As a fan of MMA, I get questions about the sport all the time. Many of my friends and people that I talk to regarding this subject either have a vague understanding of what MMA is or they think that “UFC” is the name of the sport. Because the general public largely isn’t familiar with MMA it usually is perceived as barbaric and not “fit” for western society. Critics of the sport have even gone on to say that ” it is nothing more than human cockfighting”. Even the casual fan may not truly understand what MMA is. They only watch the big pay per view fights and hear names like Conor Mcgregor and Nate Diaz. These are the fans that expect every fight to be an all-out brawl or boo when the two fighters are taking their time, feeling each other out.
MMA is the true sport of fighting. Boxing, while requiring extreme skill, only allows punching. Wrestling only allows takedowns. Ju Jit Su is all about submissions and different types of locks/holds. And kickboxing doesn’t allow the fight to be taken to the ground. Looking at all of these sports individually, they only cover one aspect of fighting. MMA takes the best from these different styles and puts them together. Not every technique used in boxing or wrestling or any other sport of fighting can be applied in MMA. But if a fighter is better skilled in a particular style they may have the advantage in different situations. For example, if the fight is taken to the ground and one of the fighters is a black belt in Ju Jit Su, he has a significant advantage in that situation. He can maneuver his body and even his opponent’s body into a submission such as a rear-naked choke or a lock such as an Americana.
MMA isn’t a no holds barred contest. In many ways, it is an art. Fighters have to take their time and feel their opponents out. It takes a level of intellect to gauge the distance between oneself and one’s opponent. Then to time the strikes perfectly with power, precision, and placement. All while keeping in mind and avoiding, striking and takedown attempts by their opponents. To sum it all up when taken to the ground they have to use strategy in order to both be on the offensive and defensive side in order to grapple their opponent.
While MMA may be its own sport, the UFC is what made it popular. The organization first started out in order to see which fighting style was the best. At the time there wasn’t any concept of mixing fighting styles. Each fighter was an expert in their own respective discipline and would try their best to utilize what they knew to win a fight. This was the start of the sport and the birth of now one of the worlds biggest organizations.
I hope this piece has changed any naysayers opinions on MMA.