Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), popularly known as cage fighting or ultimate fighting is a full contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques andskills, from a mixture of other combat sports, to be used in competitions. The rules allow the use of both striking as well as grappling techniques, both whilestanding and while on the ground. Such competitions allow fighters of different backgrounds to compete.
The roots of modern mixed martial arts can be traced back tovarious mixed style contests that took place throughout Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim during the early 1900s. The combat sport of Vale Tudo that had developed in Brazilfrom the 1920s was brought to the United States by the Gracie family in 1993 with the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Professional MMA events hadalso been held in Japan by Shooto starting back in 1989. In due course the more dangerous Vale Tudo style bouts of the early UFCs were made safer with the implementationof additional rules, leading to the popular regulated form of MMA seen today. Originally promoted as a competition with the intention of finding the most effectivemartial arts for real unarmed combat situations, competitors were pitted against one another with minimal rules. Later promoters adopted many additional rules aimedat increasing safety for competitors and to promote mainstream acceptance of the sport.
The name mixed martial arts was coined by Rick Blume, president and CEOof Battlecade, in 1995. Following these changes, the sport has seen increased popularity with pay per view reach rivalling boxing and professional wrestling.
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