The first type of mixed martial arts combat and competition were organized by Ancient Greek, and it was called pankration. Pankration was introduced in he Greek Olympic Games in 648 BC and was a mix between boxing and wrestling, as it was combining strikes and ground fighting.
In 1887, the Brazilian Heavyweight Boxing Champion John L. Sullivan fought Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion William Muldoon, with Muldoon slamming the boxer to the mat in less than two minutes. Other events were staged over the years but the first to be organized were the vale tudo events in Brazil in the 1920's, when fighters took up the Gracie family on their no-holds barred challenge.
During the 1970s in Japan, professional wrestlers began to compete in shoot-style wrestling matches. This in turn led to the formation of various mixed martial arts organization and that became the organized discipline of Shooto in 1985.
1993, the Gracie family has had the biggest impact on the modern explosion of mixed martial arts with the creation of the Ultimate Fighting Championships, the UFC was based on concepts from Brazilian vale tudo, with the first few events holding the slogan "no holds barred". In 1997, the Pride Fighting Championships were created in Japan, and modern mixed martial arts were born. In the early days of these promotions Brazilian jiu-jitsu and catch wrestlers dominated as disciplines, but today¡¯s mixed martial artist must be well-rounded in numerous disciplines. The UFC has since bought out Pride, improving the organization of the sport into the future.
With the increasing popularity of the sport at the turn of the century, many smaller promoters sprung up, including Strikeforce, BodogFight, EliteXC, and WEC. The UFC started losing its viewers, and along with the criticism, Pay-per-view decided to drop them. No-holds barred matches were outlawed in most places as dangerous and barbaric street fights for years. The reality is that no one has ever died in a sanctioned fight in the modern history of MMA. MMA has become the top earning pay per view promotion today, and is growing in popularity each day.
Ways to victory
# Knock Out (KO): as soon as a fighter becomes unconscious due to strikes, his opponent is declared the winner (because MMA rules allow ground fighting, the fight is stopped to prevent further injury to the unconcious fighter.)
# Submission: a fighter may admit defeat during a match by:
* tapping three times on his opponent's body;
* tapping three times on the mat or floor;
* verbal announcement.
# Technical Knockout (TKO)
* Referee Stoppage: the referee may stop a match in progress if:
- a fighter becomes dominant to the point where the opponent is unable to intelligently defend himself from attacks (this may occur as quickly as a few seconds);
- a fighter appears to be unconscious from a grappling hold.
- a fighter appears to have developed significant injuries (such as a broken bone) in the referee's view.
* Doctor Stoppage: the referee will call for a time out if a fighter's ability to continue is in question as a result of apparent injuries (such as a large cut). The ring doctor will inspect the fighter and stop the match if the fighter is deemed unable to continue safely, rendering the opponent the winner. However, if the match is stopped as a result of an injury from illegal actions by the opponent, either a disqualification or no contest will be issued instead.
* Corner stoppage: a fighter's cornermen may announce defeat on the fighter's behalf by throwing in the towel during the match in progress or between rounds.
# Decision: if the match goes the distance, then the outcome of the bout is determined by three judges. The judging critera are organization-specific.
# Forfeit: a fighter or his representative may forfeit a match prior to the beginning of the match, thereby losing the match.
# Disqualification: a "warning" will be given when a fighter commits a foul or illegal action or does not follow the referee's instruction. Three warnings will result in a disqualification. Moreover, if a fighter is injured and unable to continue due to a deliberate illegal technique from his opponent, the opponent will be disqualified.
# No Contest: in the event that both fighters commit a violation of the rules, or a fighter is unable to continue due to an injury from an accidental illegal technique, the match will be declared a "No Contest".
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