MMA stands for mixed martial arts and is also known as cage fighting. Cage fighting is a combat sport composed of various fighting techniques, taken from other martial arts. MMA was born out of the search for the best fighting style for street combat. Initially, the fights had very few rules and tried to incorporate as many styles from other fighting sports as possible. Hence cage fighting can be a very aggressive game, with little protection given to the combatants. Even though MMA’s history can be traced to the 1970s boxing championships, the term mixed martial arts was coined in 1993. Cage fighting is therefore a relatively new physical activity, with its most amazing matches taking place during the past 30 years only. Even though MMA is not recognized by the International Olympic Committee, there are professional cage fighting competitions that take place. The inclusions of additional rules and regulations into the combat helped increase the popularity of the game among the general audience. Currently, cage fighting is regulated by the International MMA Federation and has a global presence. MMA is also promoted by the UFC in America, with the company being the largest promoter of the game in the world. Some of the top online sports betting is done on the UFC, with the matches featuring the best cage fighters available. Despite the combat’s young age, cage fighting championships have a large viewership base, with the UFC held matches averaging 1.17 million viewers. The article will describe five amazing MMA tournaments that took place since the sport’s inception.
Five greatest cage fights
- A fight can be remembered when the underdog wins against the favorite. Such was the case when Robbie Lawler beat Rory MacDonald with a knockout during the UFC championship. The American challenged Rory in five rounds, beating the Canadian in the first minutes of the fifth round. Even though the betting community thought Rory would win, giving him -165 odds, the fighter was squarely beaten by Robbie Lawler. The U.S. athlete had the odds of +145, but managed to win the fight and receive a huge $350 thousand
- A great cage fight took place between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen during the UFC 117. In this match, the latter athlete was certain of his victory. The American was sure that he could knock out Silva, a Brazilian. As the championship proceeded, spectators could see the Brazilian getting beat up by Sonnnen. Silva was squarely on the losing side, with only minutes remaining in the tournament. But suddenly Silva’s luck had changed. In the fifth and final round, the Brazilian managed to take revenge on the American. Silva’s triangle choke managed to tap out Sonnen, with the prize squarely going to the Latino athlete.
- Two Americans challenging each other several times trying to find out which athlete is the strongest. Such was the case between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. Although the cage fight ended in a draw, it is amazingly fun to watch. In the beginning, Maynard was pummeling Edgar every second, with the spectators believing that the fighter would win the tournament. But Edgar had immense resolve in him and managed to resist all of Maynard’s strikes. As the fighter gained stamina, Edgar managed to strike back at his opponent and achieve parity with Maynard. The two opponents ended the match in a draw, with a lot of excitement from the fans.
- A UFC match can be won by a decision of the judges. Such was the case when Benson Henderson beat Frankie Edgar in the 144th UFC, held in Japan. The latter was the champion in the tournament, while the former was the challenger. The two Americans battled each other in an amazing match. In this lightweight fight, Edgar had his nose bleed and gave the victory to Henderson. As both fighters had identical salaries of $65 thousand, this was an extremely close and hard to predict tournament. This close championship should be interesting to rewatch for any MMA fan.
- An amazing UFC tournament can also include poorer sportsmen. Like this match between two low paid athletes. Forest Griffin defeated Stephan Bonner in the Ultimate Fighter 1 finale, held in Las Vegas. The two closely matched Americans fought each other for three rounds of the game. This tournament helped the UFC stay in business and was seen by the experts as an extremely good fight. With the odds of each player winning being close to one another, Griffin’s victory was fabulously well received by the supporters.
Cage fighting is a relatively new sport, although it traces its roots back to the ancient days of gladiator fights in Rome. Sometimes amazing MMA fights can involve highly paid and famous athletes. The fights can be extremely closely matched, thus being impossible to predict. At other times, the underdog can defeat the favorite in a great show. The matches listed in this article should be interesting rewatch for anyone liking the sport.