Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is an 80-year-old Brazilian sport, which was practiced under the name of Vale Tudo (anything goes). “The Daily Mirror” describes it as the fastest growing sport in the world; played by both men and women.
MMA combines different fighting styles and skills inspired by various forms of martial arts and Olympic sports. These include Taekwondo, Jiujitsu, boxing, Karate, wrestling, kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Judo. All of these fighting styles, when used in potent combinations, in an MMA contest can culminate into powerful assaults that can knock-off an opponent.
In 1993, it became a professional event. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), a professional MMA organization, established in the U.S., reported they brought the MMA into the professional realm of sports.
An MMA contest comprises of three, five-minute rounds. However, in the case of a championship bout, there are five rounds of similar duration, according to “The Daily Mirror.”
According to Over MMA, the sport, besides being famous for its growing worldwide popularity, is also infamous for some of the most deadly assaults or strikes in hand-to-hand combative sports. The fatality of these assaults lies in the ability to kill the opponent by knocking him or her off-track and taking advantage of their disoriented response.
The following list showcases five of the major popular and important assaults that any MMA fighter can use to knock an opponent off track.
Double Leg Takedown
According to Sportster, this is a signature MMA move that is heavily borrowed from wrestling. True to its name, this assault involves taking down the opponent by first lifting him up in the air and then throwing him on the ground with full force. However, the act requires some special techniques; the fighter first puts one of his legs into the midsection of his opponent, and then fully and firmly wraps both his arms around his upper thighs. This move will both deprive the opponent of his center of gravity and prevent him from regaining it. While the opponent is struggling for balance, the fighter lifts him up, using the upper thrust of his hips,and throws him down sharply while simultaneously hitting him below the rib-cage to make him feel helpless and disoriented.
This MMA assault inflicts damage on the opponent by allowing the fighter to stay firmly balanced on his feet. For this move, the fighter uses the forward momentum of his opponent against him, when the opponent comes charging at him, the fighter slightly bends forward, grabs his opponent’s upper body, mostly shoulders, and neck, to put him (opponent) face down on the mat, while exerting pressure with his forearms to prevent him from standing up. The fighter, while doing so, locks his own hips and stretches both his legs backward, keeping them out of the opponent’s reach. The beauty of this technique lies in the immense power and control the fighter can gain over his opponent, leaving him vulnerable to multiple attacks of any magnitude.
Spinning Back Kick
The spinning back kick is another popular MMA move used by fighters who have strong legs. It is known for delivering the most number of fatal kicks. To execute this technique, the fighter turns his back toward the opponent, at an angle of 180 degrees, and kicks him hard in the chest with his lead leg. The powerful thrust that results from “the torque produced by the body’s rotation and the odd angle that the blow comes from,” as reported by Cage Potato, pushes the opponent backward. Experts suggest that a powerful spinning back kick can have a velocity ranging between 25-30 miles per hour (mph).
This popular MMA assault is used to elicit submissions from the opponent once the bout goes to the mat. The fighter entangles both his legs around the opponent’s neck, then, using his left leg and sitting atop the right ankle, the fighter then pulls his opponent to the floor. Once on the mat, the fighter tightly locks both arms and covers the opponent’s head. The fighter pulls his opponent’s head toward himself, so as to put pressure on the carotid arteries, putting his opponent in a choke hold and forcing him to surrender the match.
The Arm Bar
According to MMA Mania, the arm bar is a simple, however, it is a highly painful submission move inspired from Jiujitsu. It is also practiced by most MMA fighters. To execute it, the fighter has to place his legs across his opponent’s chest while one arm is between the fighter’s thighs, in a manner that places the opponent’s elbow joint against the fighter’s own hips. To lock the arm from this position, their forearm is placed on the fighter’s chest. The fighter then leans backwards and arches his hips simultaneously. The intense pressure created in the elbow joint forces the opponent to tap out almost instantaneously, for fear of “risking torn ligaments and tendons, and sometimes even a fractured bone if the fighter is strong enough to exert tremendous power and angle.”
Finally, the above-mentioned techniques highlight some of the most important and common assaults inflicted by MMA fighters to knock-off their opponents. However, it is still not a complete list in itself, and will continue to grow as the sport evolves and increases in popularity.
By Bashar Saajid
Edited by Jeanette Smith
The Daily Mirror: Mixed Martial Arts: 11 things you REALLY need to know about the world’s fastest growing sport
UFC.com: The UFC
OverMMA.com: The Most Dangerous Strikes
Sportster.com: Top 10 Signature Moves in MMA History
Cage Potato.com: Fatalities: The 10 Greatest Finishing Moves in MMA
MMA Mania: Ultimate Submissions: Breaking down the arm bar
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Eric Langley’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
First, Second, and Third Inline Image Courtesy of Peter Gordon’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License