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What Is Mixed Martial Arts (MMA)?

mixed martial arts

Thanks to Wise Warriors MMA for the image.

Several years ago, one of my male cousins started training in Mixed Martial Arts. Although his brothers and my other male cousins knew what it was, my aunts, uncles, and I were in the dark. At the time, I imagined that it was two people of comparable weights in a caged ring using every move under the sun to beat their opponent. I wasn’t entirely wrong, but here’s the full story about Mixed Martial Arts, its rules, its fights, and the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed Martial Arts is exactly what the words imply–a mixing of martial arts. The idea is that you study different disciplines and take the best, most effective tools from each one. MMA even includes wrestling, boxing, and kick-boxing in addition to all of the martial arts. In this way, you could practice Muay Thai, Taekwondo, Karate, Judo, Jiu-jitsu, and several other disciplines all at the same time.

Unlike the other martial arts, you don’t work to achieve a new belt color. Instead, you work to better your fighting skills. All of your success or failure is measured in competition with an opponent.

Mixed Martial Arts Fighting

Even though Mixed Martial Arts sounds like a sort of anything goes practice, its fights have solid rules. According to The Mirror,

“The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts is the most common rule set used throughout the world. All state athletic commissions in the United States adopt the Unified Rules to help regulate the sport.

The rules are thorough and include the size of the fighting area, specifications about hand wrapping and information on judging and fouls, amongst many other things. They are an essential read for those wanting to understand the sport.”

Additionally, the competitors have rules of conduct. If you break one of these rules, it can be called a foul. In some cases, the foul may result in a point deduction. In other cases, the referee may disqualify the competitor. Some fouls include head butting and unsportsmanlike conduct that results in an injury.


Fights normally last for three rounds. Each round is five minutes. However, if the fight is a championship fight, it will last for five rounds.

Three judges sit around the ring at different vantage points. They grade the fighters on MMA techniques such as striking, grappling, control over the fighting area, aggressiveness, and defense. The round winner receives 10 points. If the round is a tie, the other competitor also receives 10 points. Most of the time, though, there is a winner and a loser. In these cases, the loser receives 9 points or less.

According to The Mirror, fights can end in a number of ways including:  submission, technical knockout, knockout, judges decision, forfeit, technical draw or decision, and no contest. Most often, fights end with a decision. However, the second most frequent ending is by knockout.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the main organization responsible for popularizing Mixed Martial Arts. If you liken MMA to basketball, the UFC is sort of like the NBA. Following this logic, it makes sense that the UFC is not the only organization responsible for MMA fighting. For example, we also have Bellator Fighting Championship in the United States, and they have Cage Warriors over in the United Kingdom. There are other examples throughout the world.

Finding MMA Near You

Anytime you’re trying to find something near you, I suggest Google. You should be able to ask Google if there’s any MMA near you. Google will probably pull up a map with all of your local martial arts schools.

If this doesn’t give you the information you’re seeking, take to social media. Whenever Google doesn’t answer my question, I ask my friends on Facebook. I always get an answer then! Plus, even if your friends can’t answer your question, they may be able to help you network to find people who can.

Thank you so much for reading. If you find my information valuable, please consider supporting this website. With your support, I can gather and share more wonderful information on fitness trends.

Have you practiced mixed martial arts? What did you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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About Sarah Stockett

Hi, I'm Sarah! I'm a certified Pilates and yoga instructor with a passion for pain relief. I believe you can use simple exercises to relieve your aches + pains. AND, I believe I can teach you how.

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