Mixed Martial Arts

What happens in the cage...

stays in the cage


Marcelo
Duhalde

Infographic
Designer

Dennis
Wong

Infographic
Designer
One of the world’s fastest growing sports, mixed martial arts (MMA) pits fighters from various combat sports and martial arts disciplines against one another for three five-minute rounds. The object is to defeat your opponent through a combination of strikes, punches, throws and grappling techniques. Fighters recognise that to succeed they must be well versed in a diverse set of skills and tactics

Scenario

The ring/cage used in MMA must be between 20 square feet and 32 square feet. Competitions are held in a ring or a fenced area according to the rules and regulations of UFC.
If fenced, it should be round or have a minimum of six sides. If caged, it should be an octagon shaped cage

Ring surface
The ring is padded with closed-cell foam, with at least a 2.5cm layer of foam padding

Mats are changed between fights to avoid blood or sweat from previous bouts rendering them unsafe

Equipment

Handwrapping
The gauze goes round the fingers 10 times and gives crucial protection to the knuckles, thumbs, wrists, and the small bones in the hand

Gloves
The hands are protected with small, open-fingered gloves. This reduces the number of cuts to the hands when punching while leaving the hands supple enough to grapple

Mouthpieces
All fighters must wear a mouthpiece. It is examined and approved by the attending physician
Made from heavy duty shock absorbant acrylic to provide protection

Skills and techniques

STRIKE

Many parts of the body can be used for a strike, including hands, elbows, knees, legs and feet. The form, power, speed and coordination of the punch makes the difference

COMBINATION

OVERHAND
A vertical, semi-circular punch thrown with the rear hand. The power of the strike relies on body weight

JAB
A sharp, exploratory blow to determine range, test reaction time, and open the opponent’s defence

HOOK
A strong, short-range punch. Requires precision and timing
KNEE STRIKE
A great short-range tool, it requires calculating the distance from the opponent
ROUNDHOUSE KICK
One of the most powerful blows, the attacker swings the leg in a semi-circular motion

CLINCH

A clinch is a tactic where a fighter seeks to control the opponent by holding their neck, or back of the head, or pinning their arms, in order to grapple and strike at close range or force the fight to the ground

COMBINATION

THAI PLUM
The attacker presses his forearm into the chest of the opponent while hooking him round the back of the neck. The attacker is then free to control movement and deliver repeated knee strikes

DIRTY BOXING
When the fighters engage in a stand-up battle and choose to hold and control each other with one hand, while throwing punches with their free hands
ELBOW STRIKES
The fighter doesn’t need a wide range of motion to deliver a powerful slicing elbow. With good technique it is aggressive and destructive
SINGLE NECK GRIP
A clinch that allows a fighter to neutralise an opponent’s attack by moving him via neck control and then counter-attacking

TAKEDOWN

COMBINATION

A wrestling technique to put an apponent off balance, bringing him or her to the ground, with the attacker typically landing on top. Competitors can ‘shoot in’ for a takedown or attempt one from a clinch

DOUBLE TAKEDOWN
An attacker will drop down and drive between an opponent's legs with a step The attacker then rams their shoulder into the opponent’s midsection forcing them to lose balance
SINGLE TAKEDOWN
The attacker grabs an opponent's leg with both hands and drives them to the mat
ANKLE PICK
The attacker grabs and elevates their opponent's ankles off the mat, before either lifting or driving through

GROUND

COMBINATION

The fighter on top will gain control and be in a position to deliver numerous, powerful blows

GUARD
A Brazilian jiu-jitsu move where a fighter is lying flat on their back and uses their legs to tie up, control, and restict their opponent's movements
SIDE CONTROL
A grappling position where the attacker is perpendicular to, and lying on top of their opponent's torso who is on his, or her back
NORTH-SOUTH CHOKE
The attacker then proceeds to wrap their arm around the neck of the grounded opponent before squeezing to generate the submission when an attacker is over the opponent, but positioned in an opposite north-south direction

SUBMISSION
HOLDS

A grappling hold applied with the objective of forcing the opponent to submit due to extreme pain or imminent injury

COMBINATION

REAR NAKED CHOKE
The attacker gets on top of their opponent’s back and uses this advantageous position to set up a choke from the opponent's blind spot

TRIANGLE CHOKE
The attacker uses their legs to isolate and squeeze the neck and one arm of their opponent, commonly performed from the guard position

GUILLOTINE CHOKE
The attacker grips the prone neck of their opponent in a front headlock position and then squeezes the grip tightly until forcing a submission

KIMURA
Occurs when an opponent's arm is isolated and cranked behind their back, thus putting immense pressure on their shoulder

No-no’s in fighting

Every MMA fighting organisation has its own specific rules, but universal no-no’s exist. Here is a selection

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