MMA, Mixed Martial Arts, Cage Fighting, Shoot-fighting, Vale Tudo, NHB [No Holds Barred]. whatever you wanna call it, it’s the sport of being locked inside a roofless, matted, dog kennel-esque cage with another gentlemen and trying to physically subdue each other with 4 oz. gloves on. MMA has come a long way in the past 10 years from being viewed as human cockfighting and there are very few places left in the country and in the world where MMA is illegal. When the UFC first brought MMA to mainstream America it was a brutal no holds barred contest with no gloves, no weight classes, no time limits, and no rules. You could fight a guy 200 pounds heavier than you, kick him in the groin, pull his hair , stomp on his head while he was down..yeah. And you’d have to do it multiple times in one night.
But Now MMA is a weight class specific sport, with gloves, time limited rounds, and multiple doctors on standby during a fight who will stop the fight even if a cut is too bad. Not to mention plenty of rules. You can’t strike the back of the head, you can’t pinch, bite, strike the groin or the throat or anywhere on the spine, eye gouge, you cant kick an opponent in the head while he’s down, the list goes on and on. In my opinion MMA as it stands now under the unified rules is in no way shape or form similar to a street fight. And that is okay, these rules are progressive to MMA as a sport. But still there are so many people out there who don’t like MMA, i have talked to many BJJ coaches [including my own] wrestling coaches, boxing coaches, and just regular Joes who simply don’t like MMA and never will. How could someone not like MMA? here’s a few reasons.
Now I will say this, going to an actual UFC event you will meet some of the coolest people you’ve ever met in your entire life. I’ve been to 3 large-scale events in my life. I was in the 4th row at UFC 123 in Detroit, I went to UFC on FOX Evans vs Davis in Chicago, and I went to the very last Strikeforce event held in my home state of Ohio. And at all of these events there were NO fights, no loud mouths, it was actually an awesome atmosphere. That being said these people tend to be the minority.
Buy a ticket to your local MMA show, and I guarantee this is what you’re going to encounter: Tons of sloppy drunk TapouT tee wearing beer-gutted loudmouthed blowhards who have never stepped in a gym in their life but insist on screaming instructions to every single fighter. These people will yell in your ear one inch away from your face about how many street fights they’ve been in and how awesome of fighters they would be and how they’re going to start fighting soon and take the global mma scene by storm. Think armchair quarterback football fans times a thousand, those are the majority of MMA fans. Unfortunately these fans project the image on to the rest of us and cause MMA to leave a bad taste in a lot of people’s mouths.
IT TENDS TO BE EGO DRIVEN
Again, in the upper echelons of the sport this does not apply, but the upper levels again are the minority. Amateurs outnumber pros 100 to 1. Amateur MMA fighters can be some of the most pompous arrogant d-bags you’ll ever meet in your life. Sometimes they can be worse than vegetarians and cross fitters. They do not shut up about how sweet they are. Youll see these guys on Facebook at the bars, getting hammered, smoking weed, and then turn around the next day and post something like #RiseAndGrind….at noon. A guy pays 20 bucks for his MMA license and thinks he’s a dangerous weapon. These guys will walk into any academy of any martial art and act like they have a massive advantage due to their 0-2 record. Put a guy in the cage one time and he thinks he’s fit to give anyone advice on any aspect of combat. Getting in a fight and knowing how to fight are two totally different things, but try telling that to a guy who’s had a MMA fight before.
ANYONE CAN DO IT
Wrestling, Boxing, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, single disciplines- have a way of weeding people out. Wrestling rooms are the world capital of physical and mental exhaustion. I remember my freshmen year of high school, first day of wrestling practice there were 40 people in the room. We did sprints, partner carries, partner squats, duck walks, hand stand walks, burpees, up-downs, and hundreds more. It was only a two-hour practice. But by the time that practice was over, those 40 people narrowed down to about 18, and that was day one. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu only has 4 belt ranks not including white [which is basically lack of rank] and they take forever to get. A black belt typically takes 10-15 years to achieve. If you don’t truly have a passion for it, you’ll quit because you feel like you have nothing to show for your work. Ever been to a pro boxing gym? let me give you a run down of what its like: throw your jab at this bag. do it again. do it ten thousand more times. now jump rope for 20 minutes. Now throw your jab ten thousand more times. Learning boxing is like learning another language. If you are in it for the wrong reasons they will weed you out.
So let’s go back to MMA. MMA tends to be completely self driven. There are few coaches out there who will truly push you and have your best interests in mind. They don’t care if you win or lose, they care that you make them money by fighting on their shows. MOST not all of them. Dont want to train hard? its okay, take a break! don’t feel it today? that’s fine, just come back tomorrow. Dont want to train at all? cool. train in your garage with your buddies because guess what, you can STILL fight! there’s no ‘requirements’ to step in the cage other than weighing what you say you weigh, having a photo ID and not having AIDS [and even that one is only in select states who require blood tests]. There’s no ‘making the team’. The only thing required to get in the cage is signing the contract and showing up. To martial artists and regular Joes alike this diminishes the integrity of the sport and makes it one big joke to some people.
Sometimes you have to know it to appreciate it
I don’t necessarily agree with all the reasons ive written here, i’m just listing what information ive gathered. But there is no point i disagree with more than this one, but its a harsh truth, MMA is just straight up boring to some people. If you have never trained before and you are just a casual sports fan, there is no way on God’s green earth that a fight like Demian Maia vs Jake Shields is going to be anymore entertaining than watching paint dry or stopping at Bloomberg when you’re flipping through the channels. If a guy has never trained in his life, you know what he’s NEVER EVER gonna say?
Hey, whens Jon Fitch fighting again?!
You have to understand not EVERYBODY trains. Not everyone understands whats happening in the clinch. while a trained fighter sees a BJJ black belt using wrist control to set up submissions or a D1 college wrestler fighting for underhooks, Joe Shmoe sees two guys hugging each other for 3 minutes and when they go to the ground the guy is just LAYING on him.
why doesn’t he just stand up?!
You don’t have to be a football player to be entertained by football. Every single play someone is getting tackled. Even NASCAR has the crash thing going for it. But the harsh truth is, aside from Knock down drag out slug fests and barn burners, MMA isn’t very entertaining to the untrained eye, and some people don’t like it for that reason.
I have been fighting for 8 and a half years. I had my first fight in a high school gymnasium when i was 17 and i just turned 25 and my next fight is in 8 days. In my mind my love for MMA saved my life. MMA changed me for the better and gave me something positive to focus my energy into. Through MMA i found BJJ and now they both consume my life in a positive way. So i could never fathom when i talked to people who did not like MMA how they could possibly not be in love with it. And it took years of open minded-ness and looking from the outside in to finally understand that it’s not for everyone. I have my reasons for loving MMA, and some people have their reasons for hating it. doesn’t mean we can’t all be friends.