50 Reasons We Love MMA

G DAnalyst IIIDecember 15, 2011

50 Reasons We Love MMA

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    All sports fans have developed a passion within themselves and a deep love for a specific sport over the course of their lifetime. For many, that sport is none other than mixed martial arts.

    The sport of mixed martial arts has unsurprisingly flooded the scene over the recent decade en route to becoming the world's fastest growing sport.

    With a record-setting year, it's likely mixed martial arts will only to continue to develop as a global powerhouse as it approaches the mainstream.

    But what exactly is it that's caused so many fans to love mixed martial arts?

    The following slides display 50 reasons why we love MMA.

    Let's take a look.

It's Real

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    One of the biggest factors in mixed martial arts' growth is the fact that it is as real as it gets.

    When fighters enter the Octagon or ring, they are fighting for their careers, unlike many organizations, which are merely scripted with a decided outcome.

The Excitement

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    Since arriving on the scene, there are few sports that provide the entertainment and excitement of mixed martial arts.

    Through the variation of knockouts, submissions and grueling decisions, the sport of mixed martial arts provide its fans and viewers with all they need.

Upsets

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    Like every other sport, mixed martial arts is unpredictable, as a change of events could occur within a matter of seconds.

    Anytime an individual enters the Octagon or ring, he is just one swing away from being declared victorious.

    Upset alert.

Comebacks

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    As we've seen since its emergence on the scene, mixed martial arts is seemingly unpredictable.

    Therefore, an opponent should never be considered out of a fight until the final bell rings.

    Despite being dominated, a fighter can display a comeback as long as time is remaining on the clock.

UFC

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    The Ultimate Fighting Championship is unarguably the highest stage for all of mixed martial arts today.

    The UFC is home to the majority of the world's greatest fighters and currently provides its fighters with eight different weight class opportunities.

Dana White

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    Ultimate Fighting Championship president Dana White is the engine that has helped the UFC become one of the world's fastest-growing organizations.

    The UFC has grown immensely since first becoming an organization 18 years ago.

    Increased growth is expected to continue as we move into 2012.

Strikeforce

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    While Strikeforce certainly isn't the top organization in mixed martial arts, it provides competition to other organizations like the UFC and Bellator.

    Strikeforce is the current home of one of the best lightweight fighters in the world in Gilbert Melendez.

Bellator

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    Bellator is another organization that provides competition to the UFC and Strikeforce.

    While Bellator certainly isn't a front-runner in mixed martial arts, it is an organization that many fans have come to love.

Knockouts

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    There are few things that can compare to the knockout blow that occurs within the sport of mixed martial arts.

    As we've seen over the years, a knockout can come when it's expected and, of course, when it's least expected.

    Some of the world's greatest knockout artists are still currently fighting to this very day, while others have stepped away from the sport.

Submissions

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    Much like the knockout punch, the submission is one of the most fascinating things in all of mixed martial arts.

    Some of the biggest upsets in the sport's history have come by way of submission.

The Crowds

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    Nearly every time a mixed martial arts event is announced, it gets sold out.

    However, just being sold out doesn't even begin to describe what the crowd is like at the actual event.

    Mixed martial arts fans are some of the most diehard fans in the world of sports.

Rivalries

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    Red Sox vs. Yankees, Duke vs. North Carolina or any number of others.

    They're all rivalries.

    Just like the other top sports in the world, mixed martial arts is home to some great rivalries.

    The latest and the greatest: Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen.

Rematches

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    The great thing about mixed martial arts is that if fighters underperform or get knocked off their throne, they can have the chance to redeem themselves.

    Rematches are quite frequent in mixed martial arts.

Grueling Decisions

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    Not every fight can end in a knockout or submission.

    Therefore, there are many times that some of the greatest fights of all time find their way heading to the judges' scorecards.

    Grueling decisions are sometimes the greatest entertainment a fan or viewer can ask for.

Five-Round Fights

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    Specifically, in the UFC, president Dana White has provided fans with the opportunity to see not only three rounds of all-out war but five.

    In main events and championship bouts, fans have the privilege of seeing an extra two rounds.

Entrances

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    There's no two ways about it—mixed martial arts is home to some of the best entrances in any sport.

Pay-Per-Views

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    While there are many times that organizations provide free events to their viewers, the pay-per-view events are jam-packed with action and more well-known fighters.

    There's nothing better than getting together or kicking back for mixed martial arts pay-per-view events.

Free Events

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    As previously stated, many organizations provide events free of cost to those who wish to tune in.

    The UFC provides fans with Fight Night and Live on Versus.

FOX Network

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    The UFC recently signed a deal with the FOX Network that locked down the next seven years of displaying fight cards on national television.

    Not only are these events turning into some of the most anticipated of all time, but they are also free of cost.

Facebook

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    There are many times where fans and viewers across the globe can't or don't have the opportunity to tune in to see their favorite fighters.

    A major reason for this is the fact the UFC doesn't always display preliminary bouts on national television.

    Instead, the UFC has collaborated with Facebook to air these bouts.

Joe Silva

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    There are many individuals who are behind the scenes in the world of mixed martial arts.

    Few have played the role of the UFC's Joe Silva.

    Silva has been the engine behind one of the world's fastest-growing organizations.

Eight Weight Classes

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    While not every organization in mixed martial arts provides fans with eight weight divisions, the UFC is the exception to that rule.

    Over the past two years, the UFC has added both the bantamweight and featherweight divisions.

    In addition, the UFC will also be welcoming the 125-pound weight division known as the flyweight division.

Fan Expos

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    One of the most loved things about the sport of mixed martial arts is the connection fans can form with their favorite fighters.

