OKBET Sports Featured | History of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)
DID YOU KNOW?
The term “Mixed Martial Arts” (MMA) refers to a hybrid combat sport that combines techniques from many martial arts disciplines such as boxing, wrestling, judo, jujitsu, karate, and Muay Thai (Thai boxing), among others.
Despite the fact that it was first derided as a cruel blood sport without rules, mixed martial arts (MMA) has progressively abandoned its reputation of being a sport where everything goes and has emerged as one of the world’s fastest-growing spectator sports at the beginning of the 21st century. MMA competitions are recognized and sanctioned in a large number of nations including all fifty states in the United States.
The Origin of Mixed Martial Arts
It was thought that mixed martial arts had its origins in the ancient Olympic Games, which took place in 648 BCE. At that time, the fighting sport of ancient Greece was known as pankration, which was the martial training of Greek forces. Wrestling, boxing, and street fighting were some of the combat sports that were included in the grueling competition.
It was OK to kick or strike an opponent who was on the ground; the only actions that were prohibited were biting and eye gouging. When one of the combatants conceded defeat or was knocked unconscious, the contest was said to be over. In several instances, participants passed away while competing. The ancient Olympic sport of pankration eventually became one of the most popular events in the games.
Pankration’s days as a mainstream sport came to an end when the Olympic Games were outlawed by the Roman emperor Theodosius I in the year 393 CE. However, in the 20th century, this kind of fighting made a comeback in Brazil in the form of a combat sport known as vale tudo, which literally translates to “everything goes.” The brothers Carlos and Hélio Gracie, who established a jujitsu school in Rio de Janeiro in 1925, are credited with popularizing the art.
The siblings brought attention to themselves by issuing the “Gracie Challenge” in local newspapers and announcing in adverts that “If you want a broken arm, or rib, call Carlos Gracie.” The brothers would accept any challenge that was presented to them, and their fights, which were similar to those seen in pankration, were so popular that they had to be transferred to enormous soccer (association football) stadiums in order to accommodate the audience.
Many people in North America first became aware of mixed martial arts (MMA) as a result of the decision made by the Gracie family in the 1990s to demonstrate their signature style of Brazilian jujitsu in the United States. Royce Gracie, Hélio’s son, competed for the family in the tournament that would later be known as UFC 1 in 1993, which took place in Denver, Colorado. The name was a reference to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, often known as the UFC, which is the most prominent mixed martial arts (MMA) event promoter in the world.
When the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) first started holding events, one of its primary goals was to put combatants from diverse fighting disciplines against one another, such as a wrestler against a boxer or a kickboxer against a judoka. At first, the only regulations that were enforced were that there was to be no biting and no eye gouging.
Fights were declared over when either one of the competitors surrendered or when one of the corners conceded defeat. The first event of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was fought in a confined space in Denver’s McNichols Arena and was won by Royce Gracie. The tournament was the first ever pay-per-view event broadcast on cable television by the UFC, and it drew in 86,000 spectators. By the time of the third event, that number had climbed to 300,000.
Do’s and Don’ts in Mixed Martial Arts
The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts were adopted by regulatory bodies in the United States and many fighting promotions around the world by the year 2009, and the UFC played a pivotal role in the effort to standardize the sport on a global scale by pushing for a set of rules that would be applied everywhere. Participants in mixed martial arts competitions are required to do so within of a ring or inside an area that is enclosed by fencing.
When engaging in combat, they must use gloves that do not have fingers and are cushioned, but they are not allowed to wear shoes or headgear. They can hit, toss, kick, or grapple with an opponent, and they may launch attacks from a standing posture or from the ground.
Attacks can be launched using any of the aforementioned methods. However, head butting, gouging (which involves inserting a finger or thumb into an opponent’s eye), biting, pulling an opponent’s hair, and strikes to the crotch of any type are not allowed. Elbow strikes to the back of the head, hits to the neck, strikes to the spine, and strikes to the back of the head are all unlawful.
Additionally, some actions against an opponent who is grounded are prohibited, such as kicking or kneeing the head. If a competitor is found to have broken one of the rules of the competition, the referee has the authority to either give a warning, reduce the offender’s score, or, in extreme cases, even disqualify the offender from further participation in the competition.
Organization of the Sport
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which has its headquarters in Las Vegas, Nevada, is the premier mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company.
It is responsible for the production of hundreds of live events every year, and its pay-per-view cable television broadcasts have been seen by customers in around 130 countries across the globe. Zuffa Inc. made the acquisition of the organization in January 2001 for the price of $2 million and proceeded to rapidly develop it after the transaction.
In a short amount of time, Dana White, President of the UFC, became the public face of the sport. In 2016, it was reported that the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) will be sold to the entertainment agency WME-IMG for a total of $4 billion.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) made a move in 2006 to capitalize on the rising popularity of mixed martial arts by purchasing other mixed martial arts (MMA) organizations. These organizations included the World Fighting Alliance (WFA) and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC).
Additionally, in 2007, the UFC acquired the Pride Fighting Championships, which were located in Japan (known as Pride). The WFA was dissolved by the UFC, and the UFC went on to acquire several of the WFA’s best competitors, including Quinton “Rampage” Jackson, while maintaining the WEC as a separate organization until 2010. A so-called “Super Bowl” of mixed martial arts was supposed to be held yearly between Pride and UFC champions, but the Pride acquisition proved to be troublesome for the UFC’s plans. Although Pride was eventually dissolved as well, the Ultimate Fighting Championship did sign a number of the organization’s most accomplished fighters.
The Brazilian Royce Gracie was a pivotal figure in the rise of mixed martial arts (MMA) in the 1990s. The 6-foot 1-inch (1.85-meter) Gracie, who won UFC 1 in 1993 and weighed 180 pounds (82 kilograms), was especially adept at using his jujitsu skills while lying on his back to defend against attacks or to launch a submission hold aimed at his opponent’s joints.
Gracie was the first fighter to win the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The majority of the other early UFC competitors were one-dimensional, as shown by the bearded brawler David “Tank” Abbott. However, as the sport evolved, athletes started to learn striking, wrestling, and jujitsu, with many being inspired by Gracie’s success against larger opponents. Gracie was the first combatant to be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame, which took place in the year 2003.
Americans Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell were two of the sport’s early pioneers who rose to prominence during its formative years. The strong history that Couture had in both freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling was one of his selling points. At Oklahoma State University, where he wrestled for the Greco-Roman team, he won the national Greco-Roman championships a total of four times and was named an All-American by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) three times.
After claiming victory in the heavyweight category of the UFC, he moved down to the light heavyweight division and immediately established himself as the undisputed champion of that division. He defeated Liddell in their first fight in 2003, but went on to lose both of their rematches in 2005 and 2006. With his shaved Mohawk and head full of tattoos, Liddell became a terrifying poster boy for the sport throughout their trilogy of bouts, which received a great deal of media attention. Liddell was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2009, while Randy Couture was inducted into the hall in 2006.
For more information regarding OKBet Sports Featured, click here