What is Cage Fighting?

For centuries, fighting has been an activity familiar to man. Most people engage in combat for many reasons. A major reason may be that they were provoked to anger and seek redress for the damage done. At other times, it may be cultural, as a means of mimicking some ancient practices, or it may be for sport and entertainment. No matter the reason for carrying out a fight, the venue of having a fight is as important as the fight and its outcome.

The type of fight happening will determine the location of the fight and the materials used during the course of the fight. The MMA which is an acronym for the term Mixed Martial Arts is a collective name for a number of fighting sports like taekwondo, Karate, Kung-Fu, and so on that is practiced all over the world. The MMA fights takes place in a cage, an Octagon shaped Ring, or an MMA Ring 

Simply put, cage fighting means a type of fighting that takes place in an arena, or any enclosed area. Typically, the MMA carries out its fight in a four cornered ring that is similar to a box. This ring is usually enclosed to prevent the spectators from gaining access to the fighters, but most importantly, it is designed to keep the combatant within the reach of each other so the fights can progress and be concluded successfully, and also to keep the fighters from inflicting harm on the spectators.

In the MMA, there rules governing their fights is that there be no holds barred, this means that very few tricks are illegal, almost every punch, strike, kick and maneuver can be employed, in an attempt to subdue the opponent, in this type of fight, there is full contact between the opponents, for such a match its is ideal that it takes place in a cage and away from the non-combating public. 

Cage fights are usually dangerous, because the combatants strike, punch, kick, and employ any other technique that will help them defeat their opponent by forcing them to surrender.

Some cage fights over the years have turned very bloody over the years that they had to be cut short due to the inability of the fighter to continue the fight because of excessive bleeding from a part of his body. The absence of much protective gear to cushion the effect of the fight is one of the reasons why cage fights are hazardous. Also, some fighters desire victory at all cost and will hold on tenaciously to the fight even when they are at the receiving end, refusing to surrender to their opponent, this will lead to more casualty during and after the course of the match.

Although there have been no deaths in the history of the MMA, yet, some fighters have suffered serious injuries like face bleeding from cuts, nose bleeds, and others. Anyway, most combatants that engage in the sports are fully aware of the risk and potential gains that can accrue from engaging in cage fights, so they prepare themselves for the outcome of the combat.

Also read: Wrestling vs BJJ


Prior to the recent organization and glamorization of the game, different types of contests were organized in Asia, notably Japan. These contests were held with little or no set rules to control the nature and extent of the fighting. This practice went on for some time until the brawl that ensued between the legendary boxer Mohammed Ali vs. the wrestler Anthonio Inoki in 1976 in Japan. This match lasted a total of fifteen rounds in a draw. It is believed that this bout was the brainchild behind the organization of the Pancrase Hybrid Wrestling Match in 1993; this company promotes Martial Arts in the country. The rules of the pancrase were simple, only palm strikes to the head, punching was allowed anywhere on the body, a fighter must release his grip on his opponent when the opponent grabs the ropes.

Over the years, these basic forms of combat have evolved into a more sophisticated form of combat that now incorporates some set rules that govern the conduct of the match and the venue which is most definitely a cage.

A basic rule of MMA fights is that all fighters must be grouped according to their weights; these groupings are usually termed the Heavyweight Division, the Lightweights Division, Flyweight class, Bantamweight class, featherweight class and so on. These fighters are further divided into the male and female division to avoid having an imbalanced fight in the cage.

Another rule that the MMA follows strictly that defines the course and term Cage fighting is that Cage fights are divided into 3 or 5 rounds depending on the strength of the combatants. The fights may linger for five minutes. Usually MMA fights linger on until one of the opponents is able to out rightly defeat his opponent either through an outright knock out or through submission. The fight then comes to a halt and the fighters are let out of the cage.

More so, the Referees in a Cage fight must be placed inside the cage with the combatants so that he can effectively supervise the fighting and make sure that the fighters adhere to the rules of engagement.

Finally, to be declared the winner of the fight must be able to strike at his opponent with great force or through grappling. It is worthy to note that if an opponent is able to reach out to the ring and hold on to it tenaciously, the other fighter will have no choice than to let go of his opponent..

From the foregoing, it is clear that the term Cage fighting, refers to a series of special fighting that happens inside a cage. In this type of fighting, the combatants usually wear little or no protective wear like the headgear. This type of fighting technique is used by a range of fighting sports that are collectively called the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts).

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