Fri 4 September 2015

MMA 101: The Basics of Mixed Martial Arts

Of all my previous experiences in the world of sports in the past three years, combat sports has got to be my waterloo. Name any kind of sport that involves mano-a-mano fighting, I’d be the first to give up and admit my total lack of knowledge.

I once tried my hand in taekwondo, but I immediately quit soon after. Then, the last two times I was exposed to combat sports was through MMA back in December 9, 2007 when Platinum Fighting Productions brought their “Ring of Fire” event to the Araneta Coliseum, which was followed by Pacific Xtreme Combat’s “PXC26” event last August 20, 2011.

With FullCourtFresh.com now expanding to cater to the combat sports fan, I had to talk to people who do know the sport well. Luckily, I had the opportunity to talk to Universal Reality Combat Championship (URCC) founder and head Alvin Aguilar, who himself holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and had been a key figure in popularizing the sport in the mainstream.

The ring: eight-sided cage versus four-sided boxing ring

Among the first things I asked Aguilar was the difference between fighting in a conventional boxing ring compared to an eight-sided cage.

“That’s (the ring type) the common misconception about MMA,” Aguilar told Fullcourtfresh.com. “It doesn’t mean that it’s (a) mixed martial arts (fight) that it should be held inside (an eight-sided) cage.”

He also mentioned that he was able to talk to some of the original fighters of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) promotion in the United States and that the eight-sided cage was used in order to differentiate boxing from mixed martial arts, and that the idea of holding fights in a cage came from a 1980s-era movie.

Fight length: regular bout versus championship bout

In mixed martial arts, there is a difference between non-title and title fights.

For non-title fights, there are three (3) five-minute rounds per match. However, two additional five-minute rounds are added if a match will stake a title on the line.

URCC: the premier MMA promotion in the Philippines

For Aguilar, the URCC is a cut above the rest.

“If you are (a fighter and) not in the URCC, then you are not good enough,” said Aguilar, whose promotion has already produced a slew of champions including current PXC titlists Crisanto Pitpitunge (bantamweight), Ale Cali (flyweight), and ONE FC featherweight titleholder Honorio Banario.

For the past 11 years, the URCC has tapped into the major fight markets of the Philippines, including Cebu, Bacolod, Davao, and Baguio.

For instance, Team Lakay, one of the most successful MMA teams in the URCC, is based from Baguio City.

With the success that the URCC has already attained, the next step is to link up with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, billed as the crème de la crème of all MMA promotions.

Catch our continuing coverage of both URCC 23: “Unrivaled” and ONE FC: “Rise To Power” here on FullCourtFresh.com