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MMA is a full contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques, from a mixture of martial arts traditions and non-traditions, to be used in competitions. The rules allow the use of striking and grappling techniques, both while standing and on the ground. Such competitions allow martial artists of different backgrounds to compete.

MMA can be traced to mixed style contests throughout Europe, Japan & the Pacific Rim during the early 1900s; the Gracie family's vale tudo martial arts tournaments in Brazil starting in the 1920s; and early mixed martial arts matches (known as Kakutougi in Japan) hosted by Antonio Inoki in Japan in the 1970s. The sport gained international exposure and widespread publicity in the United States in 1993, when Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter Royce Gracie handily won the first Ultimate Fighting Championship tournament, subduing three challengers in a total of just five minutes,sparking a revolution in the martial arts. Meanwhile in Japan continued interest in the sport resulted in the creation of the Pride Fighting Championships in 1997.

The movement that led to the creation of the UFC, and Pride was rooted in two interconnected subcultures. First were the vale tudo events in Brazil, followed by the Japanese shoot wrestling shows. Vale tudo began in the 1920s with the "Gracie challenge" issued by Carlos Gracie and Hélio Gracie and upheld later on by descendants of the Gracie family.In Japan in the 1970s, a series of mixed martial arts matches were hosted by Antonio Inoki, a former star of New Japan Pro Wrestling; this inspired the shoot-style movement in Japanese professional wrestling, which eventually led to the formation of the first mixed martial arts organizations, such as Shooto, which was formed in 1985
Techniques utilized in mixed martial arts competition generally fall into two categories: striking techniques (such as kicks, knees and punches) and grappling techniques (such as clinch holds, pinning holds, submission holds, sweeps, takedowns and throws). Although sanctioning bodies such as the IFFCF have rules and regulations for MMA, rules may vary between promotions. While the legality of some techniques (such as elbow strikes, headbutts and spinal locks) may vary, there is a near universal ban on techniques such as biting, strikes to the groin, eye-gouging, fish-hooking and small joint manipulation.

Today, mixed martial artists must cross-train in a variety of styles to counter their opponent's strengths and remain effective in all the phases of combat. For instance, a stand-up fighter will have little opportunity to use their skills against a submission artist who has also trained in take downs. Many traditional disciplines remain popular as ways for a fighter to improve aspects of their game.
Martial Arts Discipline Martial Arts Styles
Stand-Up Arts In MMA Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Boxing, Karate
Wrestling Arts In MMA Collegiate Wrestling, Greco-Roman Wrestling,
Ground Fighting In MMA Brazilian Jujutsu, Shuai Jiao, Sambo

There are 9 different weight classes. These 9 weight classes include
flyweight (up to 125 lb / 57 kg),
bantamweight (126–135 lb / 61 kg),
featherweight (136–145 lb / 66 kg),
lightweight (146–155 lb / 70 kg),
welterweight (156–170 lb / 77 kg),
middleweight (171–185 lb / 84 kg),
light heavyweight (186–205 lb / 93 kg),
heavyweight (206–265 lb / 120 kg),
super heavyweight heavier then 265 pounds (120 kg).

Small, open-fingered gloves were introduced to protect fists in punches, reduce the occurrence of cuts (and stoppages due to cuts) and encourage fighters to use their hands for striking to allow more captivating matches. Time limits were established to avoid long fights with little action where competitors conserved their strength. Matches without time limits also complicated the airing of live events. The time limits in most professional fights are three 5 minute rounds, and championship fights are normally five 5 minute rounds. Similar motivations produced the "stand up" rule, where the referee can stand fighters up if it is perceived that both are resting on the ground or not advancing toward a dominant position.

Many places have a "no elbow policy" for amateurs to help protect the young fighters from serious injury by cuts or concussions. The use of a "12-6" elbow has been banned by several organizations along with restrictions on the use of knees to a downed opponent, dictated by one person having a hand, arm, or knee on the ground. Headbutt are also widely prohibited because as technique that required little effort and could quickly open cuts that might cause a fight to be stopped due to injury rather than because there was a winner.

