why mma is not real fighting

why mma is not real fighting

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) has gained immense popularity in recent years, attracting millions of fans worldwide. However, despite its reputation as a “real” fighting sport, there are several reasons why MMA cannot be considered as true fighting. In this article, we will explore various aspects that highlight the limitations of MMA as a genuine fighting discipline.

1. Rule-based Fighting

MMA fights are governed by a set of rules that restrict certain techniques and actions. For instance, eye gouging, strikes to the groin, and biting are strictly prohibited. These rules are in place to ensure the safety of the fighters, but they also limit the range of possible moves and tactics that can be employed in a fight. This makes MMA more of a regulated sport than a true representation of real-life combat.

2. Weight Classes

MMA organizes fighters into different weight classes, ensuring that opponents are relatively evenly matched in terms of size and weight. While this promotes fairness and reduces the risk of severe injuries, it deviates from the reality of street fights or self-defense situations, where individuals may have to face opponents of varying sizes and strengths.

3. Time Limits

MMA fights are typically divided into rounds, with each round lasting a specific duration. If the fight goes the distance, judges decide the winner based on a scoring system. However, in real-life confrontations, there are no time limits or judges to intervene. This time constraint in MMA alters the dynamics of the fight and prevents fighters from fully exploring their strategies and tactics.

4. Protective Gear

MMA fighters wear gloves and other protective gear to minimize the risk of injury. While this is necessary for the fighters’ safety, it also affects the intensity and impact of strikes. In a real fight, without any protective gear, punches and kicks could have much more devastating consequences, making MMA a less accurate representation of real-life combat.

5. Specialized Training

MMA fighters undergo extensive training in various martial arts disciplines, such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and wrestling. While this diverse training enhances their skills and versatility, it also creates a somewhat artificial environment where fighters can focus solely on specific techniques. In real fights, individuals rarely have the luxury of specialized training and must rely on their instinct and adaptability.

why mma is not real fighting

6. Absence of External Factors

MMA fights take place in controlled environments, such as cages or rings, with no external factors to consider. In real-life situations, fights can occur in unpredictable settings, with uneven terrain, obstacles, or multiple attackers. These external factors significantly influence the dynamics of a fight, which MMA fails to replicate.

7. Sportsmanship and Respect

MMA promotes sportsmanship and respect between fighters, with strict penalties for unsportsmanlike conduct. While this is commendable, real fights often lack such rules and regulations, with emotions running high and participants resorting to any means necessary to defend themselves. The absence of this raw and primal aspect makes MMA a less authentic representation of real fighting.

8. Limited Focus on Self-Defense

MMA primarily focuses on competitive fighting rather than self-defense. While many techniques used in MMA can be effective in self-defense situations, the sport itself does not encompass the full spectrum of real-life threats and scenarios. Self-defense involves more than just physical combat, including situational awareness, de-escalation, and understanding legal implications.


While MMA has undoubtedly revolutionized combat sports and captivated audiences worldwide, it is important to recognize its limitations as a representation of real fighting. The rule-based nature, weight classes, time limits, protective gear, and absence of external factors all contribute to the deviation from the raw and unpredictable nature of real-life combat. MMA should be appreciated for what it is – a regulated sport – rather than being mistaken for true fighting.

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