Mixed Martial Arts or MMA is a style of fighting that has grown immensely popular over the past few years especially. Many people wonder where the sport did all get started from and how it got to be at the height of popularity of today. That is thanks to the UFC television show which really brought Mixed Martial Arts to the mainstream and got more people interested in it. With the first MMA fight taking place on November 12, 1993, that goes just to show just how relatively new a sport MMA is.
Yes it has been around for over ten years but compared to other sports such as basketball which was invented in 1891 and soccer in 1863, it is easy to see how short a period of time ten years is in the world of sports. Today it is the full contact sport that is growing in popularity at the fastest rate. One of the first ever widely recognized athletes in MMA is Royce Gracie. He studied the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu style of fighting in the beginning of MMA where athletes really only focused on a single style of fighting.
Well studied in the Brazilian jiu-jitsu style of fighting, Gracie was able to take down pretty much every single opponent put in front of him. Usually they will still have a major area of focus, such as Matt Hughes with wrestling, because that is their main area of experience but they will also work on other styles as well. For the MMA fights today however, fighters do not stand a chance unless they are well rounded and familiar with all the different styles of fighting. In the years 1993-1995 his name was the most recognized in the sport and he was the star as tournament winner of UFC 1, 2 and 3.
There were also other members of the Gracie family who were avid in the MMA style of fighting including his father and brother. Time went on and about six or seven years later there were new names stealing the spotlight including Ken Shamrock and Randy Couture. The amount of athletes involved in the sport today is incredible. People get so into the UFC fight nights and even pay hundreds of thousands of dollars just to go see a live event in Las Vegas or elsewhere.
In the beginning the UFC was pretty discreet and relatively unheard of, even for the first few years. There are more athletes than ever before who are working to get into the MMA and who have hopes of getting accepted into the UFC. Today the most popular faces in the game have changed as some of the pros have moved out and now we are more familiar with names like Anderson Silva and Forrest Griffin. The way things are going, it is expected that the MMA sport is only going to continue gaining popularity and become more recognized around the world.