Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a multi-dimensional, full contact combat sport in which competitors utilize a variety of fighting techniques to defeat their challenger.
The roots of MMA can be traced back to the ancient Greek Olympics, when Pankration (meaning "sport of all holds") combined the best techniques and skills of multiple disciplines by incorporating striking, boxing, kicking, wrestling and submissions to find a champion. The sport was then revitalized years later in Brazil through the Vale Tudo ("anything goes") competition. Today, thanks to the popularity of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (U.F.C.), mixed martial arts has, once again, become a dominant sporting event.
Once portrayed as a bloody and brutal competition, mixed martial arts today is considered, by many, to be one of the most demanding and challenging sports in the world. Competitors are world class athletes who are required to master multiple martial arts disciplines and seamlessly incorporate them while in intense competition. Physical and mental strength are equally as important and intense training is required on a level unparalleled to most other sports. Even then, one mistake can mean the difference between victory and defeat.
Mixed martial arts promotions are required to meet the strictest of safety requirements and rules today focus on fighter safety. Now a true mainstream sport, MMA is formally practiced in Canada by children as young as four years old. The most effective and highly practiced mixed martial arts techniques include: striking (stand-up), grappling (Jiu Jitsu), wrestling and ground fighting.
As the sport evolved, it became evident that the rules needed to evolve with it. Fighter safety became a priority along with promoting exciting, engaging events for maximum entertainment.
Rule changes were so effective that the sport saw a significant decrease in athlete injuries; this allowed fighters to train more consistently and better develop their skills. The result is not only a safer, more entertaining sport but today's mixed martial artists are considered true professional athletes, having more highly developed skills (overall) and better conditioning than the original U.F.C. athletes from the early 1990s.
Today mixed martial arts is legal in 43 of the 50 U.S. states and currently under review in at least three of the remaining seven states. Canada has begun to follow suit; MMA is legal in seven provinces and under review in three (the other three provinces do not have an athletic commission).
The primary concern for legalizing MMA seems to be fighter safety and lack of true education to the sport. Mixed martial arts is now not only the fastest growing sport in the world, but considered to be a true mainstream sport with world class athletes.
TYPES OF MIXED MARTIAL ARTS
Can include punching, kicking, elbows and knees; can be performed during stand up fighting and ground fighting.
Common forms include: boxing, karate, kickboxing, muay thai, taw kwondo
Techniques applied to an opponent to gain an advantage or escape dangerous situations (Wikipedia); general term that encompasses several disciplines; does not include striking
Can include: clinching, takedowns, throws, submissions, pinning and controlling, escapes and sweeps
A form of martial arts that focuses on grappling, ground fighting and submission holds; utilized to counter the advantage larger, stronger opponents may have striking
One of the oldest forms of martial arts; involves grappling-type techniques such as clinch fighting, throws, takedowns and holds
Types of wrestling - Greco-Roman, Freestyle, Submission=
Hand-to-hand combat on the ground; often referred to as ground work or ground game; includes striking
The MFC employs the Unified rules of mixed martial arts http://elitemmareferees.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=50&Itemid=63. Fighters compete in a ring, however beginning at MFC 29 in Windsor, Ontario April 9th will mark the first time their events have taken place in a cage. Starting in 2010 fighters will be released from the company if they pull guard during a fight due to the organization wanting to appeal to a wider audience.
Every round in MFC competition is five minutes in duration. Title matches have five such rounds, and non-title matches have three. There is a one-minute rest period between rounds Weight divisions
See also: mixed martial arts weight classes http://www.mmawiz.com/posts/289:Mixed_Martial_Arts_Weight_Classes
The MFC currently uses six weight classes:
|Weight class name||Upper limit|
|in pounds (lb)||in kilograms (kg)|
|Super Heavyweight||No weight limit|
All competitors must fight in approved shorts, without shoes. Shirts, gi’s or long pants (including gi pants) are not allowed. Fighters must use approved light-weight open-fingered gloves, that include at least 1" of padding around the knuckles, (110 to 170 g / 4 to 6 ounces) that allow fingers to grab. These gloves enable fighters to punch with less risk of an injured or broken hand, while retaining the ability to grab and grapple.
- Submission: a fighter clearly taps on the mat or his opponent or verbally submits.
