Updated: Jan 7
Since the ancient time, man has always competed with his fellow men in activities that have a real survival value, whether it be running, throwing weight or javelin, fighting. This makes sense from an evolutionary point of view, because the best with the most abilities were more likely to survive in the real world and also because they carried out a more performing genetic heritage to improve the species.
I cannot deny that combat is in our DNA and has contributed to evolve and survive as a species until today, we could also assume that humans have evolved with combat, confirming this thesis a publication of the University of UTAH on the evolution of the human hand, which theorizes that the development of the skeletal part and the shape of the fist and palm of the hand is linked to a need to use it to hit. Haven't you ever noticed that when there is a fight everybody rushes to see why and usually of course they naturally form a circle? I consider it a primordial behavior and that still today , has evolved with a ring or a cage, referees and rules.
Watching combat sports like MMA is an extension of this habit, with all the emotion but without the personal danger. Of course, some of us find these emotions more attractive than others.
Usually those who like risk and adrenaline like MMA, and studies that have been carried out in several American universities confirm this theory, but what also attracts the public has been revealed that it is not the Violence of Sport, but the Drama . In many sports the stakes are pride, a cup, etc., but in MMA Fighters put their body and physical safety at risk. From the Spectator's point of view, the higher the stakes the more exciting the Drama will be.
The Study of Sport Psychology reveals a controversial truth that is difficult for many to accept, but which demonstrates the obvious difference between individual and team sports: football is undoubtedly the most popular sport on the planet, but why? In a team there are 11 players plus substitutes and a coach, so if you lose it is easy to blame someone else, the goalkeeper has made a mistake, the forward hasn't scored and so on ,and when everything goes wrong then it is the coach who suffers the consequences. Easy, isn't it? In individual sport the blame is only yours and nobody else's, a fighter takes responsibility and pays the consequences of his defeat. This is an indication of the world in which we live by a mass psychology, that many people like to watch but not risk, that the world is divided into two main categories: those who are in the spotlight and those who watch, and those who are in the spotlight are those who like to risk and those who risk less, but respect goes to everyone.
Martial or combat sports (be it MMA, K1, Muay Thai, Judo, Karate, Boxing, Wrestling, Jiu Jitsu, Sambo or Vale Tudo) are the purest form of competition between two people. It's not how fast your car is, or what model it is, you don't have a ball to throw or put in a net, or teammates to help you if you can't make it on your own, no one to blame in case of failure or defeat, or how good your equipment is that improves your performance. They are just two people testing their skills, using only their body and their wits against each other to see who is the best.
If you have to ask Me What I Like in an MMA Fight, as a Coach and former practitioner, I see discipline, strategy, athletic preparation, concentration, months of sacrifice, heart and athletic deeds, attack and counterattack, defense, I see a human being at his maximum physical, athletic and mental expression. I see evolution!
If you look at the end of every match, be it MMA, boxing, wrestling, etc., you notice that in most cases, the competitors hug, shake hands or bow to each other. This is no accident. With this last gesture, we say to our opponent: "Thank you. I respect your skills. For this Opportunity to Test Me. You have pushed me to my physical and mental limits to give my best. Your efforts have helped me to become a better version of myself.