Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA in short, is a full-contact sport which is very popular across the world. The majority of official competitions are broadcast to views watching MMA live on TV, and this has helped the sport grow to become a major one. The intense fights, where combatants are able to strike and grapple, are hard to compare to any other similar sport.
MMA (Whittaker v Costa)
MMA (Usman vs Masvidal)
MMA (Usman v Masvidal)
As with the majority of sport, the history of MMA goes back thousands of years. Similar fights, which today can be watched on TV, were witnessed by hundreds in arenas in the Greek, Roman, and Chinese empires. The sport is even said to have been included in the 33rd Olympiad, back in 648BC.
The more modern MMA traces its roots in the early 1900s. Official competitions held in Europe and Asia started to include an increasing number of rules and by time, became better organized. Several variants of the sport emerged, including the Russian Sambo, and the Japanese Merikan.
By the 1960s, famed martial artist and movie star, Bruce Lee declared that the best fighter is one that can adapt different martial arts to create his own style. This eventually gave rise to in essence, Mixed Martial Arts sport. The sport gained worldwide popularity when the UFC was founded in 1993. Amongst other achievements, the organization was responsible for allowing viewers to watch UFC MMA competitions live on TV.
Rules of the sport
The rules of MMA vary depending on the organization which is holding the particular competition. Rules can sometimes also vary depending on the country in which the competition is in. While there are some discrepancies between organizers, most rules are generally very similar.
For starters, all fighters are categorized into weight classes in which they will compete. Classes range from Flyweight, up to Super Heavyweight and apply to both men and women.
When it comes to the actual challenge, this is normally managed by a referee. Whilst many watching MMA on TV might think there are no restrictions on what can or cannot happen, the sport is governed by numerous rules. For example, challengers are not allowed, to headbutt each other, nor can they carry out groin attacks.
A competition can end in several ways, including a disqualification or a decision, which is taken by three judges who have their own unique point system.
MMA fighters are sometimes likened to legendary Roman gladiators, and just like gladiators, they have their own legions of adoring fans. Even though many fans have not yet met their heroes, they get to watch them and all of the MMA live on TV every week.
Anderson Silva is, arguably, one of the best MMA fighters who ever lived. During his prime, he beat some of the most notable fighters of the time, going 17-0. His opponents knew that in the cage, Silva was an intimidating figure who had mastered the art of MMA.
Another key MMA fighter is Fedor Emelianenko, who, between 2001 and 2009 remained undefeated in 28 straight matches. The heavyweight champion was a stoic fighter who had an amazing 35-4 career.
Georges St. Pierre is an MMA record holder with a 26-2 overall result. It would have been a perfect result had it not been for two losses by stoppage. In any case, he remains one of the most successful fighters of all time.
Memorable TV Moments
In a competition as intense and thrilling as MMA, memorable moments are not in short supply. Viewers who tune in to watch MMA on TV are almost guaranteed at least one jaw-dropping moment in every tournament. Of course, there are some moments which are more memorable than others.
One such moment happened during the UFC 205 card in New York, in a fight between McGregor and Alvarez. McGregor caught his opponent three times, dropping him three times within the first frame. In the 2nd frame, McGregor stunned audiences when he placed both his hands behind his back, inviting Alvarez to take his best shot.
Other noteworthy moment includes the trolling of Silva by Diaz during the UFC 183 and the Fedor and Randleman Slampage during the 2004 Pride Heavyweight World Grand Prix.
Fans who enjoy watching MMA on TV are spoilt for choice when it comes to major events. Throughout the year, numerous events, including the women's Invicta Fighting Championship and the Asian ONE Championship attract millions of viewers from across the globe. Other popular competitions include the World Series of Fighting, Titan Fighting Championships, and the Pancrase MMA, which is just as old in Japan as the UFC is in the US.
Watching MMA live on TV gives viewers the best seat in the house to catch every strike, kick and grapple, without the risk of an audience member of referee blocking the view. Viewers can tune in and watch the sport for free on tv anytime, on several TV stations and websites.