Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA, is a term used to refer to a combat sport that combines the elements of many fighting styles into one all-inclusive sport. MMA has rapidly gained popularity in the U.S. and around the world, and it is often referred to as “the world’s fastest growing sport”.
The roots of MMA date back to the ancient Greeks and the early Olympic sport of Pankration, in which combatants faced each other with very few rules. Similar sports evolved in many different places over time, often with the goal of pitting one traditional martial arts style against another
The modern era of MMA is thought to have arisen from the “anything goes” fighting contests (sometimes referred to as “Vale Tudo”) held in Brazil throughout the later half of the twentieth century. These first reached North America when the Gracie family helped creating the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu expert Royce Gracie surprised fans by winning three of the first four editions.