MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts & is known by many names, like:
'Cage Fighting', 'Prize Fighting', 'Pit Fighting', 'Ultimate Fighting', 'Extreme Fighting', 'No Holds Barred Fighting', 'Anything Goes Fighting' & 'No Rules Fighting'.
MMA fights are generally conducted in a steel chainlink cage, but many are also held inside a standard boxing ring or similar.
The main reason MMA events are conducted inside a cage is the simple fact that the fighters are
far more protected in a cage than say in a boxing ring where they can fall
out onto the ground. Because of the nature of MMA, the fight can very
quickly go to the ground or a fighter is thrown, slammed or backed up & this is where injury can happen if both or a
single competitor falls or is thrown out of the ring. Inside a cage there is no risk of
this & thus actually much safer for both fighters. The intelligent fighter
can also use the cage to their advantage as well. In a boxing ring a MMA event can be stopped/started & fighters pulled into the middle of the ring or restart
standing if a fighter has fallen out, not only slowing the match down,
but also very frustrating when a fighter is trying to gain a dominant
The whole concept behind MMA is to truly see who is the better fighter or
back in the early days of MMA which is the better style of martial art.
These days it is known as Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) as it is truly that! Fighters
can no longer rely on only just one discipline, they must be versed in many
& no longer rely in just their one fighting skill set.
If a traditional stand up fighter, like say a boxer is taken to the ground & they have no idea on how to handle themselves on the ground, then it will be a very short lived fight for them. Likewise the traditional ground or submission fighter, like say a wrestler also needs to be able handle themself & be confident in striking exchanges & avoid situations in stand up if it is striking that is their weakness, again it will be a very short lived fight for them. Generally speaking 80% of fights will at some stage go to the ground, but all rounds start from a standing position, so with this in mind all fighters need to be well versed, in the main too forms of fighting, Striking (Stand up) & Grappling (Ground). All of todays MMA fighters need to be good in all areas of their skill set. A one dimensional fighter will generally not do to well in an MMA fight.
Some skills that MMA fighters use include:
Strikes: Punches, Kicks, Elbows, Knees
Stand Up: Cage/Ring Control, Cage/Ring Positioning, Foot Work, Throws
Submissions: Arms, Elbows, Legs, Knees, Necks, Wrists, Ankles
Grappling: Ground Control, Dominate Positioning, Throws, Take Downs, Escapes
Some disciplines that MMA fighters use include:
Boxing, Wrestling, MuayThai, JuJitsu, KickBoxing, Judo, TaeKwonDo, Karate, ValeTudo, the list goes on & on...
The MMA fighter assesses his opponent & decides on what in their own arsenal
of skill sets is best used to defeat their opponent. If a fighter is against an extremely good striker, maybe a lot
better than their owns striking skills, it makes sense for them to try &
take their opponent to the ground, where possibly they are better & impose
MMA fighters are possibly the most intelligent type of fighter & many have a
game plan in place & have studied their opponent well, prior to even
stepping into the cage or ring.
It is not a matter of putting two people in a cage/ring & see what happens, these
fighters need to be ready for anything, at any time they can be taken down
or need to wear a bombardment of strikes & they need to adapt very quickly &
'think without thinking', just react & counter whatever is thrown at them on
Many cage fights are like a 'Human Chess Matches', it takes a very
intelligent fighter to be able to advance, defend, take down & avoid, all at
Many contests involve bouts going back & forth until someone finally gets the upper hand. A MMA fight can end very quickly & anything can happen, just because someone is dominating the fight, it doesn't mean they will win, many itmes even though winning the fight they have been knocked out or submitted in the blink of an eye, it doesn't take much for the tables to be turned! Remember MMA fighters are generally very skilled in many aspects of fighting so all it takes is one quick, but simple opportunity & it's over.
The main overseas Cage Fights are conducted in an 8 sided chainlink cage, most have two gates, some have only one.
In Australia most Cage Fights are conducted in a 6 sided chainlink cage, a Hexagon, most have only one gate for entry/exit point.
Despite what many people believe, there are quite a few rules designed to protect
the MMA fighter.
Below are a list of 'GENERIC or GENERAL' MMA rules for Australia.
PLEASE NOTE: Below are just generic & general rules. Most event holders, companies & organisations will have similar, but not exactly the same conditions & rules, we have listed some below to outlay the general rules currently in place for most MMA events.
Also please note that the weight classes for each event holders, companies & organisations may also differ slightly, but again will be similar & close to the weights/classes listed below.
|Flyweight||Under 57kg||Under 125lbs|
|Bantamweight||58 to 62kg||126lbs to 137lbs|
|Featherweight||62kg to 65kg||137lbs to 143lbs|
|Lightweight||66kg to 70kg||146lbs to 154lbs|
|Welterweight||71kg to 77kg||157lbs to 170lbs|
|Middleweight||78kg to 84kg||172lbs to 185lbs|
|Light Heavyweight||85kg to 93kg||187lbs to 205lbs|
|Heavyweight||94kg to 120kg||207lbs to 265lbs|
|Super Heavyweight||Over 121kg||Over 265lbs|
|Open Weight||No Weight Restrictions|
The referee shall consider the circumstances of the breach such as intent and the severity of the breach. A general guideline would be that the referee will progressively discipline the fighter breaching the rules, however, he can in light of the seriousness of the breach act within the extent of the above guidelines and to the extent of the above. The referee may call a time out to allow a fighter to recover after being fouled or to be inspected by a doctor. In the event of such a "time out" the violating fighter shall immediately go to the neutral corner as directed by the referee and remain there until otherwise instructed.
Stagnate fighting will not be tolerated. The referee may restart the round if the fighters reach a stalemate and do not work to improve position or finish. This is not limited to when fighters are on the ground, it encompasses all aspects of the bout. The referee shall first warn the fighters to work prior to this. Fights shall be restarted in the center of the cage/ring or at their desgintated coloured corners or areas; fighters may or may not be dragged into the centre of the ring if they are in the ground position or under or impeded by ropes if the MMA event is held in a ring.
Judges shall score the rounds under the following criteria:
Effective Grappling Shall encompass all aspects of grappling, both offense and defense, standing and on the ground. A fighter that is sprawling and avoiding or negating the takedown attempts of the other would be viewed to be effectively grappling. Effective submission attempts, clean takedowns, reversals and sweeps would also be considered effective grappling. Effective Striking Shall encompass all aspects of striking both standing and on the ground. Judges shall view the efficiency and effectiveness of the strikes. On the ground position strikes from the top position shall be deemed more effective then the bottom position. Cage/Ring Control This is basically, who is dictating the pace of the fight and where the fight is taking place. Effective Aggression Simply means, who is being the more aggressive of the 2 fighters with reference to above criteria. The key to the criteria is the word 'Effective', swinging and constantly missing is not effective aggression. Judges cards shall be collected after each round by an event official and retained for tallying. Protests and Complaints All official protests or complaints are to be made and lodged formally in writing to the event holder within 24hrs of the event to be considered by the committee. Drug Policy The event holder reserves the right to randomly test contracted fighters for performance enhancing drugs as defined by the Australian Sports Drug Agency.