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On September 30, , the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board NJSACB began allowing mixed martial arts promoters to conduct events in New Jersey.
The first event was an IFC event titled Battleground held in Atlantic City. The intent was to allow the NJSACB to observe actual events and gather information to establish a comprehensive set of rules to regulate the sport effectively.
On April 3, , the NJSACB held a meeting to discuss the regulation of mixed martial arts events. This meeting attempted to unify the myriad rules and regulations which had been utilized by the different mixed martial arts organizations.
At this meeting, the proposed uniform rules were agreed upon by the NJSACB, several other regulatory bodies, numerous promoters of mixed martial arts events and other interested parties in attendance.
At the conclusion of the meeting, all parties in attendance were able to agree upon a uniform set of rules to govern the sport of mixed martial arts.
The rules adopted by the NJSACB have become the de facto standard set of rules for professional mixed martial arts across North America.
On July 30, , a motion was made at the annual meeting of the Association of Boxing Commissions to adopt these rules as the "Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts".
The motion passed unanimously. In November the United States Army began to sanction mixed martial arts with the first annual Army Combatives Championships held by the US Army Combatives School.
Canada formally decriminalized mixed martial arts with a vote on Bill S on June 5, The bill allows for provinces to have the power to create athletic commissions to regulate and sanction professional mixed martial arts bouts.
According to MMA portal Tapology. Since the UFC came to prominence in mainstream media in , and with their merger with Pride FC and purchases of WEC and Strikeforce , no companies have presented significant competition,  and the UFC is regarded as having most of the top ranked talent.
Some MMA promotions tend to exist more to build up prospects while others have a mix of prospects and veterans. LFA , CWFC ,  others exist to try to be the best in the world e.
ACB , ONE Championship. According to ScorecardMMA. Promo Score calculation is based on the strength of Events and Fighters that Promotion has at that time.
Promo Score has three main components:. As of May 26, the top 15 MMA promotions out of 41 ranked in the world are: .
There are hundreds of MMA training facilities throughout the world. These are the current top MMA Gyms in the world based on how many top ranked UFC fighters they currently train.
There are fighters, who train at over 80 different gyms, in the top 15 of the UFC's 10 divisions. The rankings are based on a system where a champion earns their gym 25 points, A 1 contender is 15, a 2 contender 10 and then a decrease in ranking equaling a decrease of 1 point until the ranking reaches From there, rankings 11—15 are each worth one point.
Web data traffic ranking leader Alexa Internet lists 40 online media outlets under its "MMA news and media" website category.
As of November 13, , the top 10 most popular websites covering the sport are: . As a result of an increased number of competitors, organized training camps, information sharing, and modern kinesiology , the understanding of the effectiveness of various strategies has been greatly improved.
UFC commentator Joe Rogan claimed that martial arts evolved more in the ten years following than in the preceding years combined. The high profile of modern MMA promotions such as UFC and Pride has fostered an accelerated development of the sport.
The early s saw a wide variety of traditional styles competing in the sport. In the early s, practitioners of grappling based styles such as Brazilian jiu-jitsu dominated competition in the United States.
Practitioners of striking based arts such as boxing , kickboxing , and karate , who were unfamiliar with submission grappling, proved to be unprepared to deal with its submission techniques.
This increase of cross-training resulted in fighters becoming increasingly multidimensional and well-rounded in their skill-sets.
The new hybridization of fighting styles can be seen in the technique of "ground and pound" developed by wrestling-based UFC pioneers such as Dan Severn , Don Frye and Mark Coleman.
These wrestlers realized the need for the incorporation of strikes on the ground as well as on the feet, and incorporated ground striking into their grappling-based styles.
Mark Coleman stated at UFC 14 that his strategy was to "Ground him and pound him", which may be the first televised use of the term.
Since the late s, both strikers and grapplers have been successful at MMA, though it is rare to see any fighter who is not schooled in both striking and grappling arts reach the highest levels of competition.
The greatest MMA fighter of all time is considered by experts, fighters and fans to be either lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov or light heavyweight Jon Jones.
The rules for modern mixed martial arts competitions have changed significantly since the early days of vale tudo , Japanese shoot wrestling , and UFC 1 , and even more from the historic style of pankration.
As the knowledge of fighting techniques spread among fighters and spectators, it became clear that the original minimalist rule systems needed to be amended.
The new rules included the introduction of weight classes ; as knowledge about submissions spread, differences in weight had become a significant factor.
There are nine different weight classes in the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. Small, open-fingered gloves were introduced to protect fists, reduce the occurrence of cuts and stoppages due to cuts and encourage fighters to use their hands for striking to allow more captivating matches.
Gloves were first made mandatory in Japan's Shooto promotion and were later adopted by the UFC as it developed into a regulated sport.
Most professional fights have the fighters wear 4 oz gloves, whereas some jurisdictions require amateurs to wear a slightly heavier 6 oz glove for more protection for the hands and wrists.
Time limits were established to avoid long fights with little action where competitors conserved their strength. Matches without time limits also complicated the airing of live events.
The time limits in most professional fights are three 5 minute rounds, and championship fights are normally five 5-minute rounds.
Similar motivations produced the "stand up" rule, where the referee can stand fighters up if it is perceived that both are resting on the ground or not advancing toward a dominant position.
In the U. In Japan and most of Europe, there is no regulating authority over competitions, so these organizations have greater freedom in rule development and event structure.
Previously, Japan-based organization Pride Fighting Championships held an opening minute round followed by two five-minute rounds.
