What is cage fighting and why is it considered so dangerous?
Looking at the type of cage fighting and the injury implications. Exploring MMA promotions like UFC, ONE Championship along the way.
Cage Fighting these days is more popularly known as MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). It is a full contact sport in which two fighters compete against each other using various types of fighting techniques.
The players are pitted against each other in an octagon ring, which looks a lot like an octagon cage. The rules of the game are quite simple. You win by physically overpowering your opponent, which is easier said than done.
The history of the popularity of mixed martial arts can be traced back to the times of Bruce Lee and Chuck Norris, although some purists believe that they did not exactly invent it. The likes of Bruce Lee gave martial arts a wide audience and mixed martial arts evolved over time.
This sport is now competing with boxing and wrestling on pay per view TV and is continuously climbing up the popularity charts. With a lot of promotions like UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), ONE Championship and many more there is a huge platform for fighters too.
The fighters are divided on the basis of their weight and are continuously fighting others in their weight category to gather points as they pursue their dream to become world champions in the respective weight classes.
A fight between two players inside the octagon(cage) is divided into 3 or 5 rounds, as per the event and a round is generally 5 minutes long. Along with the players, there is a referee inside the cage to moderate the match.
The fighters in MMA these days use various fighting techniques which have evolved a lot with time. The fighters use various combat techniques like Boxing, Muay Tai, Karate, Taekwondo and Kick Boxing to fight while standing and striking.
And they also use wrestling techniques like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Catch wrestling while grappling on the floor.
A fighter is declared a winner if he/she knocks out their opponents using their striking or force their opponent into a tap out using their grappling powers. If both the fighters compete all the assigned rounds they are judged on the basis of effective striking, takedowns and octagon control. All this makes it the most physically demanding sport of our time.
Although the spectators get a good adrenaline rush while watching two physically fine human specimens exchange punches and pushing the human body to its physical limits, in this sport there is an extremely fine line between entertainment and disaster.
The risk of physical injury is known to every sportsman, but in MMA it is different. On some occasions, it is more about survival than performance in the octagon. It is very dangerous to fight another human being, it gets brutal a lot of times with blood gushing out of fighters heads and eyes swelling up.
Ribs can easily break and internal injuries can happen. They face a lot of difficulties during old age due to the numerous concussions incurred during their earlier fights. One elbow at a wrong place can prove to be fatal, a kick can easily snap a neck or a hold can lead to a fracture.
The risk of a fatal injury is very real every time a fighter enters the cage. They prepare their bodies for months before a fight and the regulation authorities try their best to avoid fatal moves or accidents. But the risk will always be there.
Check out the infamous Anderson Silva leg break below: