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Mixed Martial Arts Safety: How Far The Rules Have Come


A lot of people worry about Mixed Martial Arts safety.  It actually first started a little over a decade ago but it was kept pretty much underground and only hit the mainstream a few years ago.  Sure there are a lot of different ways a person could get hurt during an MMA fight but the same could be said for any sport.  There is a referee in the octagon with the fighters during every match, watching the players fight and making sure they are not breaking any of the rules.

This is the person who will actually be in the octagon with the fighters, so it is up to them to know when to stop a fight.  For instance if a fighter is being attacked or has been knocked down and they are not defending themselves properly because they are dizzy or for whatever other reason, the ref has to step in and put a stop to it.  Otherwise there could be potential long-term damage to that fighter and he could get seriously hurt.  There have been a number of different familiar faces who have stepped in to referee in the octagon.

Of all the referees we are used to seeing in the UFC, the most popular by far is John McCarthy.  As the referee for the original UFC fights as well, he is a ref we have known to learn and love.  This is where people first saw him referee the fights but the fights back then the safety rules were a lot different.  After a few instances however, such as the fight when Royce Gracie pulled out his competitor’s ponytail, the authorities of the sport realized that some steps had to be taken in terms of enforcing rules in the fights.

The early UFC fights were a bit different, as there were much fewer rules and a lot of people who saw the fights were horrified.  There are a lot more rules enforced, including that you are not able to grab onto your opponent or pull on their hair or clothing.  MMA fighting is actually much safer than a sport like boxing for instance, because the goal of boxing is to punch the opponent in the head until they are unconscious.  With boxing the basic purpose is to hit the other person in the head until they are unconscious.

The goal of MMA fighting is not to just stand there and punch someone in the head until they are unconscious, but instead to use strategy to win over the opponent.  Because players are able to use a variety of fighting styles it is more about technique than actually hurting the opponent.  The fan base of the MMA sport is only continuing to grow.  People enjoy watching and seeing the strength and stamina of their favorite fighters.


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