Victory in a match is normally gained either by the judges' decision after an allotted amount of time has elapsed, a stoppage by the referee (for example if a competitor can not defend himself intelligently) or the fight doctor (due to an injury), a submission, by a competitor's cornerman throwing in the towel, or by knockout.

Knockout (KO): as soon as a fighter becomes unconscious due to strikes, his opponent is declared the winner. As MMA rules allow ground fighting, the fight is stopped to prevent further injury to an unconscious fighter.

Submission: a fighter may admit defeat during a match by:
a tap on the opponent's body or mat/floor
a verbal announcement/ verbal tap

Technical Knockout (TKO)
Referee stoppage: The ref may stop a match in progress if:
a fighter becomes dominant to the point where the opponent can not intelligently defend himself and is taking a lot of damage
a fighter appears to be unconscious from a submission hold or due to a strike
a fighter appears to have a significant injury such as a cut or a broken bone

Doctor Stoppage: the referee will call for a time out if a fighter's ability to continue is in question as a result of apparent injuries, such as a large cut. The ring doctor will inspect the fighter and stop the match if the fighter is deemed unable to continue safely, rendering the opponent the winner. However, if the match is stopped as a result of an injury from illegal actions by the opponent, either a disqualification or no contest will be issued instead.

Corner stoppage: a fighter's corner men may announce defeat on the fighter's behalf by throwing in the towel during the match in progress or between rounds.

Decision: if the match goes the distance, then the outcome of the bout is determined by three judges. The judging criteria are organization-specific.

Forfeit: a fighter or his representative may forfeit a match prior to the beginning of the match, thereby losing the match.

Disqualification: a "warning" will be given when a fighter commits a foul or illegal action or does not follow the referee's instruction. Three warnings will result in a disqualification. Moreover, if a fighter is injured and unable to continue due to a deliberate illegal technique from his opponent, the opponent will be disqualified.

No Contest: in the event that both fighters commit a violation of the rules, or a fighter is unable to continue due to an injury from an accidental illegal technique, the match will be declared a "No Contest".

Mixed martial arts promotions typically require that male fighters wear shorts as the only permissible attire, thus precluding the use of gi or fighting kimono to inhibit submission holds.
The need for flexibility in the legs combined with durability prompted the creation of various fighting shorts brands, which then spawned a range of mixed martial arts clothing and casual wear available to the public.

While competition in the sport is occasionally depicted as brutal by the media, there had never been a death or crippling injury in a sanctioned event in North America until the death of Sam Vasquez on November 30, 2007.This was the third verified fatality in MMA

A study by Johns Hopkins University concluded, "the overall injury rate [excluding injury to the brain] in MMA competitions is now similar to other combat sports [involving striking], including boxing. Knockout rates are lower in MMA competitions than in boxing. This suggests a reduced risk of traumatic brain injury in MMA competitions when compared to other events involving striking."


Women Fighters
The sport of mixed martial arts has female athletes. However, there are few professional mixed martial arts organizations that invite women to compete. Although women are not as prominent as men in mixed martial arts, there has been a growing awareness of women in the sport due to popular female fighters and personalities such as Gina Carano.


Randy Duane Couture (born June 22, 1963) is an American mixed martial artist, Greco-Roman wrestler, actor, former collegiate wrestler, and the former heavyweight champion of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Couture is one of only two UFC fighters to have held a championship title in two different divisions (heavyweight and light heavyweight) while in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (the other fighter being BJ Penn), as well as the only five-time champion in UFC history.

Couture has competed in 15 title fights, a record. Couture is a member of the UFC Hall of Fame, and many consider him to be the most popular fighter in MMA history.

The Expendables as Toll Road
Big Stan as Carnahan.
Redbelt as Dylan Flynn.
Invincible as 'Toruci' Player #1
The Scorpion King 2: Rise of a Warrior as Sargon.(Couture's voice was deemed unacceptable by the producers due to lack of "vocal gravitas" and was digitally modified for the entire movie)
Cradle 2 the Grave as Fighter #8.
Today You Die as Vincent's Bodyguard.
Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 video game as Commander Warren Fuller.
The King of Queens episode "Fight Schlub" as Priority Plus Driver
Two episodes of The Unit as Sgt. Strickland



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