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MMA- history

 

 

During the Classic Greek era there existed an ancient Olympic combat sport, known as Pankration which featured a combination of grappling and striking skills, similar to modern mixed martial arts. This sport originated in Ancient Greece and was later passed on to the Romans.

 

No-holds-barred fighting reportedly took place in the late 1880s when wrestlers representing styles, Greco-Roman wrestling and many others met in tournaments and music-hall challenge matches throughout Europe. In the USA, the first major encounter between a boxer and a wrestler in modern times took place in 1887 when John L. Sullivan, then heavyweight world boxing champion, entered the ring with his trainer, Greco-Roman Wrestling champion William Muldoon, and was slammed to the mat in two minutes. The next publicized encounter occurred in the late 1890s when future heavyweight boxing champion Bob Fitzsimmons took on European Greco-Roman Wrestling champion Ernest Roeber. In September 1901, Frank "Paddy" Slavin, who had been a contender for Sullivan's boxing title, knocked out future world wrestling champion Frank Gotch in Dawson City, Canada.

 

The movement that led to the creation of the American and Japanese mixed martial arts scenes was rooted in two interconnected subcultures and two grappling styles, namelyBrazilian Jiu-Jitsu and shoot wrestling. First were the vale tudo events in Brazil, followed by the Japanese shoot-style wrestling shows.

 

Vale tudo began in the 1920s and became renowned with the "Gracie challenge" issued by Carlos Gracie and Hélio Gracie and upheld later on by descendants of the Gracie family.The “Gracie Challenges” were held in the garages and gyms of the Gracie family members. When the popularity grew, these types of mixed bouts were a staple attraction the carnivals in Brazil. Early mixed-match martial arts professional wrestling bouts in Japan (known as Ishu Kakutōgi Sen (異種格闘技戦), literally "heterogeneous combat sports bouts") became popular with Antonio Inoki in the 1970s. Inoki was a disciple of Rikidōzan, but also of Karl Gotch who trained numerous Japanese wrestlers in catch wrestling.

 

Mixed martial arts competitions were introduced in the United States with the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 1993. The sport gained international exposure and widespread publicity when jiu-jitsu fighter Royce Gracie won the first Ultimate Fighting Championship tournament, submitting three challengers in a total of just five minutes, sparking a revolution in martial arts.

 

Japan had its own form of mixed martial arts discipline Shooto that evolved from shoot wrestling in 1985, as well as the shoot wrestling derivative Pancrase founded as a promotion in 1993. The first Vale Tudo Japan tournaments were held in 1994 and 1995, both were won by Rickson Gracie. Around the same time, International Vale Tudo competition started to develop through (World Vale Tudo Championship (WVC), VTJ, IVC, UVF etc.). Interest in mixed martial arts as a sport resulted in the creation of the Pride Fighting Championships (Pride) in 1997, where again Rickson participated and won.

 

The term Mixed Martial Arts was coined by television critic Howard Rosenberg, in 1993, in his review of UFC 1. The term gained popularity when the website newfullcontact, then one of the biggest covering the sport, hosted and reprinted the article. The first use of the term by a promotion was in September of 1995 by Rick Blume, president and CEO of Battlecade Extreme Fighting, just after UFC 7. Jeff Blatnick was responsible for the Ultimate Fighting Championship officially adopting the name Mixed Martial Arts. Previously marketed as "Ultimate Fighting" and "No Holds Barred (NHB)", Blatnick and John McCarthy proposed the name 'MMA' at the UFC 17 rules meeting in response to increased public criticism. The term is generally attributed to Howard Rosenberg.

 

Source: www.en.wikipedia.org

 

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