Stomps, soccer kicks and knees to the head of a grounded opponent are legal, but elbow strikes to the head are not.
More recently, Singapore-based organization ONE Championship allows soccer kicks and knees to the head of a grounded opponent as well as elbow strikes to the head, but does not allow head stomps.
Victory in a match is normally gained either by the judges' decision after an allotted amount of time has elapsed, a stoppage by the referee for example if a competitor can not defend himself intelligently or the fight doctor due to an injury , a submission , by a competitor's cornerman throwing in the towel, or by knockout.
Knockout KO : as soon as a fighter is unable to continue due to legal strikes, his opponent is declared the winner.
As MMA rules allow submissions and ground and pound , the fight is stopped to prevent further injury to the fighter. Technical Submission: the referee stops the match when the fighter is caught in a submission hold and is in danger of being injured.
This can occur when a fighter is choked unconscious, or when a bone has been broken in a submission hold a broken arm due to a kimura, etc.
The ring doctor will inspect the fighter and stop the match if the fighter is deemed unable to continue safely, rendering the opponent the winner. However, if the match is stopped as a result of an injury from illegal actions by the opponent, either a disqualification or no contest will be issued instead.
Corner stoppage: a fighter's corner may announce defeat on the fighter's behalf by throwing in the towel during the match in progress or between rounds.
This is normally done when a fighter is being beaten to the point where it is dangerous and unnecessary to continue.
In some cases, the fighter may be injured. Usually occurs between rounds. Decision: if the match goes the distance, then the outcome of the bout is determined by three judges.
The judging criteria are organization-specific. Forfeit: a fighter or their representative may forfeit a match prior to the beginning of the match, thereby losing the match.
Disqualification: a "warning" will be given when a fighter commits a foul or illegal action or does not follow the referee's instruction.
Three warnings will result in a disqualification. Moreover, if a fighter is unable to continue due to a deliberate illegal technique from his opponent, the opponent will be disqualified.
No Contest: in the event that both fighters commit a violation of the rules, or a fighter is unable to continue due to an injury from an accidental illegal technique, the match will be declared a "No Contest", except in the case of a technical decision in the unified rules.
A result can also be overturned to a no contest if the fighter that was originally victorious fails a post fight drug test for banned substances.
Technical decision: in the unified rules of MMA, if a fighter is unable to continue due to an accidental illegal technique late in the fight, a technical decision is rendered by the judges based on who is ahead on the judges' scorecards at that time.
In a three-round fight, two rounds must be completed for a technical decision to be awarded and in a five-round fight, three rounds must be completed.
MMA fighters are ranked according to their performance and outcome of their fights and level of competition they faced.
The most popular and used, ranking portals are:. Mixed martial arts promotions typically require that male fighters wear shorts in addition to being barechested , thus precluding the use of gi or fighting kimono to inhibit or assist submission holds.
Male fighters are required by most athletic commissions to wear groin protectors underneath their trunks. Both male and female fighters are required to wear a mouthguard.
The need for flexibility in the legs combined with durability prompted the creation of various fighting shorts brands, which then spawned a range of mixed martial arts clothing and casual wear available to the public.
According to the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts, an MMA competition or exhibition may be held in a ring or a fenced area.
The fenced area can be round or have at least six sides. Cages vary: some replace the metal fencing with a net, others have a different shape from an octagon, as the term "the Octagon" is trademarked by the UFC though the 8-sided shape itself is not trademarked.
A Ring used by PRIDE. Most 'traditional' martial arts have a specific focus and these arts may be trained to improve in that area.
Popular disciplines of each type include: . Most styles have been adapted from their traditional forms, such as boxing stances, which lack effective counters to leg kicks, the Muay Thai stance, which is poor for defending against takedowns due to its static nature, and Judo or Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu techniques, which must be adapted for No Gi competition.
It is common for a fighter to train with multiple coaches of different styles or an organized fight team to improve various aspects of their game at once.
Cardiovascular conditioning , speed drills, strength training and flexibility are also important aspects of a fighter's training. Some schools advertise their styles as simply "mixed martial arts", which has become a style in itself, but the training will still often be split into different sections.
While mixed martial arts was initially practiced almost exclusively by competitive fighters, this is no longer the case. As the sport has become more mainstream and more widely taught, it has become accessible to wider range of practitioners of all ages.
Proponents of this sort of training argue that it is safe for anyone, of any age, with varying levels of competitiveness and fitness.
Brazilian jiu-jitsu BJJ came to international prominence in the martial arts community in the early s, when BJJ expert Royce Gracie won the first , second and fourth Ultimate Fighting Championships, which at the time were single-elimination martial arts tournaments.
Royce often fought successfully against much larger opponents who practiced other styles, including boxing , wrestling , shoot-fighting , karate and taekwondo.
It has since become a staple art and key component for many MMA fighters. BJJ is largely credited for bringing widespread attention to the importance of ground fighting.
BJJ is primarily a ground-based fighting style that emphasizes joint locks and chokeholds , but also utilizes different forms of grappling techniques such as throws and holds derived from its Jujutsu and Judo base.
Penn , Nate Diaz , and Brian Ortega. Wrestling including freestyle , Greco-Roman , and American folkstyle gained tremendous respect due to its effectiveness in mixed martial arts competitions.
It is widely studied by mixed martial artists and credited for conferring an emphasis on conditioning for explosive movement and stamina, both of which are critical in competitive mixed martial arts.
