Human nature can be strange. One such example of the peculiarity of humans is their captivation towards fights. No matter the occasion as long as a fight is involved we seem to be immediately drawn to it like moths to a light source. This is what made Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) so intriguing.
Although violence is still a vital facet of the sport, its superiority has declined. The sport went from being considered a subcultural and brutal marvel to a world-renowned industry. Continue reading as we explore what is so fascinating about this sport.
During the start, in the 1990s, the thoughts on MMA revolved around it being deemed as harsh and uncivilized- less of a sport and more of a barbarous act. Health departments and lawmakers made prominent tries to somehow discontinue the sport. In conjunction, the media portrayed a strong image of discontent towards the idea of it being a sport in the first place. It was also believed that this was a severely threatening genre of sport where not only the athletes who took part in it were in danger but also the general public. It was considered a synonym for violence which would eventually lead to irreversible damage to society. Towards the end of the 20th century, the sport was kept on the down-low due to numerous political reasons and sanctions. Although, the top MMA organization, Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), declared that they wanted to modify the sport. After the addition of more suitable rules for the protection of fighters, the sport’s validity was increased.
Since the beginning of time, Martial arts and fighting sports have been part of various civilizations and tribes in far fetched lands, hence this shared history is one of the few reasons why it has a global appeal, others being:
- Every country has expended its emotional and monetary resources on their best bet, these champions get hyped up by their fans across the globe.
- The universal aspect to fighting, increases the relatability factor, causing its popularity in global markets.
- We all are the same at the core, and believe it or not, seeing two people in a cage fighting for their lives is a sight entertaining enough. A major portion of people is there to see a fighter get bloodily knocked out.
MMA isn’t confined to certain actions and tricks, partially due to the absence of any definite rules, unlike boxing. This phenomenon welcomes the possibility of various actions performed in a flow. Though most styles are an adaptation of their conventional forms.
- boxing stances- lacking leg-kick counters
- Muay Thai stances- static nature causes poor defense against takedowns
- BJJ or Judo- adapted only for No-Gi competition.
The innumerable techniques and routes to follow add to the excitement and thrill. Fans and casual observers also don’t get bored because of the frequent change of speed.
Knockout- a major feature contributing to making MMA an intriguing sport. It is the climax of the game, the deciding point, after which half the crowd goes silent and the other half outbursts with sheer happiness and celebration.
It could be either a powerbomb, head kick, or a superman punch, K.O is the sole exciting end to combat sport. To add to the fun, MMA’s knockouts are not confined to a basic punch but with every new game, a new idea of ending it is given birth.
Two strong men, facing each other in a cage, thousands of eyes and ears fixated of their every move and utter. In MMA it’s not just the fight that makes it interesting but how they challenge each other’s capabilities, compelling them to bring mind-boggling comebacks. Seeing these matches live, builds up suspense, keeping every single viewer on their toes. It is these legendary comebacks that leave this sport’s mark for all those to come.
Not only do MMA, UFC, Bellator, and Strikeforce events occur alternatively every weekend throughout the year, but these competitions are highly competitive and engaging. MMA’s fans have as much stamina as their favorite athletes, never getting tired of these frequent events instead of making sure to cheer them up. This sustained consistency strengthens its global fanbase aiding in an increase in its popularity.
MMA is the kind of sport that has no bounds, hence it keeps on evolving. It couples smartness and creativity to form mind-boggling moves, baffling their opponents inside the ring and fans outside the ring. For instance, contemporary fighters like Jon Jones, Anthony Pettis, and Anderson Silva have unique styles, they work on their existing skills and each one of them brings something new to the table grasping the interest of the viewers. As other martial arts like BJJ and Judo evolve so will MMA and its athletes introducing endless possibilities across the World.
Fighters & Their Fandom
One of the major factors that make MMA intriguing is its fighters and their connection with their fandom. People tend to connect with them on a deep emotional level, they are a part of their process from training sessions to the actual fighting, connecting on each step in their very own way. MMA faces certain restrictions due to apprehensions of various organizations regarding the violence displayed and injuries inflicted during the matches, leading to three or four matches per annum. Fighters depend on it as a source of their livelihood and even after immense practice get under-paid or less frequently paid, this increases their respect in the eyes of their viewers, who empathize with their situation. This is different from other athletes as they earn millions, diluting personal connections. To add to it MMA fighters are easily approachable no matter how famous they are, getting their autograph or conversing with them is as easy as conversing with some regular person. This kind of open dialogue among fighters and their respective fans is a facet of MMA that leaves the rest of the sports way behind. Individuality and competition form the foundation stone of human nature, and MMA doesn’t fail to represent it at its best.
Why you should be intrigued to try it out yourself
MMA’s stylistic approach is attracting more and more people to not just research it but to understand it deeply, hence, increasing awareness regarding the technicalities of this sport among the masses. This has led to a lot of them considering to try it, following are some of the points which may motivate you to try it yourself:
- MMA enhances body coordination, the frequent use of jabs, kicks, blows, and punches and co-relating them to form a style, helps one balance their mobility. This enhanced body coordination will sub-consciously train you to be calm and patient, as once you can pull off a particular style effectively, you become confident about your actions and prepared for the opponent’s possible reaction.
- Regular practice of strategies and techniques will make one nothing less than a fighting robot. Moreover, you will end up with a robust cardiovascular capacity.
- Being a combat sport, will sharpen your reflexes and equip you with enough skills so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones if faced with an attack.