MMA vs. UFC: What Do They Stand For?
MMA stands for Mixed Martial Arts, and UFC stands for Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Whether you’re a fan of fighting sports or not, you might have come across these two terms. And most probably, you got confused on what they really mean or stand for.
In the simplest terms possible, MMA is to UFC as Basketball is to NBA.
Don’t understand it yet?
Let’s shed more light on MMA and UFC and the relationship between them below...
What is MMA?
MMA, or Mixed Martial Arts, refers to a combat sport that combines different schools of fighting.
It is a full-contact sport that allows the fighters to use both wrestling and striking skills- while on the ground or standing.
For your info, MMA has been existence for hundreds (if not thousands) of years ago.
Before the formation of UFC (more details coming up later in the post), there existed various types of MMA organizations- with the two most popular ones being shoot wrestling show (Japan) and Vale Tudo (Brazil).
The creation of UFC in 1993 rocketed the MMA combat sport into the public imagination. The first ever UFC was held as a one-off- a competition aimed at identifying the world’s most effective martial art. The event involved representatives of various fighting styles- like Wrestling, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Karate, Muay Thai, and Taekwondo.
Later on, it became clear that one style wasn’t enough and this led to the change of MMA to what it is today.
The fighters started cross-training in various martial arts- where strikers became better grapplers and vice versa.
This way a new fighting style was developed- the MMA- which was simply a mixture of the best of the best techniques of all the martial arts known to humankind mixed together.
What is UFC?
UFC, Ultimate Fighting Championship refers to the organization tasked with the promotion of the Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) sport.
Based in the United States and created back in 1993 (and sanctioned by Nevada Athletic Commission in 2001), the UFC is simply the brand name through which the MMA combat sport sells.
Today, UFC acts as the premier organization in MMA. It enforces all the mixed martial arts unified rules without exception.
Boasting of more than 40 fights per year, this organization is famous for hosting most of the top-ranked MMA fighters across the globe.
Note that their events are held not only in America but many other countries around the planet.
Below is a breakdown of the main rules of UFC (NOTE: you can find the full rules at the UFC official website):
- MMA contests and exhibitions should be held in a ring or fenced area
- All fighters must wear a mouthguard and bandages should be evenly distributed across their hands
- Male MMA fighters should wear a groin protector; females should wear a chest protector
- All the contestants should wear MMA gloves weighing between 4 and 6 ounces
- Each MMA championship contest will comprise five rounds; each round should have a duration of not more than 5 minutes. The rest period between then rounds is 1 minute.
- All the bouts will be evaluated, scored by up to 3 judges positioned at different locations around the ring or the fighting area. The referee might not be one of these judges
- The three judges should evaluate MMA techniques like effective grappling, effective striking, effective aggressiveness, defense, and control of the fighting area. Each round shall be scored on a 10-point system
- There exists up to 31 types of fouls which include spitting, kicking the head of a grounded opponent, hair pulling. In the event of a series of fouls, the referee can DQ a fighter.
No more confusion!
Now you know the difference between MMA (mixed martial arts) and UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), and the link that exists between them.
While MMA refers to a combat sport that comprises a combination of various schools of fighting, UFC acts as the organization that brings together the world’s finest MMA fighters to fight each other at different weights, with the main event happening once a month.
As I said at the beginning, MMA is to UFC as basketball is to NBA.