MMA or Mixed Martial Arts 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.
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.
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
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
a fighter appears to have a significant injury such as a cut or a broken
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
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
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
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.
Filmography 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