Published at Tuesday, 17 December 2019. Female. By Abby Marshall.
The first documented use of the name mixed martial arts was in a review of UFC 1 by television critic Howard Rosenberg, in 1993. The term gained popularity when the website newfullcontact.com, then one of the biggest covering the sport, hosted and reprinted the article. The first use of the term by a promotion was in September 1995 by Rick Blume, president and CEO of Battlecade Extreme Fighting, just after UFC 7. UFC official Jeff Blatnick was responsible for the Ultimate Fighting Championship officially adopting the name mixed martial arts. It was previously marketed as "Ultimate Fighting" and "No Holds Barred (NHB)", until Blatnick and John McCarthy proposed the name "MMA" at the UFC 17 rules meeting in response to increased public criticism. The question as to who actually coined the name is still in debate.
In Ancient Greece, there was a sport called pankration, which featured a combination of grappling and striking skills similar to those found in modern MMA. Pankration was formed by a combination of the already established wrestling and boxing traditions and, in Olympic terms, first featured in the 33rd Olympiad in 648 BC. All strikes and holds were allowed with the exception of biting and gouging, which were banned. The fighters, called pankratiasts, fought until someone could not continue or signaled submission by raising their index finger; there were no rounds. According to E. Norman Gardiner, "No branch of athletics was more popular than the pankration." From its origins in Ancient Greece, pankration was later passed on to the Romans.
Another Brazilian fighter, middleweight Anderson Silva, was considered by many to be one of the most skilled MMA fighters in the history of the sport. His background included training in tae kwon do, Brazilian jujitsu, Muay Thai, and boxing. In 2006 he won his UFC debut in a bout that lasted just 49 seconds. Silva captured the UFC middleweight championship later that same year and successfully defended the title 10 times before losing it to Chris Weidman in 2013.
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