Several combat-style sports exist. That includes things like boxing, wrestling, and various martial art competitions. MMA also falls under this category. It takes aspects of those other sports and combines them into one thing.
This stands for mixed martial arts. You may also hear it called cage fighting or ultimate fighting. Part of the reason that MMA gets called ultimate fighting is that one of the leagues for MMA is named UFC or Ultimate Fighting Championship. The term MMA was coined in 1993, but the sport had existed in one form or another for many years earlier, under different names. The first UFC competition was in 1993, which is why the name shows up then. MMA may have a reputation for being brutal, which it may have earned in its early years, but there are more rules governing MMA these days, making it less brutal but no less fierce and competitive.
Involved Martial Arts
While there are a lot of martial art styles, a few are seen in MMA matches more often than others. Those styles include Muay Thai, a Thai martial art, and are a little more brutal than other martial arts styles. Muay Thai features a lot of kicking, specifically with the shin bone, elbows, and fists. Muay Thai is designed to hurt someone, get them down, and keep them down. Other martial arts that show up in MMA include jujitsu and Brazilian jujitsu. Traditional jujitsu focuses more on throws and joint manipulations, while BJJ focuses more on grappling on the ground. JJ is more of an attacking style martial art, while BJJ is more of a defense style.
During a match, there are three primary phases that the fight might be in. Those three phases are standup fighting, clinch fighting, and ground fighting. Each of those phases has its style of fighting. Each fighter will have basics for each phase but will tend to be stronger in one phase over the others. During the match, each fighter's goal is to ensure that the match stays in their specialist phase. For example, someone good on the ground will do everything they can to get their competitor down so that they dominate. But if their opponent is better in the clinch, they will work hard to keep the match there.
MMA is one of the most popular sports. The championship bouts are huge draws in person and on-demand viewing. It may look like there aren't any rules during the match and that anything can go, but there are rules that each match must follow.
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