At present, Mixed Marital Arts or MMA as the sport is popularly called is one of the most widely followed sporting activities and its popularity seems to increase with every passing day all over the world. This particular sport is not for the weak hearted – that’s for sure. On the contrary, it is one of the most brutal, bloody and probably the most dangerous sport that can cause serious harm or even death to players taking part. In spite of that, people all around the world take real pleasure in these MMA fights and enjoy the various fighting styles of the players who participate. The popularity of this sport that we see today was not built overnight. This particular sport has been popular during the ancient times and even the ancient Olympic Games, which were played in Athens, Greece, featured Mixed Marital Arts.
Since then, the versatility of the game that encompasses various types of innovative fighting styles have ensured that the game acquires a special stature of a great combat sport that combines various fighting techniques of Muay Thai, Wrestling, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, and Judo and creates a unique style of its own. The combination of striking &grapplingstyles of fighting in MMA are far more exhilaratingin comparison to the other forms of combat sports that are mainly one-dimensional.
Unlike many other sports, Mixed Martial Arts has a very long history under its belt. As mentioned earlier, this game has its roots in ancient Greece where it was called Pankration. This particular combat sport was for the first time introduced during the ancient Olympic Games in the year 648BC. Since then, the sport went through a series of evolution and transformation in its style and form and finally in the 1800s, Europe saw a number of MMA fighting competitions being held.
These competitions which were held well in the 1900s saw a number of boxers pitted against Jujutsu experts. These fights were called ‘Merika’ and gained immense popularity all over Europe during those days. Then, during the 1920s Vale Tudo tournaments were for the first time introduced in Brazil by the notorious Gracie family and it is this tournament, which is considered to be the origin of the modern day MMA played all over the world. Then subsequently, the sport was further popularized by the legendary Bruce Lee who introduced a unique style of fighting that combined various other martial arts like Judo, Jiu Jitsu and Karate along with other western fighting styles like Boxing. He further popularized his style of fighting with his movies that enthralled everyone all over the world.
Ultimately, Mixed Marital Arts gained the present popularity, with the introduction of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in the year 1993. As the popularity of the UFC went on increasing, it gave rise to a string of controversies in politics as well as in the media because of the violence of bloodshed associated. Eventually, the tournament turned out to be a customary sporting event with a string of safety rules that ensured a non-brutal and a more fan-friendly tournament of Mixed Martial Arts and this gave further fillip to the already increasing popularity of the sport.