It is known for excellent takedowns, particularly against the legs. Notable wrestlers in MMA include Khabib Nurmagomedov , Chael Sonnen , Randy Couture , Brock Lesnar , Colby Covington , Kamaru Usman , Chris Weidman , and Olympians Daniel Cormier , Dan Henderson , silver medalist Yoel Romero and gold medalist Henry Cejudo.
Catch wrestling is the ancestor of freestyle wrestling and includes submissions which are prohibited in freestyle wrestling.
Catch survived in Japanese Puroresu -style Pro Wrestling, where wrestlers such as Antonio Inoki and Karl Gotch promoted "strong style pro wrestling", that while worked , had realistic and full contact moves, resulting in the creation of the Universal Wrestling Federation and Shoot wrestling which in their own turn would inspire the creation of legit proto-MMA shootfighting organizations such as Shooto and Pancrase.
Many pro wrestlers that trained in shoot-style would later compete in MMA, which led to resurgence of Catch with the advent of mixed martial arts in the 90s.
The term no holds barred was used originally to describe the wrestling method prevalent in catch wrestling tournaments during the late 19th century wherein no wrestling holds were banned from the competition, regardless of how dangerous they might be.
The term was applied to mixed martial arts matches, especially at the advent of the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Luta Livre also referred to Luta Livre Brasileira , Submission or Esportiva is a Brazilian submission wrestling style, developed in Brazil in the s by catch wrestling practitioner Euclydes "Tatu" Hatem , including techniques from Catch Wrestling , Judo , Wrestling and Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Luta Livre is divided in the categories of Esportiva , which is a form of submission grappling, differentiating from no-gi BJJ with its focus on quick and energetic submissions, and Vale tudo , which includes strikes both standing up and on the ground in addition to grappling and submissions.
However, the success of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu over Luta Livre practitioners, especially after the Desafio: Jiu Jitsu vs Luta Livre event in which was broadcast live by Rede Globo , resulted in the style waning in popularity,  although it seems to be making a resurgence, especially as an alternative to both Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Catch Wrestling.
Muay Thai or Thai boxing and kickboxing , along with boxing, are recognised as a foundation for striking in mixed martial arts, and are both widely practiced and taught.
Although both may seem identical, each has different techniques. Muay Thai originated in Thailand , and is known as the "art of eight limbs", which refers to the use of the legs, knees, elbows and fists.
Techniques cover the long, middle and short range with everything from kicks to clinch holds and throws. The modern style originated in Japan and is developed from Karate and Muay Thai.
Different governing bodies apply different rules, such as allowing the use of elbows, knees, clinching or throws, etc. Boxing is a combat form that is widely used in MMA and is one of the primary striking bases for many fighters.
Penn , Dan Hardy , Shane Carwin , Andrei Arlovski and Conor McGregor. Former WEC middleweight champion Paulo Filho has credited judo for his success in an interview.
Karate , especially Kyokushin and other full contact styles, has proven to be effective in the sport as it is one of the core foundations of kickboxing, and specializes in striking techniques.
Sambo is a Russian martial art, combat sport and self-defense system. Sambo focuses on throwing, takedowns, grappling, and includes submissions from Judo and Catch Wrestling.
Sambo also has a modality known as Combat Sambo , which adds punches, kicks, elbows and knees, making it a proto-MMA hybrid fighting style. Sambo is popular in Russia and eastern Europe, where it is taught as a complement to Judo and Wrestling training, Sambo also provides a good base for MMA with all-around skills for combining grappling and striking.
Some notable Sambo fighters that transitioned into MMA include: Fedor Emelianenko , Igor Vovchanchyn , Oleg Taktarov and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
Wushu Sanshou and other Chinese martial arts have also been utilized in MMA. They can be highly effective in competition due to their mixture of striking and takedowns, achieved through a condensation of traditional Chinese martial arts techniques.
Most prominent and chief amongst these fighters is Cung Le , who is most notable for his TKO and KO victories over former UFC champions Frank Shamrock in Strikeforce and Rich Franklin at UFC Macau.
Other Wushu Sanshou based fighters who have entered MMA include UFC strawweight champion Zhang Weili , KJ Noons , Pat Barry , Zhang Tiequan ,  Muslim Salihov  and Zabit Magomedsharipov.
Several accomplished MMA fighters have an extensive background in taekwondo. In his instructional book, Anderson Silva admitted the influence of taekwondo in the formation of his unique style.
I threw taekwondo kicks. I threw Muay Thai knees and elbows, and I used my knowledge of Brazilian jiu-jitsu on the ground. Capoeira has been incorporated into MMA in more recent years and is often used as an addition to Brazilian jiu-jitsu; both originate from Brazil.
Several fighters use this martial art when fighting, although not fully, as music and dancing are major components of the discipline. Conor McGregor and Anderson Silva incorporated some techniques and has in turn helped Capoeira gain more attention in MMA.
It is known for its quick and complex manoeuvres, which use power, speed, and leverage across a wide variety of kicks, spins and techniques.
The techniques utilized in mixed martial arts competition generally fall into two categories: striking techniques such as kicks , knees , punches and elbows and grappling techniques such as clinch holds , pinning holds , submission holds , sweeps , takedowns and throws.
Today, mixed martial artists must cross-train in a variety of styles to counter their opponent's strengths and remain effective in all the phases of combat.
Sprawl-and-Brawl is a stand-up fighting tactic that consists of effective stand-up striking, while avoiding ground fighting , typically by using sprawls to defend against takedowns.
This is a form which is heavily practiced in the amateur leagues. These fighters will often study submission wrestling to avoid being forced into submission should they find themselves on the ground.
