The second in our series of “spotlight sports” focuses on mixed martial arts, or MMA, which began in the ancient Olympic games known as Pankration. It was later passed on from the Greeks to the Romans. Some of the basic skills that were used back then are still used today, and with the help of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the sport is consistently rising in popularity.

MMA is a full-contact sport that combines fighting techniques from multiple styles of martial arts and combat sports. Since various styles are used, all fighters must be well rounded and versed in multiple disciplines. Almost all MMA fighters started in a particular area or areas of martial arts then crossed over to mixing the martial arts.

Rules and Regulations

When this sport first began there were hardly any rules, if any, which made for a free-for-all. As a result, today’s MMA fighting and competitions include many rules to keep athletes safe. The most common rule set around the world is The Unified Rules, which includes rules ranging from hand wrapping to ring conditions to weight class regulations.

Fights last for five minutes and mostly go for three rounds, however, in some cases there are five rounds. There are three ways to win a fight: knockout, submission or decision—the referee also can intervene and determine a win. Three judges score each fight using the 10-Point Must System, where the winner earns 10 points and the loser anything less than that (except in rare circumstances). Click here for a more comprehensive list of the rules.

How to Get Involved

Being one of the fastest growing sports today, there are many opportunities to get involved with MMA here in Minnesota. Check out the following links to see some of the studios Minnesota has to offer:

Warrior’s Cove

The Academy

Next Level Combat