It’s been described as “barbaric” and “brutal” by some. But mixed martial arts has become one of the fastest growing sports in the world.
Striking forms such as Muay Thai and kickboxing as well as ground-based arts like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu are blended together to create mixed martial artists, or “ultimate fighters”. These athletes compete in different promotions across the globe in the same way that footballers can compete in different leagues.
One of the biggest MMA promotions in the world is the Ultimate Fighting Championship. It was the formation of the UFC that led to the sport evolving from the days of practitioners such as Bruce Lee, and becoming such a force on the combat sports scene.
Oliver Gibbons took a look at the controversial sport and the rising popularity behind it.