This style can be deceptively different from traditional kickboxing styles, since sprawl-and-brawlers must adapt their techniques to incorporate takedown and ground fighting defense.
Ground-and-pound is a strategy consisting of taking an opponent to the ground using a takedown or throw, obtaining a top, or dominant grappling position , and then striking the opponent, primarily with fists, hammerfists , and elbows.
Ground-and-pound is also used as a precursor to attempting submission holds. The style is used by fighters well-versed in submission defense and skilled at takedowns.
They take the fight to the ground, maintain a grappling position, and strike until their opponent submits or is knocked out.
Although not a traditional style of striking, the effectiveness and reliability of ground-and-pound has made it a popular tactic.
It was first demonstrated as an effective technique by Mark Coleman , then popularized by fighters such as Chael Sonnen , Glover Teixeira , Don Frye , Frank Trigg , Jon Jones , Cheick Kongo , Mark Kerr , Frank Shamrock , Tito Ortiz , Matt Hughes , Chris Weidman , and Khabib Nurmagomedov.
While most fighters use ground-and-pound statically, by way of holding their opponents down and mauling them with short strikes from the top position, a few fighters manage to utilize it dynamically by striking their opponents while changing positions, thus not allowing their opponents to settle once they take them down.
Cain Velasquez is one of the most devastating ground strikers in MMA and is known for continuing to strike his opponents on the ground while transitioning between positions.
He was striking his opponents on the ground while passing guard , or while his opponents were attempting to recover guard.
In the year , MMA play-by-play commentator Stephen Quadros coined the popular phrase lay and pray. This refers to a situation where a wrestler or grappler keeps another fighter pinned or controlled on the mat to avoid a stand up, yet exhibits little urgency to finish the grounded opponent with a knockout or a submission for the majority or entirety of the fight.
This style is considered by many fans as the most boring style of fighting and is highly criticized for intentionally creating non-action, yet it is effective.
Some argue that 'lay-and-pray' is justified and that it is the responsibility of the downed fighter to be able to protect himself from this legitimate fighting technique.
Submission-Seeking is a reference to the strategy of taking an opponent to the ground using a takedown or throw and then applying a submission hold , forcing the opponent to submit.
While grapplers will often work to attain dominant position, some may be more comfortable fighting from other positions.
If a grappler finds themselves unable to force a takedown, they may resort to pulling guard , whereby they physically pull their opponent into a dominant position on the ground.
Submissions are an essential part of many disciplines, most notably Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu , catch wrestling , judo , Sambo , and shootwrestling. Submission-based styles were popularized in the early UFC events by Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock , and were the dominant tactic in the early UFCs.
Modern proponents of the submission-seeking style, such as Demian Maia , Ronaldo Souza , Ryan Hall , Marcin Held , Paul Craig tend to come from a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu background.
Clinch-Fighting is a tactic consisting of using a clinch hold to prevent the opponent from moving away into more distant striking range, while also attempting takedowns and striking the opponent using knees , stomps , elbows , and punches.
The clinch is often utilized by wrestlers and Judokas that have added components of the striking game typically boxing , and Muay Thai fighters.
Wrestlers and Judoka may use clinch fighting as a way to neutralize the superior striking skills of a stand-up fighter or to prevent takedowns by a superior ground fighter.
Ronda Rousey , with her Judo background, is considered a master at initiating throws from the clinch to set up armbars. The clinch or "plum" of a Muay Thai fighter is often used to improve the accuracy of knees and elbows by physically controlling the position of the opponent.
Anderson Silva is well known for his devastating Muay Thai clinch. He defeated UFC middle weight champion Rich Franklin using the Muay Thai clinch and kneeing Franklin repeatedly to the body and face - breaking Franklin's nose.
In their rematch Silva repeated this and won again. Other fighters may use the clinch to push their opponent against the cage or ropes, where they can effectively control their opponent's movement and restrict mobility while striking them with punches to the body or stomps also known as dirty boxing or "Wall and Maul".
Randy Couture used his Greco Roman wrestling background to popularize this style en route to six title reigns in the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Especially used by fighters with strong wrestling background when facing a highly skilled grappler, or by wrestlers who prefer stand-up fights.
Usually fighters who adopt this strategy use takedowns only for scoring , allowing the adversary to stand up and continue the fight. They also want to land clear strikes and control the octagon.
In order to win the fight by decision all score oriented fighters have to have strong defensive techniques and avoid takedowns. In general, fighters who cannot win fights through lightning offense, or are more suited to win fights in the later rounds or via decision are commonly known as grinders.
Grinders aim to shut down their opponent's game plan and chip away at them via clinching, smothering and ground-and-pound for most of the rounds.
Prominent examples of grinders are Pat Healy ,  Chael Sonnen  and Colby Covington. While mixed martial arts is primarily a male dominated sport, it does have female athletes.
Female competition in Japan includes promotions such as the all-female Valkyrie , and JEWELS formerly known as Smackgirl. Among those are Strikeforce , Bellator Fighting Championships , the all female Invicta Fighting Championships , and the now defunct EliteXC.
Carano became known as "the face of women's MMA" after appearing in a number of EliteXC events. This was furthered by her appearances on MGM Television's revival of their game show American Gladiators.
Congresswoman Sharice Davids D - KS - 3 , elected in , is a former professional MMA fighter. In Japan, female competition has been documented since the mids.
Influenced by female professional wrestling and kickboxing , the Smackgirl competition was formed in and became the only major all-female promotion in mixed martial arts.
