Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA is a full contact combative sport that has an international following. MMA allows participants to use striking techniques such as punches and kicks, as well as the use of the knees and elbows.
Additionally, MMA fighters may use a variety of grappling, ground fighting, and submission techniques. In the United States, and other nations of the Western Hemisphere, most MMA bouts take place in a fenced in ring (resembling a cage), commonly referred to as an octagon. In other nations, such as Russia and Japan, MMA matches are commonly held in a ring that strongly resembles the type used in boxing.
Currently in the U.S. most MMA organizations use a unified set of rules, have designated weight classes, require light weight gloves, use timed rounds with rest periods, and require a referee and a set of judges to oversee a bout.
In the Western Hemisphere most MMA fighters tend to concentrate on training in Brazilian Jui-Jitsu, Boxing, Muay Thai, and Wrestling. However, there is no set rule that say a fighter has to train in one style or another, and many successful fighters have backgrounds in Judo, Karate, Sambo, and Kung Fu.
MMA fighters achieve victory by a knock out, submission, decision (points), or referee stoppage (TKO).
In North America, the largest and most successful professional MMA organization is the Ultimate Fighting Championship or UFC. ―Thanks to DD for the write up!