The Collegian
Thursday, June 30, 2022

Popularity of ultimate fighting spreads to Richmond

Brian Grimes (top) of Richmond applies a hold on Jarrod Bryant (bottom) also of Richmond. Grimes went on to win the match.
Brian Grimes (top) of Richmond applies a hold on Jarrod Bryant (bottom) also of Richmond. Grimes went on to win the match.

In recent years, mixed martial arts and ultimate fighting have gained popularity across the country.

Television shows including "The Ultimate Fighter" and films such as "Kill Bill" have brought attention to martial arts.

There is a martial arts club on campus, but it's nothing like the cage fighting seen on TV.

In MMA — rapidly growing nationwide — fighters are separated into weight classes, as boxers or wrestlers would be. Fighters study a variety of martial arts such as Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Muay Thai. They also draw upon boxing techniques and wrestling style submissions.

Early MMA and UFC fights were no-holds-barred. There were no time limits, fighters did not wear gloves and hits to any part of the body were legal.

Today, small fingerless gloves and mouth guards are required. There are three five-minute fights, with a one-minute break between rounds. If there is not a knockout or a submission within the three rounds the winner is determined by three judges. Judges give more points to the fighter that more effectively uses martial arts techniques and who they think had more control during the fight.

Here in Richmond, there has been an increased interest in MMA as more events are scheduled in the area.

"The MMA institute has fighters on every fight card," said Arvin Terrell, MMA institute trained fighter. The fight card is a list of competitors at an MMA event.

"Dana White having the reality show 'The Ultimate Fighter' has made MMA popular," said Joanna Catabui, Muay Thai instructor at MMA institute. "Having the show was all about exposure."

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