Why is MMA considered safer than boxing

Which sports do mixed martial arts combine?

From FITBOOK | March 03, 2021, 2:51 p.m.

It is considered the most brutal martial art in the world: Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). This is primarily due to the fact that, it seems, anything is allowed here to defeat the opponent. That is why the sport is highly controversial to this day.

Irishman Conor McGregor is arguably the most colorful figure in the MMA scene - he wears the Rolex on his wrist, owns a 4 million dollar yacht and competed in a show match against ex-boxing world champion Floyd Mayweather, among other things. But he also polarizes with his eccentric appearances and his sometimes rowdy behavior. The entire sport of mixed martial arts is also struggling with an image problem. He is considered extremely brutal. You can read at FITBOOK which sports are united in this discipline, which rules there are and how dangerous MMA really is.

What does MMA mean?

Mixed Martial Arts means that as many fighting styles as possible are combined in a full contact sport and that there are few restrictions on rules. These include hitting, kicking, throwing, clinching, even head butts and ground fighting. The latter can also be hit and kicked, which is the main differentiator to other full contact sports. The punching and kicking techniques come mainly from Taekwondo, Muay Thai, boxing, kickboxing and karate. The wrestling and floor fighting techniques were mainly taken from judo, wrestling, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Sambo.

Also interesting: How to find the right martial art for you

Where does MMA come from and how does it differ from other full contact sports?

The traces of MMA lead to ancient Greece. At this time "pankration" was created, which means something like "all the strength". Pankration combined punching and kicking techniques as well as wrestling and ground fighting. However, it was strictly forbidden to bite the opponent, injure his genitals or stab his eyes. Whoever gave up, passed out or even died was lost.

In general, a wide variety of fighting styles such as judo, karate, jiu-jitsu and many others have developed over the centuries. At the so-called Vale-Tudo martial arts events at the end of the 20th century, the aim was to determine which martial art is the best. After numerous such comparative fights, mostly between wrestlers and boxers, the "Shooto" developed in Japan. Inspired by this, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was founded in the USA in 1993. This is still the largest series of events in the MMA and has had a significant impact on the sport. Full contact sport arrived in Germany a year later when the newly founded MMA Free Fight Association (FFA) initiated the first events. Even if the sport has gained in popularity since then and there are also well-known German greats such as Nick Hein (34), MMA is still a relatively young sport in Europe. The biggest stars of the scene include the Irish Conor McGregor (30) and the American Brock Lesnar (41).

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What are the rules Which techniques are used?

The fighters are divided into ten different weight classes at the UFC. The women fight from straw weight to featherweight, while the men from flyweight to heavyweight are active. In addition, there is the super heavyweight division, which is not currently being fought.

  • Strawweight: (straw or straw weight) up to 115 lb (52.15 kg)
  • Flyweight: 125 and less lb (57 and less kg)
  • Bantamweight: 126 to 135 lb (57 to 61 kg)
  • Featherweight: 136 to 145 lb (61 to 66 kg)
  • Lightweight: 145 to 155 lb (66 to 70 kg)
  • Welterweight: 155 to 170 lb (70 to 77 kg)
  • Middleweight: 170 to 185 lb (77 to 84 kg)
  • Light Heavyweight: 185 to 205 lb (84 to 93 kg)
  • Heavyweight: 205 to 265 lb (93 to 120 kg)
  • Super Heavyweight: over 265 lbs (over 120 kg)

A fight consists of three rounds, each lasting five minutes. There is also a one-minute break between each round. Title fights are held in five rounds. The aim is to force his opponent to give up, knock him out. to hit or to defeat in such a way that the referee is forced to abandon the fight. A victory on points is just as possible as a draw. Choke holds or lever techniques, which give the opponent only the option of giving up, are particularly popular.

It is a prejudice that anything is allowed in an MMA fight. For example, it is forbidden to attack the opponent in the genital area, to bite, to tear the nose and ear or to stab the eyes. There are a total of 31 fouls that can lead to a penalty or deduction of points or even disqualification. The exact provisions have been laid down in the internationally widely recognized "Unified Rules" since 2009.

Also interesting: For these 8 reasons you should do martial arts

Is MMA more dangerous than other martial arts?

When the topic of MMA is brought up, words such as brutal, inhuman or glorifying violence are often used. The former Federal Minister of the Interior Thomas de Maiziere once called the sport a "hideous form of human representation". Not least because of negative headlines, a ban on broadcasting professional fights on German television was imposed in 2010. However, this was lifted again in 2014 after the Munich Administrative Court declared the ban to be unlawful. Because of all this criticism, there are many prejudices against MMA. Not many of these can be debunked:

  • The MMA fighters are not street thugs. The sport was made up of a wide variety of fighting techniques from a wide variety of sports. Mastering so many complex styles takes time and hard training. MMA is high-performance sport.
  • Are MMA fighters all stupid? Not at all! In the history of the UFC there are plenty of athletes with higher education, including doctors, psychologists, architects and engineers.
  • Often the argument arises that you hit defenseless fighters lying on the ground. However, ground fighting is part of the sport. If someone is actually defenseless or even unconscious, the referee intervenes immediately and ends the fight.
  • Nor can one generalize that boxing should be safer than MMA. According to a study by the John Hopkins University School of Medicine, MMA is less likely to knock out, while boxing puts more stress on the head. Overall, of course, both sports are rich in injuries.

The right tactics are also crucial. Brutality alone is not enough to defeat the opponent. In addition to strength, the fighters need a high degree of coordination, quick action and technique.

Also interesting: Why boxing is the ideal stress killer

At what age can you start MMA?

In many cases, MMA fighters are career changers. They usually have previous experience from other martial arts, such as judo or kickboxing. Many clubs offer courses for newcomers. At the beginning the techniques and basic values ​​are taught. The number one rule is to show respect for your opponent. Risky holds or punches are not allowed and if the opponent gives up, you have to let go of him immediately. In addition, the focus is always on technology and not power. In principle, children aged ten and over can register for courses.

By the way: FITBOOK author Flavio Treppner had a special experience: He faced an MMA world champion in a cage:

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