A beginner's guide to MMA - and its rigorous rulebook
For those of us who watched their first fight in Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) yesterday morning, many would have been understandably confused as to how it works. Here the Irish Independent clears up many of the misconceptions surrounding the sport.
MMA involves fighters from different martial arts backgrounds going toe to toe. Fighters must wear a gum shield, four-ounce fingerless gloves, shorts and a groin protector for male fighters.
UFC is not the sport, MMA is. UFC is the foremost organisation but others include Bellator and Cage Warriors.
Fighters can win in number of ways - by getting their opponent to submit, by knocking their opponent unconscious, by getting a technical knockout of an opponent or by winning the judges' scorecard via the 'ten-point-must' system.
There are rules. Likened by some to bare-knuckle-boxing in its savagery, MMA has received scorn for fighters' apparent recklessness. But there are rules and the UFC has its own set, which includes: no biting, head-butting, groin shots, spitting, hitting in the back of the head... the list goes on. If fighters commit a foul, they will lose a point at the referee's and judges' discretion.