Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a full contact combat sport that allows a wide variety of fighting techniques and skills, from a mixture of martial arts traditions and non-traditions, to be used in competitions. The rules allow the use of stiking and grappling techniques, both while standing and on the ground. Such competitions allow martial artists of different backgrounds to compete.
The roots of mixed martial arts can be traced back to various mixed style contests that took place throughout Europe, Japan and the Pacific Rim during the early 1900s. Modern MMA competition emerged in 1993 with the founding of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, although professional MMA events had been held in Japan by Shooto starting back in 1989. Originally organized with the intention of finding the most effective martial arts for real unarmed combat situations, competitors were pitted against one another with minimal rules for safety. Later promoters adopted many additional rules aimed at increasing safety for competitors and to promote mainstream acceptance of the sport. The name mixed martial arts was coined by Rick Blume, president and CEO of Battlecade, in 1995. Following these changes, the sport has seen increased popularity with pay per view reach rivaling boxing and WWE.
Fighting Championship (UFC) is currently the
top promoting company of MMA globally. The
United States based company has held numerous
fighting events internationally and hosts many
of the world's top fighters under contract. The
company was first inspired by vale tudo
competitions held in Brazil, and held its first
event in Denver, Colorado in 1993. After
showcasing its first events, the company faced
political backlash for its barbarity. Since then
it has gained in popularity and main stream
media coverage by adopting stricter rules and
becoming sanctioned by State Athletic
Commissions. The company's elite status was
secured in 2007 with the purchase of Japanese
rival Pride Fighting Championship. Many fans and
experts view the purchase as a monumental change
in the sport of MMA.