Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a full-contact sport that involves striking, grappling and ground fighting. It incorporates techniques from different combat sports that are practiced around the world.
MMA evolved from various ancient combat sports, such as the Greek martial art of pankration. These ancient mixed martial arts fights took place in a square ring, often forcing fighters into close-quarters combat. These ancient fights allowed a variety of attacks, including strikes, throws and joint locks. However, head butting, eye gouging and biting were prohibited.
The modern form of MMA was first developed in the 19th century, with French martial arts like savate and catch wrestling gaining popularity. These sports combined elements from different combat sports to challenge traditionalist views of individual martial arts. Savateurs regularly tested their skills by competing against bare-knuckle boxers and karate fighters. Catch wrestlers also used their sport to test their skills against different styles of wrestling.
Today, MMA is widely accepted as a legitimate combat sport with a large and diverse fan base. The sport has garnered worldwide attention, with a television audience in the millions and gate receipts of more than US$7 million at a single event. MMA is also taught in schools around the world and has become a popular recreational activity for athletes of all ages.
In order to compete in MMA, athletes must meet certain requirements. All fighters must be between 18 and 35 years old, weigh at least 185 pounds and have no medical conditions that would negatively impact their performance or cause injury. They must also agree to undergo regular physical examinations and drug testing.
The rules of MMA vary from country to country and fighting promotion to fighting promotion. However, the UFC has been instrumental in pushing for a standard set of MMA rules. These unified rules are now used by most organizations.
MMA fights are held in a closed area, called a “cage” or a “ring.” Fighters wear padded gloves and use punching, kicking, throwing, submission grappling, knee strikes and elbow strikes. The winner is determined by knocking out an opponent or causing them to submit (tapping with their hand or verbally submitting). If a match is not won through submission or knockout, the fight ends with three judges scoring each round according to the rules of boxing. The winner of the round receives 10 points, while the loser may only earn nine or fewer points.
Despite its popularity, very little scientific research has been conducted on the sport of MMA. The research that has been undertaken has focused on the training methods of MMA competitors, with limited work exploring the physiological profile of these athletes. There is a general consensus that MMA athletes must be in excellent physical condition to perform at a high level. However, due to the diversity of MMA fighting styles, shared data patterns do not exist and therefore an understanding of the unique physiological needs of MMA athletes remains unclear. This article aims to address this by reviewing the current state of research into the sport and by exploring possible future directions. MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)