Other early successful Japanese female organizations included Ladies Legend Pro-Wrestling , ReMix a predecessor to Smackgirl , U-Top Tournament, K-Grace, and AX.
Aside from all-female organizations, most major Japanese male dominated promotions have held select female competitions.
These have included DEEP , MARS, Gladiator, HEAT, Cage Force, K-1 , Sengoku , Shooto under the name G-Shooto , and Pancrase under the name Pancrase Athena.
In the United States, prior to the success of The Ultimate Fighter reality show that launched mixed martial arts into the mainstream media, [ citation needed ] there was no major coverage of female competitions.
Some early organizations who invited women to compete included, International Fighting Championships, SuperBrawl, King of the Cage , Rage in the Cage, Ring of Combat, Bas Rutten Invitational, and HOOKnSHOOT.
From the mids, more coverage came when organizations such as Strikeforce , EliteXC , Bellator Fighting Championships , and Shark Fights invited women to compete.
Outside Japan and the United States , female competition is almost exclusively found in minor local promotions. However, in Europe some major organizations have held select female competitions, including It's Showtime , Shooto Europe, Cage Warriors , and M-1 Global.
Following Zuffa's acquisition of Strikeforce in March ,     the UFC began promoting women's fights, with Ronda Rousey rapidly becoming one of the promotion's biggest draws.
Controversy arose in , when CFA Championship Fighting Alliance fighter Fallon Fox came out as a transgender woman.
The case became a centerpiece of debates concerning whether it was fair to have a transgender woman compete against cisgender women in a contact sport.
Amateur Mixed Martial Arts is the amateur version of the Mixed Martial Arts in which participants engage largely or entirely without remuneration.
Under the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation IMMAF and World MMA Association WMMAA , it is practiced within a safe and regulated environment which relies on a fair and objective scoring system and competition procedures similar to those in force in the professional Mixed Martial Arts rules.
The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation and the World Mixed Martial Arts Association announced an amalgamation on April 11, , uniting the two organisations behind one bid for Olympic sport recognition.
World Mixed Martial Arts Association WMMAA was founded in in Monaco by M-1 Global commercial promoters and is under the leadership of the General Secretary Alexander Endelgarth, President Finkelstein and Fedor Emelianenko.
World MMA Association includes national MMA organizations, representing the sport and registered in accordance with national laws.
As of December WMMAA has 38 member states under its umbrella, in World MMA Association has 83 members: Afghanistan, Albania, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Guatemala, Georgia, Greece, India, Iran, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Serbia, Slovakia, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Venezuela.
On October 20, the first World MMA Championship was held in Saint Petersburg, Russia. On February 29, , the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation IMMAF was set up to bring international structure, development and support to mixed martial arts worldwide.
The IMMAF is registered under Swedish law and is founded on democratic principles, as outlined in their statutes. The IMMAF held its first Amateur World Championships in Las Vegas, USA, from June 30 to July 6, Mixed Martial Arts competitions have changed dramatically since the first Ultimate Fighting Championship in , specifically with the inception of the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts.
There remains a paucity of data on injuries that occur in MMA, and resulting concerns with regard to MMA's safety remain. A recent systematic review concluded that the injury incidence rate in MMA appears to be greater than in most, if not all, other popular and commonly practiced combat sports.
In a meta-analysis of the available injury data in MMA, the injury incidence rate was estimated to be In general, the injury pattern in MMA is very similar to that in professional boxing but unlike that found in other combat sports such as judo and taekwondo.
In preliminary results reported in April as part of an ongoing study of a professional boxers and MMA fighters being conducted by Dr.
Charles Bernick and his colleagues at Cleveland Clinic's Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health, fighters with more than six years of ring experience were observed to have reductions in size in their hippocampus and thalamus, while fighters with more than twelve years of ring experience were observed to have both reductions in size and symptoms such as memory loss the hippocampus and thalamus deal with memory and alertness.
Bernick speculates that the cumulative damage over time from lesser blows may eventually prove an even more important topic of study than that of infrequent concussions.
There have been seven known deaths in MMA to date. Since , there have been six fatalities in mixed martial arts matches. The first was the death of Sam Vasquez on November 30, The second death stemming from a sanctioned mixed martial arts contest occurred in South Carolina on June 28, , when year-old Michael Kirkham was knocked out and never regained consciousness.
He was pronounced dead two days after the fight. No evidence of brain trauma or concussion was found and the initial autopsy has proved inconclusive.
Coroner Rae Wooten explained that his death may likely have been from an irregular heartbeat caused by over exertion; however whether or not his death was a direct result of his fight remains a mystery.
He was unable to make a recovery, and after one week in the hospital he was pronounced dead. The Portuguese fighter was beaten by technical knockout in a fight on 9 April against Charlie Ward , and fell ill twenty minutes after the fight.
He was taken immediately to Beaumont hospital, where he underwent emergency brain surgery, but died two days later. On July 15, after a TKO loss resulting from unanswered punches in the second round of his fight, 37 year old Donshay White became unresponsive and collapsed in his locker room and was rushed to the KentuckyOne Health Sts.
MMA in Australia is permitted in all States and Territories of Australia by various combat sports authorities and organizations.
There is debate about the use of the cage, which was banned in Victoria in  and then relegalized in MMA is legal in Bahrain.
Bahrain National MMA Federation BNMMAF has been set up under the patronage of Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa and the jurisdiction of the Sports Minister Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa.
MMA is tolerated in Belgium but not supported. In May the Belgian MMA Federation BMMAF was accepted by the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation as its third member, after several years of carrying out many of the tasks of a national federation under the former name of the Belgian Shooto and MMA Federation.
