Mixed Martial Arts, otherwise known as MMA has been classed in recent years as ‘the world’s fastest growing sport.’ However, just 20 years ago, this certainly wasn’t the case. It was shunned entirely from society and specifically by overheads in the media. Due to the exposure on the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the sport is now beginning to truly make its mark on the world as a full-contact combat sport.
If you’re keen to understand how MMA has developed into the widely-followed sport that it is today, the six points below may give you a thought-provoking insight into the history and changes made within the MMA community:
• Changing regulations
In the very early days of MMA, the sport was refused access to pay-per-view, meaning it struggled to become a mainstream sport. Republican politician John McCain agreed with the decision, and from that instance, it was deemed that there was no hope for the sport’s exposure to be introduced to the wider society. As a response, a vast number of MMA leagues decided they would change their protocols by forcing fighters to attend weight classes and putting specific regulations in place to make MMA more appealing for the general audience.
MMA has become an extremely popular sport in the world of betting over the last few years. The MMA betting industry has boomed in recent years, so much so that it is becoming a fierce competitor against other combat sports as the likes of boxing. Although most websites sites are yet to introduce MMA onto their betting options, Unibet is one of the few and most popular websites on where you can bet on MMA fights.
• Social media
MMA is now being spoken about on a worldwide scale thanks to the invention of social media. There are now specific profiles for MMA leverage on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, which allows fans to talk openly about their opinions of the sport. MMA fighters have also taken to social media themselves, which Social Media Today has stated can help celebrities to build their brand by communicating with fans freely.
• Training availability
It used to be quite a challenge to find gyms that offered MMA training, quite simply for the fact that karate and tae kwon do were the more popular forms of self-defense training. Gyms are now combining traditional combat arts such as the likes of jiu-jitsu and kickboxing to train young MMA fighters.
• Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
While promotions such as PRIDE and StrikeForce certainly boosted the popularity of MMA, it was the UFC that put MMA on the map in the USA back in November 1993. OC Kickboxing & Mixed Martial Arts provide an extensive history of how the sport reached this level.
Some of the most popular MMA fighters who have taken part in the competition such as Conor McGregor, Miesha Tate, and Ronda Rousey have gone on to have successful movie and TV careers as a result of the worldwide exposure gained from participating in the competition.
• Further understanding of the sport
Before MMA expanded in popularity back in the 1990s, it was considered to be a violent sport with very little skill required. However, with the changes in rules and regulations, it became far easier for fans to understand, which was one of the main aspects of how it became more widely accepted.