The world of mixed martial arts has changed over the years from small fighting venues to selling out arenas across the country. Real street fights were now being shown on television and around the world soon began to train to get their shot in The Octagon. Fighters were not fighting in the tradition ring, but in an octagon. The ring was not a traditional ring but shaped like an octagon which gave it a different look than traditional boxing. The Octagon was designed to avoid giving any one martial arts discipline an advantage. Because the angles in an Octagon are wider than those for each corner of a boxing ring, there is little chance for a fighter to get stuck in a corner with no way out. This is what made the octagons design so unique.
I started watching mixed martial arts when Tank Abbot and Hoyden Gracie were fighting. Back in the early day there were no weight classes and the event was in a tournament format. The fighter who lasted the longest was the winner of a match moved up in the tournament to face another opponent. The tournament featured the best fighters in karate, Muay Thai kickboxing, boxing, jiu-jitsu and several other martial arts. The UFC designated some fighters as alternates in case a fighter was unable to continue due to the difficulty of making it through the tournament.
Early UFC fights reminded me of the movie Bloodsport with Jean-Claude Van Damme, where fighters with different martial art styles fought their way through a tournament until only one man left. The only difference was in The Octagon it wasn’t a fight to the death but both displayed some of the top fighters in various martial arts fighting their way through a tournament.
Now the UFC has brought fighting in The Octagon to the national spotlight it will be the prominent mixed martial arts fighting arena of the future.
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