A Brief History of MMA

MMA short for Mixed Martial Arts has significantly grown in popularity over the years. Most of you already know who the top contenders are, where the main events are being held and almost everything there is to know about Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). 

But do you know how MMA came to be? Probably yes, but a reminder is always good, wouldn’t you agree? 

Now that the sport has reached its peak popularity and people are very excited about the matches to the point that they’ll look for the best features when placing wagers, it’s only logical to glance back at the history of the sport.

The ancient history

The concept of mixed martial arts has been around for quite some time now. In fact, the earliest records date MMA back to Ancient China and the sport of Leitai that was a no-holds-barred sport that combined wrestling, boxing and Chinese martial arts. 

In Ancient Greece, there was a sport called Pankration which was also a combination of boxing, grappling and wrestling. There is evidence of similar sports in Ancient Egypt, Japan and India. 

Modern-day MMA precursors

From the late 19th century to 1993 when the UFC was established, many events and individuals influenced the popularity of MMA. A good example is Bruce Lee and his Jeet Kune Do that popularized MMA in the West. 

Moreover, a match between a professional boxer Muhammad Ali and a profesional wrestler Antonio Inoki in 1976 was yet another event that further popularized MMA. 

In 1988 Rick Roufus, a professional kickboxer challenged Changpuek Kiatsongrit, a professional Muay Thai boxer for a non-title match which showcased the power of low kicks. 

MMA today

As events continued to unfold, it wasn’t until the 1920s that MMA started to gain more momentum. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and the so-called “Vale tudo” in association with the Gracie family in Brazil, which paved the way for modern-day MMA bouts and championships. 

In the 1990s, the Gracie family decided to promote their Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in the US, which led to the first MMA tournament in 1993 called UFC 1. After that, UFC became the lead promoter of MMA events across the world. Specific rules were later established that were standardized on a global scale.

Closing Words

Mixed martial arts is a concept that has existed for centuries. Over the years it has evolved into an actual fighting sport that is watched by millions of fans all over the world. There’s always room for improvement though and MMA is likely to continue evolving into the future. 

Severe MMA Staff