One of the most popular arenas that Mixed Martial Arts competitions are held in is the MMA cage. This contraption is one that has eight sides and is padded quite heavily on the inside for the protection and safety of the fighters. It is also chain link reinforced as well. This signature large accessory is affectionately known as the Octagon. Although there have been other competitions and organizations that have used cages in fighting, the unusual shape of the MMA cage has become associated with the Mixed Martial Arts and the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), almost becoming like a trademark piece.
The recognition of the Octagon being associated with the popular Mixed Martial Arts is further fueled by the fact that it is regularly featured on television and highlighted in the national media pretty often. The Octagon was first featured in UFC fighting events for the first time in 1993, and ever since then it has become an iconic symbol of the extreme sport. The Ultimate Fighting Championship is known as the largest supporter/promoter of Mixed Martial Arts, and the organization is one that has a very interesting original purpose.
The original intentions of the UFC was to find the best fighters across the world by arranging competitions and fights that would be based on fighters with the best moves that would be used under unarmed combat situations, which is why there were so few rules and regulations. In comparison to how it was when it began, there are now many more rules to increase safety. The whole reason for this is to gain more public acceptance so that the fan base would grow. Basically, the original tournament was based on the Brazilian tudo fighting style, and was for the most part a no rules, no holds barred contest.
This did not sit well with much of the public, and it wasnt long before there were protests and accusations about it being brutal, violent, and overall just wrong. The UFC ended up re organizing, re grouping, and re thinking and did a major overhaul of the sport, mainly by incorporating many more rules for safety reasons in hopes of winning back the public opponents by letting them see that the MMA cage fighting and other areas were indeed much safer than before.
The UFC has come a long way since its beginning in terms of winning the hearts of fans everywhere, but it does still have quite a long way to go. Their form of extreme fighting is still illegal in many countries around the world, so those countries will have to wait a bit longer before they are able to host any live MMA cage fights!
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