Published at Friday, December 20th 2019. by Jean-Michel Boissieu in Female.
In the UFC, women’s MMA is currently restricted to just two weight classes: strawweight, for fighters weighing up to 115 pounds (52 kg), and bantamweight, for fighters weighing up to 135 pounds (61 kilograms). Other MMA organizations, however, have sanctioned women’s bouts in several additional weight classes, including featherweight, with an upper weight limit of 145 pounds (66 kg) and atomweight, for fighters weighing up to 105 pounds (48 kg).
The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) was founded in 2012 in Sweden to further the development of the sport and to serve as the global governing body for amateur MMA. IMMAF members include more than 40 national MMA federations. The IMMAF annually sponsors the World Championships of Amateur MMA and maintains an amateur MMA world-ranking list. It is a stated goal of the IMMAF to ultimately secure the inclusion of MMA in the Olympic Games.
The new hybridization of fighting styles can be seen in the technique of "ground and pound" developed by wrestling-based UFC pioneers such as Dan Severn, Don Frye and Mark Coleman. These wrestlers realized the need for the incorporation of strikes on the ground as well as on the feet, and incorporated ground striking into their grappling-based styles. Mark Coleman stated at UFC 14 that his strategy was to "Ground him and pound him", which may be the first televised use of the term. Since the late 1990s, both strikers and grapplers have been successful at MMA, though it is rare to see any fighter who is not schooled in both striking and grappling arts reach the highest levels of competition.
Another early example of mixed martial arts was Bartitsu, which Edward William Barton-Wright founded in London in 1899. Combining catch wrestling, judo, boxing, savate, jujutsu and canne de combat (French stick fighting), Bartitsu was the first martial art known to have combined Asian and European fighting styles, and which saw MMA-style contests throughout England, pitting European Catch wrestlers and Japanese Judoka champions against representatives of various European wrestling styles.
Irish fighter Conor McGregor was one of the more successful MMA fighters in the lower weight divisions. He competed mostly in the featherweight and lightweight classes. McGregor made his UFC debut in 2013 with a first-round technical knockout of Marcus Brimage and two years later won the UFC featherweight championship. McGregor moved up to welterweight in 2016.
During the late 1960s to early 1970s, the concept of combining the elements of multiple martial arts was popularized in the West by Bruce Lee via his system of Jeet Kune Do. Lee believed that "the best fighter is not a Boxer, Karate or Judo man. The best fighter is someone who can adapt to any style, to be formless, to adopt an individuals own style and not following the system of styles." In 2004, UFC President Dana White would call Lee the "father of mixed martial arts" stating: "If you look at the way Bruce Lee trained, the way he fought, and many of the things he wrote, he said the perfect style was no style. You take a little something from everything. You take the good things from every different discipline, use what works, and you throw the rest away".
Although the UFC struggled to make money in its early years, it eventually developed into a highly profitable organization. Between 2003 and 2006, a trilogy of fights between two of the sports biggest stars, Americans Randy (“the Natural”) Couture and Chuck (“the Iceman”) Liddell, at UFC 43, 52, and 57 helped elevate MMA and the UFC. The sport also received a boost from The Ultimate Fighter reality TV show, which first aired in 2005. The show traditionally features fighters looking to break into the UFC. Divided into teams under celebrity fighter coaches, combatants live under the same roof and fight each other in a knockout format, with the final winner earning a UFC contract. Beginning in 2013, women also appeared on The Ultimate Fighter both as coaches and as competitors.
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