Only if you live in a cave and you do not have access to the Internet, have you not heard of Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globe Award ceremony mainly aimed at criticizing Donald Trump. But also in her speech there was a derogatory phrase about football and mixed martial arts, which, according to her, are not arts either. So is it possible to call mixed martial arts (MMA) “Art” in the high sense of the word. Like the theater, battles were the only kind of evening entertainment. The sight that was seen once ended and people could only share their hyperbolic emotions. Combat sports were among the first types of spectacles that people wanted to see on film, just like theater.
There are also sad, dramatic stories in fights: a legend of sport that will not go to rest, a young promising fighter who decides to fight in a suicidal style, and as a result becomes so “punched” that he falls from the wind. No art can only be inspiring and cause happy emotions, but this is the function of art – to cause emotions. Virtually every fan of combat sports has a moment in life when he literally had tears in his eyes, from the drama of the moment in the ring or in a cage. But not every fan will be able to say that some movie has caused the same emotions.
In fact, the origins of MMA go into a very, very distant past, in the days before our era. The ancient Greeks competed in the pankration at the first Olympics. You can remember and gladiator fights. In modern times until the 1990s, MMA did not have any popularity or special development in the world. The turning point was the formation and development of large promotional organizations.
Mixed-style fights can’t be considered “fights without rules,” because, like any other sports competition, they are held according to certain rules. There are more than 30 forbidden actions in MMA, such as strikes to the groin, to the spine, to the throat, poking the eyes, grabbing and manipulating the fingers, and so on.
Possible outcomes of the fight
- Knockout (only as a result of an allowed strike)
- Voluntary surrender (verbally or by tapping the opponent with the palm or covering)
- Technical knockout (one of the fighters can’t continue the fight, the referee or the doctor or the “corner” second signal about it)
- Judges decision (unanimous, separate, draw)
Every fighter in MMA has his own tactics, his own strengths. In many respects it depends on what sport the athlete has transferred to MMA. However, tactics can be roughly divided on the “first floor” and on the “second floor”.
Since MMA is a commercial sport, there is a need for a business scheme – promotion. These are organizations that represent fighters and organize competitions are engaged in advertising, promotion, and so on. The best promotion – the company of the world (and the richest) is of course the UFC. There are collected the best fighters of their weight categories. Actually, this is the highest stage of the career, and all the fighters of the world dream to get there. Company Bellator can be put on the second step in the world. Another noteworthy organization is WSOF.
UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) – today it is considered to be the most successful and popular sports organization in the world of MMA. The history of the UFC starts in the early 1990s. Then the organizers thought only about holding a single sports event. It was caused by the increased interest of the American public to various martial arts. The first tournament was held in Denver on November 12, 1993.
About 85 thousand TV viewers and almost 3 thousand MMA fans present in the arena, witnessed how the first champion of the organization was the representative of the famous Brazilian school of jujutsu Reuss Gracie. The first success achieved was the reason for the subsequent organization of similar tournaments. Gradually, star fighters began to take part in fights. Today the organization has full-fledged champions who are forced to defend their titles.
The modern version of the Ultimate Fighting Championship includes 3 or 5 round matches. Longer battles are held for the champion title. Despite the notion of “fighting without rules”, the Ultimate Fighting Championship has its own prohibitions. It is impossible to cause self-harm to the opponent by the type of blows to the throat, eyes, mouth, spine, back of the head and other parts of the body that can be seriously injured.
UFC, at the moment, is recognized as the strongest MMA championship in the world. Participating in organization tournaments is not only honorable, but also financially beneficial, since you can earn big money here. This is the most popular World Martial Arts Championship, and that is why many will find out first about the UFC, and then only about MMA. Hence is wrong understanding of these concepts.
Cage is younger platform for competitions. In 1993, when the organizers of the first UFC tournament only came up with a new sport, they turned to art director Jason Casson, inviting him to design an octagonal cell for fighting. At that time, this tournament was positioned as a semi-underground event “without rules” and the cell, according to their idea, was supposed to add brutality. According to the company’s management, they also wanted to negate the advantage of representatives of any of the martial arts schools. If the tournament was held in the ring – the advantage would be boxers, and on the mat – wrestling schools. Therefore, it was decided to create a fundamentally new platform.
And after the success of the first tournament, it never occurred to anyone to change the appearance of the arena, the UFC even patented the name Octagon. Although in 2001 they, for the sake of development and unification of sports, lifted the ban on holding other tournaments in a cell, only the UFC cell has the right to be called “Octagon”.