- Technical Submission: A technical submission is achieved when the referee stops a fight due to an injury resulting from a submission hold or due to a fighter going unconscious from a choke.
- Knockout: a fighter falls from a legal blow and is either unconscious or unable to immediately continue.
- Technical Knockout(TKO): If a fighter cannot continue, the fight is ended as a technical knockout. Technical knockouts can be classified into three categories:
- Referee stoppage: (the referee determines a fighter cannot "intelligently defend" himself; if warnings to the fighter to improve his position or defense go unanswered—generally, two warnings are given, about 5 seconds apart)
- Doctor stoppage (a ringside doctor due to injury or impending injury, as when blood flows into the eyes and blinds a fighter)
- Corner stoppage (a fighter's own corner-man signals defeat for their own fighter)
- Depending on scoring, a match may end as:Judges' Decision:
- Unanimous decision (all three judges score a win for fighter A)
- Majority decision (two judges score a win for fighter A, one judge scores a draw)
- Split decision (two judges score a win for fighter A, one judge scores a win for fighter B)
- Unanimous draw (all three judges score a draw)
- Majority draw (two judges score a draw, one judge scoring a win)
Note: In the event of a draw, it is not necessary that the fighters' total points be equal. However, in a unanimous or split draw, each fighter does score an equal number of win judgments from the three judges (0 or 1, respectively).A fight can also end in a technical decision, disqualification, forfeit, technical draw, or no contest. The latter two outcomes have no winners.
The ten-point must system is in effect for all fights; three judges score each round and the winner of each receives ten points, the loser nine points or fewer. If the round is even, both fighters receive ten points.
The Nevada State Athletic Commission currently lists the following as fouls:
- Head Butting
- Eye gouging of any kind
- Hair pulling
- Fish Hooking
- Groin attacks of any kind
- Putting a finger into any orifice or into and cut or laceration on an opponent (See gouging)
- Small joint manipulation
- Striking to the spine or the back of the head (see Rabbit punch)
- Striking downward using the point of the elbow (see Elbow strike)
- Throat strikes of any kind, including, without limitation, grabbing the trachea
- Clawing, pinching or twisting the flesh
- Grabbing the clavicle
- Kicking the head of a grounded opponent
- Kneeing the head of a grounded opponent
- Stomping a grounded opponent
- Kicking to the kidney with the heel
- Spiking an opponent to the canvas on his head or neck. (See pile driver)
- Throwing an opponent out of the ring or fenced area
- Holding the shorts or gloves of an opponent
- Spitting at an opponent
- Engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct that causes an injury to an opponent
- Holding the ropes or the fence
- Using abusive language in the ring or fenced area
- Attacking an opponent on or during the break
- Attacking an opponent who is under the care of the referee
- Attacking an opponent after the bell (horn) has sounded the end of a round
- Flagrantly disregarding the instructions of the referee
- Timidity, including, without limitation, avoiding contact with an opponent, intentionally or consistently dropping the mouthpiece or faking an injury
- Interference by the corner
- Throwing in the towel during competition
- Disqualification occurs after any combination of three of the fouls listed above or after a referee determines that a foul was intentional and flagrant.
When a foul is charged the referee may deduct one or more points as a penalty. If a foul incapacitates a fighter, then the match may end in a disqualification if the foul was intentional, or a no contest if unintentional. If a foul causes a fighter to be unable to continue later in the bout, it ends with a technical decision win to the injured fighter if the injured fighter is ahead on points, otherwise it is a technical draw.
- After a verbal warning the referee can stop the fighters and stand them up if they reach a stalemate on the ground (where neither are in a dominant or working towards one) position. If the referee pauses the match, it is resumed with the fighters in their prior positions.
- Grabbing the ring ropes brings a verbal warning, followed by an attempt by the referee to release the grab by pulling on the grabbing hand. If that attempt fails or if the fighter continues to hold the ropes, the referee may charge a foul.
- non-championship bouts are a maximum of 3 rounds. All championship bouts are a maximum of 5 rounds.
- A point is deducted from the offending competitor by the official scorekeeper
Only a referee can assess a foul. If the referee does not call the foul, judges shall not make the assessment on their own and cannot factor such into their scoring calculations
- A fouled fighter has up to five (5) minutes to recuperate