    Prior to many mixed martial arts events, the organization will hold fan expos for fans to come and meet and greet their favorite fighters.

Brittney Palmer

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    Brittney Palmer has become one of the most appreciated individuals in mixed martial arts today.

    Palmer is a current ring girl for the UFC.

    Enough said.

The Legends

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    While there are some of the world's greatest fighters currently fighting throughout different organizations of mixed martial arts, there are many who've come before.

    The list of these legends goes on, and on, and on.

History of Pride

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    Before the UFC became the center stage for all fighters across the globe, it was Pride that was the worldwide powerhouse.

    Over the years, Pride has produced some of the most elite fighters to have ever entered the Octagon or ring.

Video Games

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    Luckily for the gamers out there, there are several mixed martial arts video games that can be purchased.

    In February, 2012 UFC Undisputed 3 will be released.

The Trash Talkers

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    What's a sport without its trash talkers?

    Well, in mixed martial arts, there are more than you can even begin to wrap your mind around.

    "Insert anything here."

The Silent Assassins

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    While there are many trash talkers in mixed martial arts, there are also those who accomplish similar goals.

    The only difference: These fighters do it without having to say a word.

Interim Titles

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    In a case like Georges St-Pierre's injury, fans don't want to see champions off for a great deal of time, as it eliminates the number of title shots.

    Therefore, interim titles have come to be an essential part of mixed martial arts today.

Herb Dean

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    There are many, many times where fighters and fans disagree with a decision made by a referee.

    However, few have come to display the skills and efficiency of the UFC's Herb Dean.

    There's a reason Dean is Dana White's favorite referee.

Up-and-Coming Fighters

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    In every sport you have your duds, your contenders, your champions and, of course, your up-and-coming athletes.

    Nearly every organization of mixed martial arts is filled with fighters who show promising potential.

The Ultimate Fighter

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    The Ultimate Fighter just concluded its 14 season, as fans across the globe got to witness Michael Bisping and Jason Miller coach the bantamweight and featherweight divisions of the UFC.

    Many new and older fighters have made their names through TUF.

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

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    While there are many areas that have helped the sport become what it is today, few arts can compete with Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

    BJJ has been around since the sport first came to be.

Role Models

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    We all have that person in our life that represents how life is supposed to be lived.

    Well, in mixed martial arts, there are several fighters who represent how the sport is supposed to be fought.

    The role models of the sport have come to attract many fans over the years.

Social Media

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    Facebook, Twitter and every other social network has allowed fans across the globe to form relationships with their favorite and most hated fighters.

    If in doubt, tweet it out.

Anderson Silva

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    Every sport has its poster child.

    For mixed martial arts, Anderson Silva is that fighter, as he's never fallen short since joining the UFC in 2006.

    Silva is the reigning UFC middleweight champion and arguably the greatest fighter to have ever stepped foot inside the Octagon.

Heavy Hitters

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    Boom. Down he goes.

    We've all heard that famous saying, as it's the hard and heavy hitters of mixed martial arts that have made this statement happen.

    Fans have fallen in love with the hard hitters.

The Personalities

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    The Chael Sonnens, the Melvin Guillards, and the Quinton "Rampage" Jacksons are just a short list of the many celebrities in mixed martial arts today.

    There's a personality for every fan's interest.

Chael Sonnen

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    Chael Sonnen is hands down the most outspoken man in mixed martial arts today.

    Nothing else needs to be explained.

Arianny Celeste

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    Much like Brittney Palmer, Arianny Celeste has come to be a fan favorite, as she is an Octagon girl for the UFC.

    Celeste continues to draw fans in with her attractive appearance and charm.

It's Global

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    Over the past several years, the sport of mixed martial arts has evolved into not only a North American powerhouse, but a global one as well.

    Over the past year, the UFC has traveled to several parts of the world, allowing fans from all over to witness one of the greatest sports of all time.

Jon Jones

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    As many legends have come to pass, Jon Jones has established himself as the future of mixed martial arts.

    Jones is one of MMA's most exciting fighters and has already become the youngest champion in UFC history.

The Tough Guys

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    Every fans loves the athlete who wears his heart on his sleeve.

    Well, that happens quite often in mixed martial arts.

    Fighters like Frankie Edgar, Dan Henderson and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua have begun to blaze the trail for the toughest fighters in mixed martial arts today.

The Gatekeepers

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    The all-too-familiar gatekeeper is that specific fighter who holds down the fort in a respective weight division.

    While these fighters may have accomplished a great deal over the course of their careers, it's likely they'll never be more than the gatekeeper.

Brock Lesnar

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    Since making the transition from the WWE, Brock Lesnar has rapidly become a household name in mixed martial arts today.

    Lesnar may very well be the most recognized name in the UFC.

The Octagon

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    And of course, the famous Octagon.

Georges St-Pierre

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    Despite a recent injury that will keep Georges St-Pierre sidelined until later in 2012, the Canadian legend remains one of the most popular fighters in the UFC today.

    St-Pierre has dominated the welterweight division and hasn't lost a single bout since 2007.

    "Rush" has been nearly unbeatable up until this point in his career.

Press Conferences

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    While the fights are certainly the most entertaining part of mixed martial arts, a lot of the hilarious actions occur prior to or after the events occur.

    Press conferences are one of the most loved things about mixed martial arts today.

Staredowns

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    At every weigh-in and every pre-fight, the two fighters squaring off with one another will meet for a staredown.

    While many staredowns are nothing to shake a stick at, over the years fans have seen some of the most vicious staredowns of all time.

    For additional information, follow Garrett Derr on Twitter.