The growing popularity of MMA as sports calls for better understanding and thorough information about it. Unlike the common notion of MMA being an unruly and savage sport in which the opponents try to kill each other off, it is a disciplined and rule-following fair play.
MMA or Mixed Martial Arts, is full-contact combat support, the mixes up at least two the fight disciplines. These martial arts styles or branches consist of beatboxing, boxing, karate, jujitsu, Muay Thai, or Taekwondo. As a disciplined sport, it requires proper sportswear and equipment.
Let us take a look at some of the strange and peculiar MMA facts!
The Octagonal Ring Inspo!
Octagonal ring for MMA originated in the UFC. Before the initial launch, several propositions were under consideration. Some of them were as harsh as the utilization of electric fencing around the ring or keeping it around.
Then the launch saw an octagonal cage which has eight sides. Some believe that the reason or inspiration behind the eight-side cage was the Chuck Norris film. Gracie’s family is also known to contribute towards the earliest developments of how the ring should be.
In addition to that, the octagonal cage around the fighting arena was to add the aesthetic effect of a street fight. It was for drawing in more audience to the game. Octagon shape, however, is for the safety of the player. The wide angles prevent the participants from getting cornered during that fight, that can happen with blunt corners such as squares.
Grandfather Of MMA- The Most Prominent Influence
Among several names, one name that stands out and has essentially shaped the picture MMA, as it is today is Bruce Lee. We have all thoroughly loved and enjoyed his artistic display of martial arts, but that was not all to it. Known as the father or grandfather of MMA, Lee’s principles resulted in establishing the mixed martial arts.
He was the first one that said all forms should not be called martial arts, and there should be a distinction. His professionalism, respect for the opponent, and astounding judgment regarding the fight are also the driving force behind today’s MMA.
MMA In Pop Culture
One reason for the growing popularity of MMA is its representation in pop culture. When mass media take up an idea, it becomes highly adaptable and widespread. Fan base comes to being, and mobs of people get attracted to the specific sport in no time. Red belt, Locked down, Warrior, Only God Forgives, and many others are representations of the game where mainstreaming of MMA is rooted.
There have also been books written about MMA, some of the names, worth mentioning include, Real and Consumed, and Why I Fight: The Belt is just an accessory.
Researches also prove the same facts regarding exponential proliferation and growth of mixed martial arts. Reality TV shows and Video game releases have also contributed towards franchising and acceptability as a legitimate sport.
The Origin Of MMA
Although it might seem that Mixed Art is a new genre of the fight which has never existed before, the reality is far from it. The roots of the origin of MMA date back to the times of glory of the ancient Greek Empire. Pioneers of the Olympic game, and home to the marathon, Greek roots also connect with the Mixed Martial Arts.
High-intensity combats as sports were reasonably popular in the olden days. One such technique is similar to MMA’s and has been crowned as the originating point of modern-day MMA. It was initially a war technique that later became part of Olympic sport. It was a mix of hand-to-hand fight and grappling.
There were only two rules enforced: no biting, and no eye-gouging!
Oldest MMA Organization
Despite the Greek roots, the birth of MMA as a department or conducting body did originate in the same place. Shooto, a Japanese Organization, was the first form of MMA establishment. It came into being in 1985. In those days, it was not purely MMA that did not practice the rules and techniques of it.
The Shooto dealt with a fighting system that was initially derived from the shoot wrestling. Thus, it can be said that the origin wasn’t pure MMA but came from wrestling. At those times its participants were known as shooters. With time new techniques and rules found their way into the shoot wrestling system. It grew and took the form of modern-day MMA.
Today Shooto’s practices are strictly MMA.
All UFC Are MMA, But Not All MMA Are UFC.
MMA stands for “Mixed Martial Art”, while UFC stands for “Ultimate Fighting Championship”. These terms may seem interchangeable, but in reality, they are not. MMA is the name of sport, while UFC is an organization, the most well-known one that promotes MMA fights. The analogy is just like football and FIFA. These terms are also not interchangeable.
From this comparison, it is reasonable to call all UFC fights MMA but not all MMA fights are UFC as other organizations organize MMA fights. For example, ONE championship, Bellator MMA, Pancrase, Pride Fighting Championship, Strikeforce etc. are all MMA organizations that promote MMA, and regularly organize fights and titles. Therefore MMA should not be confused with one of its promoting organizations.
There Are Rules And Fouls And True Sportsmanship.
There is a common misconception that sports like MMA do not have any fixed rules and regulations, but the case is quite the opposite. “The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts” is a set of rules most common in different MMA fights. These rules include things like the fighting ring area; specific details amount other head wrapping techniques, rules for declaring fouls and judging methods. There are about twenty-five official fouls in MMA that can result in point deductions. Points are crucial for winning especially in the final round.
Moreover, MMA fighters are true sportsmen, and they show respect to their opponents before and after the fights. They perfectly embody the spirit of sportsmanship in and out of the arena. Shaking hands, and hugging each other in a friendly environment is expected when they are not combating.
The Super HeavyWeight Fight And Heaviest Competitor
MMA fights have different categories based on the fighters’ weights. The super heavyweight category includes the range of 251-265 lbs. In UFC 28, in November 2000, the first and only super heavyweight fight in UFC history took place. The match was between Josh Barnett and Gan McGee and ended in Barnett’s victory by TKO in the second round.
In addition to that, the weight range, we have another shocking fact for you.
Emmanuel Yarborough, the mighty is the heaviest UCF competitor that has ever existed. With the weight of 882 lbs. he is at the top of all MMA fighters in terms of that. In addition to that, he is also the world’s heaviest athlete according to the Guinness book of world record.
Some Long-Standing Winning Streak!
Luck or utter dedications, there are several mentionable names if we talk about the winning streaks of MMA players. One word that became notably mainstream in the mass media is Khabib. He stands undefeated with one of the longest bars of all time. We don’t know how many previous records he will break, as it is an ongoing active record.
Another worth-mentioning name is Barao, who holds an extraordinary record of 32 wins and no fight lost. His streak is nine years long with one no-contest. Lastly, the record for 32 consecutive wins is Igor’s. The record’s time is from 1996 to 2000. The in wins include one draw and one no-contest.
The Belts Are Real Gold!
We have always been a little too curious about the winner’s belt and what it is made of. One of the last bizarre facts is that it is real gold! The token of appreciation that the winner of any MMA game, especially, UFC, receives in real gold. The gold part is not just a mere paint or cheap coating, but a real deal.
Dave Millican and Javier Cortez are designers of the belts for most championships. Each design and plating is different for a different match. These belts are meticulously crafted and cost thousands of dollars.
For the enthusiasts that want to own a belt, there is good news for them. You can get your belt crafted with the price as low as a thousand dollars.
MMA is one of the fastest emerging sports these days. The championships and the players are getting worldwide recognition. Moreover, the common notions about martial art as a sport are vanishing, and a newer, relatively positive image is emerging. With that said, there is a lot more to know about this new sport. Stay tuned to find out more!
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