Rules of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) | How it is Played?

This is not an ordinary sport, it requires some serious level of strength, perseverance and determination. Despite the fact it can be a dangerous sport and in competitive tournaments injuries are common, players enter the ring sleek and healthy and often leave covered in blood, it is one of the world’s fastest growing sports.

Rules of MMA

Though it’s a brutal sport, players have to follow rules and martial discipline such as in boxing, Karate, Jiu Jitsu and Judo. You can kick, punch and use several other techniques to pin your opponent down. The game has made rapid progress in the last few years and is particularly becoming popular in European countries because of substantial prize money brought by lucrative sponsorships and TV rights.

Object of Playing MMA

The object of the game is to defeat your opponent using legit techniques. The fight takes place in multiple rounds and after each round certain points are given or a direct winner can be chosen if one of the fighters takes down the opponent in such a way that he is declared unfit for the remaining fight.

How to Play?

MMA fights involve some serious punches and kicks to the permitted areas of the opponent’s body. Players hit each other in such a fashion that one of them is knocked out or sustains a serious injury that the referee declares him unfit to continue and thus the winner is determined.

However, the game is guarded by rules regarding where you can hit your opponent and what kind of moves are legal. If you are curious to learn more about the rules of this brutal game, make sure you read the whole article till the end.

General Rules of MMA

  • Fighters can only use legal strikes grappling and throwing techniques in an attempt to defeat their opponent.
  • These attacks are not allowed in MMA fights: Strikes to the groin, Eye gouging, Biting,Grabbing or striking the throat, Manipulating the fingers, Hair pulling, Head butts,
  • striking the back of the head.
  • You cannot intentionally throw your opponent out of the cage.
  • Fighters have to comply with the referee’s instructions.
  • The game can be won by submission, knockout, forfeit and no contest.
  • If the competition goes till the end – which is very rare – the winner is chosen by judges based on the number of points scored. If judges give the same number of points, then the match shall be declared a draw.
  • If both players continue to break rules, the referee can call it a non contest and the match will end as no winner.

Time Duration of Fights

The fight is divided into three rounds and each round consists of 5 minutes. Fighters get one minute break after each round.

Equipment Requires in MMA

During an MMA fight, you can only use gloves for protecting your fingers while punching. Some players also use gum shields but there is no other such equipment used in a MMA fight.

MMA Playing Field

MMA fights take place in a ring or cage, measuring between 20-32 square feet, depending on the level of the tournament.

Weight Categories in MMA

For fair competition, MMA fights take place between the same weight platters. Here are some of the MMA fight weight categories:

  • Super Heavyweight: over 265 pounds
  • Heavyweight: over 205 to 265 pounds
  • Light Heavyweight: over 185 to 205 pounds
  • Middleweight: over 170 to 185 pounds
  • Welterweight: over 155 to 170 pounds
  • Lightweight: over 145 to 155 pounds
  • Featherweight: over 135 to 145 pounds
  • Women’s Bantamweight: over 125 to 135 pounds
  • Bantamweight: over 125 to 135 pounds
  • Flyweight: over 115 pounds to 125
  • Strawweight: up to 115 pounds

Winning Conditions in a MMA Match

Knockout: Knockout is when a player loses consciousness during the game after being hit badly.

Decision: The winner is decided by the judges based on points if the game goes till the last round.

Submission: When an opponent is held tightly by the fighter in such a way that he can’t get out of the trap, he can accept the defeat by tapping out, this is called submission. If the opponent refuses to tap and loses consciousness, it is also called submission.

Technical Knockout: Technical knockout occurs when a player is being hit badly and the team of doctors technically declare him unfit for the rest of the game, regardless of the fact that player thinks he is fit to fight, this is called technical knockout and the other player is deemed the winner.

Forfeit: If a fighter gets injured or ill before the fight, he can forfeit it. The opponent will be declared winner.

Referee & Judges

The referee takes care of the in ring discipline while the judges give marks based on the player’s performance in the ring.

Famous MMA Tournaments

UFC is one of the biggest brands in the MMA world and they organize fights throughout the year between some of the finest fighters of this era. These fights are considered very expensive, and very few fights take place throughout the year – possible because of the hype of every fight.

Governing Body

The International Mixed Martial Arts Federation (IMMAF) was formed in 2012, but it has little to do with MMA fights so far as it is not part of any major tournament yet. And private companies like UFC take care of the sport and likely to continue reigning MMA in future as well.