What is Mixed Martial Art

What is Mixed Martial Art?

Have you ever watched UFC matches and wondered what type of combat sport it was? Those fights are called Mixed Martial Art (MMA) and UFC is one of its top promoters. MMA has gained prominence over the years. In this article, I will answer the question, “What is Mixed Martial Arts?” and provide other relevant information.

Mixed Martial Arts is a full-contact/hybrid combat sport that combines techniques from different sports, including wrestling, boxing, karate, judo, jujitsu, and Muay Thai. So, if you’re watching an MMA match, you are watching all of these sports in one.

MMA involves using striking and grappling fighting techniques in an octagonal cage, MMA ring, or any other type of cage. It’s a mixed-sex combat sport, and you could frequently watch male and female fighters fight in the same event.

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Rules

MMA has a few rules just like every other sport. The rules aim to protect the fighter’s health, eradicate people’s perception of its barbarism and lawlessness, and make the sport look more legitimate.

Mixed Martial Artists

Here are the unified rules of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA):

1. Weight classes

Mixed Martial Artists fight based on their weight classification, which are as follows.

  • Super heavyweight – 266 lbs and higher
  • Heavyweight – up to 265 lbs (120.2 kg)
  • Light heavyweight – up to 205 lbs (93.0 kg)
  • Middleweight – up to 185 lbs (83.9 kg)
  • Welterweight – up to 170 lbs (77.1 kg)
  • Lightweight – up to 155 lbs (70.3 kg)
  • Featherweight – up to 145 lbs (65.8 kg)
  • Bantamweight – up to 135 lbs (61.2 kg)
  • Flyweight – up to 125 lbs (56.7 kg)

2. Wearing small, open-fingered gloves to protect fists, reduce cuts, and encourage fighters to strike with their hands instead of using their legs

MMA match

3. Three rounds per professional fight, while championship fights typically have up to five rounds

4. A time limit of five minutes per round

5. Medical examination of the blood for HIV, Hepatitis B, and C

MMA Fight Techniques

As said earlier, mixed martial arts involves combating with two techniques; Striking and grappling.

@RobWhittakerMMA Instagram

Striking has to do with kicks, knees, elbows, and punches while grappling involves submission holds, takedowns, clinch holds, throws, pinning holds, and sweeps.

So, MMA fighters have to cross-train to remain relevant and be able to compete with opponents of varied strengths.

Fouls in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Fights

Several acts likely lead to penalties in MMA fights, as they count as fouls. These include:

  • Pinching, clawing, or twisting the flesh of an opponent
  • Faking an injury and all forms of timidity
  • Biting or spitting at an opponent fighter
  • Small joint manipulation
  • Dropping an opponent forcefully onto the canvas, targeting their head or neck
  • Striking an opponent at the back of the head or spine
  • Intentionally placing a finger on an opponent’s wound, cut, or laceration
  • All kinds of throat strikes or grabbing an opponent’s trachea
  • Outstretching one or multiple fingers to an opponent’s eyes or face
  • All kinds of groin attacks
  • Kicking or kneeing a downed opponent’s head
  • Stomping a downed opponent
  • Fish hooking of all sorts
  • Holding the fighting area’s ropes or fence with fingers or toes
  • Downward-pointing elbow strike
  • Throwing an opponent out of the fighting area or ring just like in wrestling
  • Attacking an opponent after the bell has rang to signify the combat end
  • Holding an opponent’s shorts or gloves
  • Insulting or cursing an opponent in the fighting area
  • Pulling an opponent’s hair
  • All kinds of eye-gouging
  • Headbutting another fighter
  • Unheeding to the referee’s instructions
  • Unsportsmanly attitudes that inflict injury to an opponent
  • Attacking during the break or when an opponent is under the referee’s care

Related: List of African Fighters in the UFC.


MMA Promotions around the world

There are many MMA promotions worldwide. Out of their huge numbers, below are the top 10.

  • Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
  • ONE Championship
  • Konfrontacja Sztuk Walki (KSW)
  • M-1 Global
  • Cage Warriors
  • Invicta Fight Championships (IFC)
  • Bellator MMA
  • Legacy Fighting Alliance (LFA)
  • Rizin Fighting Federation
  • The Professional Fighters League (PFL)

Top 30 Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) Fighters

Here is a list of the most popular Mixed Martial Artists worldwide:

Top 20 MMA Fighters – male

  • Danny Abbadi – Lightweight
  • Nariman Abbassov – Lightweight
  • Tank Abbott – Heavyweight
  • Hamdy Abdelwahab – Heavyweight
  • Shamil Abdurakhimov – Heavyweight
  • Daichi Abe – Welterweight
  • Papy Abedi – Middleweight
  • Klidson Abreu – Light Heavyweight
  • Scott Adams – Heavyweight
  • John Adajar – Welterweight
  • Ricardo Abreu – Middleweight
  • Juan Adams – Heavyweight
  • Anthony Adams – Middleweight
  • Zarrukh Adashev – Flyweight
  • Israel Adesanya – Middleweight
  • Fabio Agu – Middleweight
  • Sam Adkins – Light Heavyweight
  • Nick Agallar – Lightweight
  • Marcello Aguiar – Welterweight
  • Kevin Aguilar – Featherweight

Top 10 MMA Fighters – female

  • Mariya Agapova – Women’s Flyweight
  • Jessica Aguilar – Women’s Strawweight
  • Lovethpatra Young – Strawweight
  • Juliet Ukah – Heavyweight
  • Amanda Nunes – Bantamweight, Featherweight
  • Miesha Tate – Flyweight
  • Valentina Shevchenko – Flyweight
  • Rose Namajunas – Flyweight
  • Carla Esparza – Strawweight
  • Cris Cyborg – Featherweight

Were you enlightened reading this post to the end? If yes, do not hesitate to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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