Mixed martial arts (or MMA for short) is an adrenaline-fuelled sport that pits two fighters against each other in a ring. Due to the various different fighting styles and weight classes, it’s an incredibly exciting sport to watch and it’s easy to become attached to a fighter and support them due to their choice of martial art or their story. Fighters can compete with almost any martial art known; karate, boxing, kickboxing, muay thai, tae kwon do and even wrestling are all allowed in the world of MMA.

In the United States, MMA is currently more popular than both NASCAR and even NHL and it’s incredibly popular among teenagers and young adults. But what has led to this incredible growth and why is MMA now the world’s fastest growing sport?

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It moved out of the underground

MMA was very popular in the past but it took some time to become a mainstream sport. Because there weren’t many regulations, MMA wasn’t allowed on pay-per-view television. In response to this, organizers began to regulate various things in the MMA scene. For instance, they created weight classes that were used to categorize the fighters and make the sport easier to follow for the masses. Its underground reputation gave it a cult following that eventually spread to the general public, and it’s now an easy-to-watch sport that is enjoyed by everyone around the world.

Gambling and gaming

As with a lot of sports that involve physical contact, there have been many video game incarnations of MMA that have been popular with gamers. This draws their attention to the sport itself and could convince them to watch MMA or get involved with the scene. In addition, since MMA is a sport there are many fantasy MMA websites and gambling services available such as MMA Betting Online. With the increased popularity of MMA and the unpredictability of the fights due to the nature of the sport, it’s a very popular among gamblers.

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Diverse fighters

MMA has the most fighting styles out of any contact sport. Due to the diversity of fighters, there are a lot of different cultures that get involved with MMA and it’s not unlikely to see fighters representing their country or region. There are multiple weight classes and there is a lot of support for female fighters as well. This offers almost anyone with fighting skills to compete in MMA, and thanks to the availability of training facilities and gyms around the world, it’s very easy to get involved and start learning how to fight as well.

Overwhelming promotions and sponsors

MMA organizations are incredibly passionate about getting their sport out into the public eye, meaning they have to rely on huge promotions and running multiple events throughout the year. The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is currently the world’s leading MMA organization and has been one of the main reasons why MMA is such a popular sport. In fact, many new fans accidentally refer to the sport as UFC instead of MMA. As a result, fighters get expensive sponsorship deals and brands are plastered all over the gear they wear, the shirts they wear and it’s not unlikely to see an MMA fighter representing a brand or product.