The world of mixed martial arts (MMA) has become a mainstream sport, and has caught on with fans of all ages, and both sexes.
This past weekend, Seattle hosted the first ever Ultimate Fighting Championship, UFC Fight Night 24 (UFC, owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC) bout in Washington State, which averaged 2.2 million viewers on Spike TV.
Some big names in the MMA fighting world like Phil Davis, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Amir Sadollah, and others arrived in Seattle days before the event to prepare and play up to cameras and fans at various workouts and press conferences.
In the early and mid 1990’s when made for TV mixed martial arts competitions began to push its way to the forefront of sports, the competitions were thought to be barbaric, and in many ways it was.
With virtually neither rules nor weight-class for the fighters, it often seemed unfair or heavily weighted to one side as who would be the victor. But, that was a short lived thought; especially when a skilled Jiu Jitsu master faced off to his larger opponent. (Jiu Jitsu is a technique used to defend against an opponent by leveraging the others size and weight against them).
Today the largest MMA promoter, UFC has rules and weight classes for their fighters, and each fighter has been trained, qualified, and skilled to fight in the octagon (an eight sided cage in which the fighters battle to determine the victor).
The UFC currently uses seven weight classes:
• Bantamweight: 126 to 135 lb (57 to 61 kg)
• Featherweight: 136 to 145 lb (62 to 66 kg)
• Lightweight: 146 to 155 lb (66 to 70 kg)
• Welterweight: 156 to 170 lb (71 to 77 kg)
• Middleweight: 171 to 185 lb (78 to 84 kg)
• Light Heavyweight: 186 to 205 lb (84 to 93 kg)
• Heavyweight: 206 to 265 lb (93 to 120 kg)
The Saturday night event in Seattle proved to be a huge success for the venue and fans, with more than 14,000 people standing, and cheered loudly as their favorite fighter entered the octagon.
With such a successful night for everyone, there is no doubt that the UFC organization will be returning to Seattle. But for local fight fans who can’t wait, our neighbor to the north will be hosting UFC 131 at the Rogers Arena on June, 11, 2011 featuring the wrestling giant Brock Lesnar.