What’s MMA?

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Mixed martial arts is a combat sport that combines techniques from different martial arts. Bruce Lee popularized it by creating a unique fighting style. The Ultimate Fighting Championship established it as an official sport in 1992. There are few rules, but certain moves are not allowed. There are three phases during a fight: stand up, clinch, and ground. Fighters use small gloves and can win by knockout, submission, or medical stoppage. Fouls can result in disqualification. Pankration, a form of MMA, is being considered as an Olympic sport.

Mixed martial arts, also known as no-holds-barred fighting, is a combat sport that mixes techniques from different martial arts, Greco-Roman wrestling, boxing, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. While this form of fighting has been around since the late 1800s, it was Bruce Lee who popularized the movement by creating a unique fighting style that combined everything from Western boxing to karate to swordsmanship. Mixed martial arts did not become an official sport until the Ultimate Fighting Championship was established in the United States in 1992. Pankration, a form originally practiced in Greece as far back as 648 BC, is now under consideration to become an Olympic sport .

There are very few rules in mixed martial arts, all of which have been established over the past decade. Before that, it was a brutal combat sport where the health of the fighter was always at risk. The new rules mandate that certain moves, including head butting, biting and eye piercing, are not allowed. Attacks on the groin area, kidneys and windpipe are also prohibited. There is no worldwide association that presides over this form of fighting, so the rules vary from country to country. Amateur fights usually have a stricter set of rules, in order to protect the health of the fighters.

There are basically three phases during a mixed martial arts fight: stand up fight, clinch fight and ground fight. Standing fighting involves techniques such as kicking, punching, knees and elbowing the opponent, while ground fighting involves keeping the opponent down through the use of holds. Clinch fighting means holding the opponent, both to prevent strikes and to gain dominance while on the ground.

Most fighters use small gloves during fights. Both gloves with open fingers and closed gloves similar to those used in boxing are allowed, depending on the type of fight, the country and the weight category of the fighters. There are several ways to win in mixed martial arts: knockout (KO), technical knockout (TKO), medical stoppage, and submission, where a fighter voluntarily admits defeat. Referees may also stop a fight if they believe one of the fighters has sustained a significant injury. Numerous fouls or warnings, such as illegal strikes or throwing the opponent out of the ring, can result in disqualification.

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