Active in developing MMA in Belgium from , the group later redefined their activities to include MMA in order to be able to use a cage.
Registered as a federation in Belgium in , the former Belgian Shooto and MMA Federation organized more than MMA bouts Amateur, B class and A class , and built a structure for the sport nationally that included insurance, rules and regulation, and experience levels for fighters and technical seminars.
The BMMAF has continued its activities as part of the wider MMA community under IMMAF. January 17, saw the announcement that the Brazilian MMA Athletic Commission, or Comissao Atletica Brasileira de MMA CABMMA , had joined the International MMA Federation.
The CABMMA represents state federations across Brazil and is spearheaded by lawyers Giovanni Biscardi and Rafael Favettia, a former Executive Secretary of the Minister of Justice and Interim Minister of Justice.
The CABMMA first hit international sports headlines when it suspended fighter Rousimar Palhares for prolonging a submission on opponent Mike Pierce, despite him tapping several times, during UFC Fight Night 29 in Barueri, Brazil on October 9, Appearing on professional basis around —, MMA is a new sport in Bulgaria and growing rapidly.
With a strong wrestling and boxing culture in the region, general interest in the sport is huge. However, it remains unregulated. The Bulgarian Federation for Mixed Martial Arts was elected as the national federation representing the Republic of Bulgaria under the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation in October ; and like all IMMAF members, is a non-profit, democratic organization.
Established in November by 10 MMA clubs, the organization is headed by UFC competitor Stanislav Nedkov. The federation's registration to the Ministry of Justice was approved in June and its application for formal recognition by the Ministry of Sport is in its advanced stages.
In January , the Cambodian Mixed Martial Arts Association was created under the Cambodian Martial Arts Federation. At this time there are no MMA events organized with the CMMAA approval.
Television channel MYTV holds its KWC promotion under the sanctioning of the Cambodian Boxing Federation, responsible for sanctioning all boxing and Kun Khmer events in the country, in direct contrast to the situation in neighbouring Thailand.
For many years, professional MMA competitions were illegal in Canada. Section 83 2 of the Canadian Criminal Code deemed that only boxing matches where only fists are used are considered legal.
The legality of MMA in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, and New Brunswick varies depending on the municipality. The bill formally gives provinces the power to create athletic commissions to regulate and sanction professional mixed martial arts bouts.
In , the Ranik Ultimate Fighting Federation RUFF hosted the first MMA event in Shanghai sanctioned by China's governing body for combat sports, the Wushu Sports Management Center of the General Administration of Sport in China.
RUFF formally crowned the first Chinese national MMA champions in with each champion receiving 1,, RMB in prize money.
In Denmark, Mixed Martial Arts may be practiced but is not an official or legally regulated sport. On November 11, the voluntary Danish Mixed Martial Arts Federation held its first official general assembly in Odense, Denmark.
There the DMMAF was officially founded and a board was elected headed up by President Claus Larsen. The Federation was publicly launched on Friday November 24, inviting Danish MMA organizations, gyms and academies to sign up as members.
On November 25 the DMMAF's application to the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation was approved. There remains political opposition to MMA in France and full contact MMA competition is banned.
The Commission National de Mixed Martial Arts CNMMA was founded as a non-profit organization for the development of MMA in The CNMMA had worked over four years to put an educational structure in place, including a technical system for the safe progression from grass-roots level, all the way up to the top professional level.
Dubbed the Mixed Martial Arts Grand Prix. Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports India has not recognized Mixed Martial Arts as a sport in India.
There exist multiple bodies of association and federations which offer services to organize Mixed martial Arts events across India.
Among them are All India Mixed Martial Arts Association AIMMAA and MMA India — National Sports Federation. The Irish Martial Arts Commission, which is recognized by the Irish Sports Council , does not include MMA among its recognized martial arts.
Mixed Martial Arts Federation Ireland MMAFI , intended as a federation for amateur MMA clubs, gained observer status at IMMAF in June MMA competition has been legal in Japan since at least the mids, when Pancrase fights began to be held.
There are several MMA-related organizations, including RIZIN FF , DEEP , Pancrase,  Shooto ,  Fighting Nexus,  Deep,  Grachan  and ZST.
In July the Malaysia Mixed Martial Arts Association MASMMAA was formally announced as the official national governing body for MMA in Malaysia, ahead of its formation in December The federation comprises representatives of ten states out of fourteen in Malaysia.
MASMMAA became affiliated to the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation in April In Norway, professional MMA is illegal.
The Norwegian MMA Federation NMMAF was elected as a full member of the International MMA Federation IMMAF on April 22, ,  representing 49 member gyms across Norway.
In the "Merkekamper" concept was introduced by the NMMAF, with government sanctioning, which enables member MMA gyms to hold events with sparring matches, but governed by strict rules concerning how hard a fighter is permitted to strike.
On April 5, , MMA was recognized by and welcomed into the Norwegian Martial Arts Federation Norwegian Kampsportforbundet , a federation of the Norwegian Olympic and Paralympic Committee and Confederation of Sports NIF with the goal of growing the amateur sport.
In Pakistan , Mixed Martial Arts Pakistan organizes MMA events. The organization was founded in by veteran Pakistani MMA fighter Bashir Ahmad for promotion of MMA in Pakistan.
The FMMAP is recognized by the Portuguese government as a non-profit sports federation and oversees Amateur MMA competition and coaching nationally.
This is in line with government requirements for all sport federations in Portugal which stipulates that they consist of at least three associated, non-profit groups.
