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Mixed martial arts (commonly referred to as MMA) is a combat sport in which a blending of fighting techniques from various striking and grappling systems are employed for competition. Mixed martial arts bouts start with both participants standing, but one or both fighters may decide to take the fight to the ground to work for submissions or utilize ground-and-pound in an attempt to knockout their opponent.
MMA's greatest pound-for-pound stars have had backgrounds in a variety of disciplines, such as Anderson Silva's Muay Thai, Fedor Emelianenko's Sambo, and the wrestling and Kyokushin karate of Georges St-Pierre.
Evolving from ancient Greek pankration and the sideshow boxer vs. wrestler fights of the the 19th century, modern mixed martial arts began to take shape from the famous mixed-rules fights of the 1960's and 70's, such as Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki, and judoka Gene LeBell against boxer Milo Savage. Brazilian Vale Tudo ("no rules") fights and Shooto bouts in Japan also played a large part in what would become known as MMA.
MMA began to attract attention from the mainstream in the early 1990's when the Ultimate Fighting Championship began holding events in the southern United States. Initially considered a barbaric blood-sport and banned from television, mixed martial arts adopted official rules and became officially sanctioned by state athletic commissions. Since that time, both the sport's rules and fighting techniques have evolved drastically with MMA events taking place all over the world and featuring both male and female fights in numerous different weight categories.
- History of MMA
- List of MMA fighters
- List of MMA Organizations
- List of UFC events
- List of Pride Events
- Unified Rules for MMA
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