestling, boxing, and street fighting as a spectator sport. In those days the contest was over only when one of the competitors was rendered unconscious……or worse. Pankration was one of the most popular events in the ancient Olympic Games.
Pankraton ended when Roman emperor Theodosius banned the games in 393 CE and it didn’t resurface until 20th century Brazil where vale tudo (“anything goes”) was popularized by brothers Helio Gracie and Carlos Gracie. In 1925 the brothers started a jujitsu school in Rio de Janeiro and attracted attention with the “Gracie Challenge” in which they proclaimed that they were ready to take on all challengers. The matches looked like the ancient Greek pankration and they became so popular that they were moved to football stadiums to accommodate the crowds who came to watch.
Gracie descendants continued their unique brand of jujitsu and came to the United States in the 1990s to demonstrate. When Royce Gracie, Helio’s son, appeared in a Denver Colorado stadium in 1993 to showcase the family’s skills it turned into UFC 1 (Ultimate Fighting Championship). From that, the UFC because the main promoter of MMA events, pitting fighters of different styles against each other (boxer against wrestlers, judoka against a kickboxer, etc).
Royce Gracie emerged as the champion of UFC 1 which was a pay-per-view event and by the third event, the number of viewers had increased to 300,000. Thus MMA USA was born.
Why is the MMA Cage Called “The Octagon?”
MMA fighters compete in The Octagon, a cage that has padded walls and surfaces to protect the fighters. The wide angles created by the octagon space is meant to protect fighters from getting cornered with no way out. Since boxing is fought in a square ring and wresting in a circle, the octagon shape offers a middle ground so that neither type of martial arts discipline has an advantage.
The Gracies were also responsible for the Octagon. Rorion Gracie decided, in the 1990s, that it would be vital to the future of the sport to have it featured on TV. One of the gimmicks that he wanted to use to set the UFC apart was the idea of a unique arena. He settled on the idea of an octagon and decided to surround it with caging material to enhance the idea that this was a street-fighting sport. Gracie was right — the Octagon, with the street-fighting connotations, drew in viewers.
How has MMA Changed over the last 20 years?
MMA was initially marketed as a no-holds-barred sport where anything could happen. The anything-goes promotion was attractive to some but others, notably US Senator John McCain, were appalled by its brutality — McCain called MMA “caged combat” and “human cockfighting.” In 2001 new rules made the sport less dangerous by adding weight classes, time limits, an extended list of fouls in the ring and rounds. From that time onward the new fighters who joined were skilled in one of the disciplines and trained in the other disciplines.
Which TV Show did MMA Inspire?
The Ultimate Fighter is a mixed martial arts (MMA) competition/reality show produced by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). The show features professional MMA fighters who live together in Las Vegas while they train and compete against each other for a UFC contract worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. The show is now in its 29th season with each season featuring either one or two weight classes.
What’s the Difference Between MMA and UFC?
MMA and UFC are often terms that are used interchangeably but there is a difference, UFC, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, promotes MMA competitions and is the best-known organization. MMA is the name of the sport.
Who Was the Oldest MMA Competitor?
MMA isn’t only a young person’s sport. The oldest competitor to date was Randy Couture whose last fight was fought when he was 47. Couture’s first fight was at age 13.
What is the Big MMA Goat Controversy of 2021?
The MMA GOAT is the person considered the Greatest of All Time. It is determined by considering factors such as dominance while fighting, fighting records, ways of winning the fight, etc.
Many people consider Khabib Nurmagomedov as the current GOAT. He has a 29-0 record and retired while at the top of his game. He was ranked #1 pound-for-pound fighter in the UFC.
Observers, industry insiders, and fans are currently debating whether he has taken the place of Jon Jones or Georges St. Pierre to be considered the GOAT. Nurmagomedov himself said that he doesn’t see himself as The Best but just as one of the best.
The debate continues.