Published at Tuesday, 17 December 2019. Female. By Abby Marshall.
In 2006 the UFC moved to capitalize on the sport’s growing popularity by buying other MMA organizations, including the World Fighting Alliance (WFA) and World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC). In 2007 the UFC also purchased the Japan-based Pride Fighting Championships (known as Pride). The UFC disbanded the WFA, acquiring top WFA fighters such as Quinton (“Rampage”) Jackson, but continued to operate the WEC as a distinct entity until 2010. The UFC had planned to have Pride and UFC champions meet annually in a so-called Super Bowl of mixed martial arts, but the Pride purchase proved to be problematic. Though Pride ultimately was also disbanded, the UFC did take on a number of top Pride fighters.
Mixed martial arts was believed to date back to the ancient Olympic Games in 648 bce, when pankration—the martial training of Greek armies—was considered the combat sport of ancient Greece. The brutal contest combined wrestling, boxing, and street fighting. Kicking and hitting a downed opponent were allowed; only biting and eye gouging were forbidden. A match ended when one of the fighters acknowledged defeat or was rendered unconscious. In some cases, competitors died during matches. Pankration became one of the most popular events of the ancient Olympics.
In addition to the UFC, there are numerous other professional MMA organizations. Among the most prominent of these are the Newport Beach, California-based Bellator MMA, founded in 2008, and the Singapore-based ONE Championship, which promotes many of the top MMA fighters in Asia. Invicta Fighting Championships, a promotion dedicated to female MMA fighters, was launched in the United States in 2012.
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