The composite FMMAP organisations are all involved in the coaching and promotion of MMA with a shared goal for the amateur sport, but come from various martial arts that include Karate, Kickboxing, Muay Thai, Pankration Athlima, Mixed Martial Arts, Jeet Kune Do, Freestyle martial arts, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Wrestling.
The FMMAP is affiliated to the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation IMMAF. The Romanian Mixed Martial Arts Federation RMMAF was established in as a legal non-profit federation under the Ministry of Youth and Sport in Romania.
The Federation was formed by the board of MMA organization AGON and backed by a broad representation of the Romanian MMA community, including around twenty MMA clubs and non-profit MMA organizations around the country.
Based in Bucharest, Romania AGON club was founded in its present legal form in June , following a long period of time of acting under different other organisations, with Gheorghe Stanciu elected as its president.
The RMMAF is affiliated to the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation IMMAF. In September , MMA was given 'National Sport' status in Russia, and on the same day fighter and M-1 Global promoter Fedor Emelianenko was appointed to the role of Russian MMA Union president.
The MMA program at Singapore is licensed by the Cantonment Police Division. MMA competition is legal  and under the purview of the Swedish Mixed Martial Arts Federation SMMAF , which was formed in  and began overseeing MMA events and governing the sport as a whole in The SMMAF hit the headlines when it withdrew Swedish headliner, Alexander Gustafsson , from competing at UFC on FUEL 9 in Sweden April 6, , due to a facial laceration.
MMA competition is legal and under the purview of the Professional Mixed Martial Arts Council or PROMMA Africa, [ citation needed ] which was formed in with the main purpose to regulate MMA at larger MMA promotions such as EFC Worldwide Formerly known as EFC Africa.
PROMMA Africa began overseeing Rise of the Warrior MMA events in In the PROMMA Africa Council was accepted into the Mixed Martial Arts Association of South Africa MASA thus granting MMA "national sport" status.
MMA is officially sanctioned by the government and sports authorities of Taiwan and numerous Taiwanese MMA fighters are currently training and competing at international level, with several in the UFC and other MMA organizations.
Many major international MMA fights are held at stadiums in Taiwan every year. Additionally, many martial arts schools and gyms in Taiwan provide professional level MMA training.
In , the Sports Authority of Thailand banned competitions. Organizing MMA here could mislead the public into believing that Muay Thai is brutal.
Jussi Saloranta, the owner of Thailand's only MMA promotion, DARE Fight Sports, revealed that his lawyers found that the ban was actually premature, and that from a legal standpoint, there is no law banning mixed martial arts in the country, suggesting that the SAT's ban was more of a scare tactic.
DARE continue to showcase events, informing fans only at the last minute through texts on the day of the event, and presenting the videos on YouTube as The Most Dangerous Gameshow.
On September 12, , DARE Fight Sports released a statement announcing SAT had removed the ban on MMA and would henceforth sanction the sport in Thailand.
Dare Fight Sports is currently the only MMA organization in Thailand to be officially sanctioned and publicized by the tourism authority of Thailand , although there are new MMA organizations appearing around the country.
In the United States, professional MMA is overseen by the Association of Boxing Commissions. Montana has a state athletic commission, although it does not regulate MMA.
However, MMA is legal in both states. West Virginia became the 44th state to regulate mixed martial arts on March 24, On February 20, deputy minister of Internal Affairs, Tran Anh Tuan signed the legalisation of the MMA sport in Vietnam.
A new Venezuelan parliament will be sworn in Tuesday with the party of President Nicolas Maduro now in almost complete control and the main thorn in his side, Western-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido, out in the political cold.
President Donald Trump on Monday implored Georgians to "save" America and re-elect Republicans in two runoffs that will determine US Senate control and could decisively impact the start of Joe Biden's White House tenure.
A pump attendant at a petrol station tried to peek at a woman in a toilet by peering through the blinds on the toilet door.
Hong Kong will this week establish a command centre staffed by hundreds of officers from the disciplinary services and other government workers to significantly ramp up tracing of close contacts of coronavirus patients, the Post has learned.
With the expanded monitoring, the government hoped to map out the movements of possible carriers and uncover sources of silent transmissions to stop additional clusters from arising.
Officials on Tuesday confirmed another 32 cases, with four tied to a cluster that emerged at Princess Margaret Hospital, prompting medical authorities to require any patient admitted to day wards across the city to first undergo a Covid test.
Some officers from those departments were already carrying out pandemic control work for the Department of Health.
Disciplinary officers would be responsible for calling patients confirmed as infected to identify their close contacts, while clerical staff would input data for executive officers to analyse, the source revealed.
While officers will be deployed in at least two shifts daily initially, staffing levels may be increased if the pandemic situation worsens, as departments such as customs and immigration will have hundreds of workers on stand-by.
Police will continue to use their supercomputer to analyse clusters for the Department of Health, and detectives from regional crime units can carry out any necessary investigations, according to a force insider.
Authorities are currently only monitoring the close contacts of confirmed Covid patients, or about three people on average, but the new approach will expand the number to about The plan was finalised at a meeting on Monday attended by officials from multiple departments and chaired by Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung.
The Post understands the idea was inspired by experiences mainland officials shared with their Hong Kong counterparts in Shenzhen last month. Medical experts have accused authorities of falling behind on tracking at-risk individuals.
Professor David Hui Shu-cheong, a government adviser on the Covid response, said contact tracing work had been slow and more dedicated workers were needed.
