Mixed Martial Arts incorporates the techniques of different combat sports like wrestling, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and boxing. There is no clarity as to who coined the term MMA. Its events have become immensely popular in the world of combat sports. The fighters mostly use their striking and grappling abilities while some dominate the opponents by means of their ground-fighting skills. MMA fights were originally conducted to find out which combat sport was the most effective but later went on to become a million-dollar sport with the inception of promotions like the Ultimate Fighting Championship and its pay-per-view events. MMA events are governed by the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation. The venues in which MMA events take place are called Octagon, Cage and MMA ring.
MMA events are organized by hundreds of promotions worldwide. However, since the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) came into being in 2006, it has not had much competition as the best promotion. Top talents from around the world sign up with the UFC once they have proved their mettle in other promotions. Bellator MMA, Absolute Championship Berkut (ACB) and Fight Nights Global (FNG) are also very popular besides UFC.
MMA rules have undergone amendments from time to time. As the popularity of MMA events increased, so did the need to amend its minimalist rules. It was necessary to protect the fighters from lethal encounters. The 'barbaric' and 'lawless' nature of the sport was a hindrance for the sport to be recognized as legitimate. Nine weight classes were introduced towards that end starting from flyweight through to the super heavyweight. Gloves came to be used in order to protect fists and to avoid cuts. Time limits were introduced to reduce the length of the fights and for broadcasting reasons. Most fights now have three five-minute rounds while championship bouts typically have five 5-minute rounds.
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