Separately, the Hospital Authority announced that day-ward patients would need to take a Covid test one or two days before being admitted, and people requiring regular procedures, such as haemodialysis patients, would be asked to undergo screening every week.
Food services for day wards would also be restricted, with only light meals provided. The outbreak at Princess Margaret Hospital has grown to include three patients and two staff, while a cluster at United Christian Hospital in Kwun Tong has expanded to 21 patients and staff.
Supermarkets adopt wider aisles, contactless payment as pandemic forces rethinkNine of the latest cases were untraceable, while just one was imported, involving an arrival from Switzerland.
More than 20 people tested preliminary-positive. Officials are also trying to contain outbreaks at several housing estates, and ordered residents of three more buildings to undergo screening.
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Chinese jets made a record incursions into Taiwan's defence zone last year, a defence official said Tuesday, as a military-linked think-tank warned tensions were now at their highest since the mids.
Hopeful Democrats were scenting victory Tuesday night in two knife-edge runoff races in Georgia that are set to determine the balance of power in the US Senate under Joe Biden's presidency.
No police will be charged in the shooting of African American Jacob Blake, who was left paralyzed in an incident which sparked unrest in the US city of Kenosha in August, the prosecutor announced Tuesday.
During that time, he won three UFC tournaments, the most that anyone ever won during tournament-style fighting in the organization.
What's more, he stopped all 11 of his opponents via submission. In addition, he posted a winning record against his two greatest rivals: Ken Shamrock and Dan Severn Against Severn, a high-level wrestler with a pound weight advantage, Gracie proved his mettle, toughing it out for almost 16 minutes beneath his opponent before defeating him via triangle choke.
When Gracie finally did come back on Jan. Intangibles 10 : Gracie has this category over every other fighter. His UFC tournament performance proved grappling was king over the striking styles if you only knew one style and that Brazilian Jiu Jitsu really was the equalizer over a bigger opponent.
Today, nearly every high-level fighter uses his family's art in training. That says something. Notes: Gracie beats out Wanderlei Silva because when there is a tie, it should always go to the first true star of modern MMA.
Prime 9 : From Aug. He was also clearly one of the greatest Pride fighters of all time. He started fighting in , experienced his entire prime in organizations other than the UFC, and won three of five fights in the UFC from Feb.
Intangibles 8 : Silva defeated high-level fighters in both the pound class where he engaged during his prime and the pound class UFC.
He is known as probably the most ferocious stand-up fighter in history, always willing to take a punch to give one. In addition, he was always willing to fight anyone, which may have impacted the length of his career, having fought battles against heavyweights like Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic and Mark Hunt.
Notes: Silva has the edge on Big Nog due to the length of time he held the Pride belt. During that time, he defeated the likes of Heath Herring three times, once for the first Pride Heavyweight Championship , Mark Coleman triangle armbar , Bob Sapp armbar , Dan Henderson armbar , Ricco Rodriguez decision , Mirko "Cro Cop" Filipovic armbar , Fabricio Werdum decision , Josh Barnett decision , and Tim Sylvia guillotine choke for the UFC Heavyweight Championship belt.
Yet he held the heavyweight title only briefly before Fedor Emelianenko defeated him. Intangibles 8 : He is one of the best submission fighters ever and has the distinction of holding championship belts in both Pride and the UFC.
You could argue that his true prime was between Oct. Along the way, he won the heavyweight belt and defended it twice. He stopped on April 30, , having won three of four fights.
In other words, his longevity was outstanding. What's more, he started fighting professionally at age 33, which is a time when many have found themselves on the downside of a career.
He is also one of only two fighters to date to ever hold belts in two different UFC weight classes heavyweight and light heavyweight.
And finally, he shut down the boxing vs. MMA talk with his dominant submission win over James Toney. Along the way, he won the UFC heavyweight championship with a controversial split-decision win over Kevin Randleman.
During his now-famous winning streak, Rutten defeated top-flight competitors like Maurice Smith heel hook , Jason DeLucia toe hold, TKO , Minoru Suzuki guillotine , Guy Mezger heel hook , Frank Shamrock TKO and split decision , Masakatsu Funaki TKO , and Tsuyoshi Kohsaka TKO.
Rutten's best days have to be considered some of the best ever. But injuries cut his career short, a strike against his longevity rating. Intangibles 8 : Rutten was one of the first stand-up fighters to find success in MMA.
He's also one of the first fighters to realize he needed to cross-train extensively so that he could be as good on the ground as he was on his feet.
Eventually, he became an excellent submission fighter, which led to his amazing streak. He has also worked as an MMA commentator and trainer.
Notes: Rutten gets the nod over Henderson, Sakuraba, and Liddell thanks to his championship belts and his skill in grappling.
Prime 7. He defeated Royler Gracie, Royce Gracie, Renzo Gracie, and Ryan Gracie during that time period, earning him the moniker of "The Gracie Hunter.
Longevity 7. Even so, from Nov. By defeating the Gracies, he proved that Gracie Jiu Jitsu by itself was not unbeatable. He was among the inductees into the MMA Hall of Fame.
Notes: Sakuraba gains the edge on Liddell and Henderson because of what his wins over the Gracies mean to the sport's history. Yet, from May 26, , until his retirement after a June 12, , loss to Rich Franklin, Liddell lost five of his last six bouts, with nearly all of his losses coming by way of stoppage.
Intangibles 9 : Liddell was one of the organization's first true superstars. Notes: Liddell was one of the hardest-hitting fighters of all time.
And he was beloved by his fans. He beats out Dan Henderson because he held an upper-level championship belt longer.