What is MMA?

The Comprehensive MMA Glossary: Understanding the Art of Mixed Martial Arts

Welcome to the ultimate resource for Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) enthusiasts! Whether you’re a seasoned fan, a curious newcomer, or an aspiring fighter, this glossary is designed to deepen your understanding of MMA’s dynamic world. MMA is a multifaceted combat sport that blends techniques from various martial arts, including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Wrestling, Boxing, Muay Thai, Karate, and more, into a unique and thrilling competition.

Our comprehensive glossary covers essential terms, fighting techniques, weight class distinctions, and the rules that govern the sport. From the basics of grappling and striking to the complexities of fight strategies and judging criteria, we’ve meticulously compiled definitions that are informative, precise, and accessible to all.

Dive into the glossary to familiarize yourself with the language of MMA, enhance your viewing experience, or refine your knowledge as you embark on your own martial arts journey. Let this be your guide to navigating the exciting and ever-evolving landscape of Mixed Martial Arts.

Our MMA & Betting Terms Glossary

| A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-V | W-Z |

| A-C |

Non-professional MMA competitions where fighters compete without receiving monetary compensation. It’s a stepping stone for fighters looking to turn professional.

A submission technique that involves wrapping the arm around the neck from a perpendicular angle and locking the hands to apply pressure.

A submission move where the attacker uses their legs to trap the opponent’s arm and lever it against the elbow joint.

The total amount of money a bettor has set aside for betting purposes. Effective management is crucial for long-term success.

A weight class in MMA for fighters weighing up to 135 pounds.

A global MMA promotion known for hosting fights across various weight classes.

The act of wagering money on the outcome of MMA fights, aiming to earn profits based on accurate predictions.

Odds or point spreads set by bookmakers to level the playing field between a favorite and an underdog.

Methods and approaches used by bettors to enhance their chances of winning.

An individual match or fight between two competitors.

A striking sport focusing on punches, footwork, and head movement.

A martial art focusing on ground fighting and submission holds.

The lineup of fights at an MMA event.

Refers to a fighter’s cardiovascular endurance and ability to maintain performance throughout the fight.

A classical grappling style that combines elements of wrestling, judo, and jujitsu, emphasizing submissions and holds.

A position where fighters are standing but close together, often using their arms to control the opponent’s upper body.

Physical training aimed at enhancing overall fitness and endurance for a fight.

| D-F |

The outcome of a fight determined by judges when it goes the full distance without a stoppage.

Competitive games where players build teams of athletes, scoring points based on real-life performances.

Online services like DraftKings and FanDuel where users can participate in DFS contests

Tactics and considerations for assembling competitive DFS lineups.

Occurs when a fighter intentionally commits an illegal action, leading to their removal from the contest by the referee.

A weight category in which fighters compete.

A wrestling move where a fighter grabs both of the opponent’s legs to take them down to the mat.

The fight does not have a clear winner according to the judges. This can be unanimous, majority, or split, leading to a draw outcome.

A strike delivered with the elbow, often used at close range.

A DFS variant where players create lineups of MMA fighters, earning points based on the fighters’ performances in actual matches.

A weight class for fighters weighing up to 145 pounds.

The study of past fights to understand techniques and strategies.

The period of intense training and preparation an MMA fighter goes through before a fight, lasting 6-8 week

The planning and tactics employed to outmaneuver an opponent in a fight.

A dominant ground position where one fighter sits atop the other’s torso, controlling them.

| G-I |

Handling, controlling, and submitting opponents without striking.

A strategy where a fighter takes their opponent to the ground and uses strikes from a top position

A submission hold applied from in front of the opponent that compresses the windpipe

DFS matches between two players, with the winner taking the entire prize.

The weight division for fighters over 205 pounds up to 265 pounds.

A punch thrown in a semi-circular motion to strike the side of an opponent’s head or body.

An organization founded to support the development of MMA, aiming to gain recognition of the sport worldwide and eventually include MMA in the Olympic Games.

A kick aimed at the opponent’s thigh’s inner side.

An annual event by UFC featuring fights, fan expos, and Hall of Fame inductions.

| J-L |

A quick, straight punch thrown with the lead hand.

A hold that hyper extends, hyper rotates or hyper flexes a joint to cause enough pain to make the opponent tap out or become injured. Commonly seen in MMA with ankle locks, knee bars, straight arm bars and Kimuras being common submissions.

A martial art that centers on throws and takedowns.

A Japanese martial art focusing on grappling, ground fighting, and submission holds, aiming to control or subdue an opponent without the need for strikes.

Officials who score the fight if it goes to decision

A striking art using punching, kicking, knee strikes, elbow strikes, and open-handed techniques. Karate training also emphasizes forms (kata) and sparring (kumite) as components.

A stand-up combat sport that involves punching and kicking

When a fighter is rendered unconscious due to strikes.

A broad term that encompasses a variety of Chinese martial arts, known for their fluid movements and a wide array of weapons and fighting techniques.

A kick aimed at the opponent’s legs to impair movement or cause damage.

A submission hold applied to the opponent’s leg, targeting the knee or ankle joints. It’s a technique widely used in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and submission grappling.

A weight division for fighters up to 205 pounds

A tool that uses algorithms to generate optimal DFS lineups based on stats and matchups.

A punch or kick aimed at the liver to incapacitate an opponent.

The act of placing bets on fights as they occur, with odds that update in real-time.

| M-O |

Two judges score the fight for one fighter, while the third judge scores it a draw.

Numerical expressions representing the probability of certain outcomes in an MMA fight, often displayed in American, Decimal, or Fractional formats.

A full-contact combat sport allowing a wide variety of fighting techniques and skills from various martial arts.

Wagers on which fighter will win a bout, regardless of the method of victory.

Known as “The Art of Eight Limbs,” it employs fists, elbows, knees, and shins for striking.

A fight outcome where no winner is declared due to an accidental illegal action.

A form of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu or grappling that is practiced without the traditional Gi (kimono), focusing more on submission holds without the use of the Gi for grips.

A ground control position where the fighters are positioned head-to-toe.

The eight-sided cage used in UFC fights.

Wagers predicting whether a fight will last more or fewer rounds than the bookmaker’s specified amount.

| P-R |

An ancient Olympic combat sport from Greece that combined wrestling and boxing, considered a precursor to modern MMA.

Bets that combine multiple selections into one wager, requiring all chosen outcomes to be correct for a payout.

A television service allowing viewers to purchase events to watch live.

Data on fighters’ performances that inform DFS lineup decisions.

The cumulative amount of money awarded to winners in DFS contests.

Bets on specific events or scenarios within a fight, such as the method of victory or whether the fight will go the distance.

A chokehold from behind that restricts blood flow to the brain.

Practices for physical and mental recuperation after training or fighting.

A segment of time within a fight, typically 5 minutes in duration.

| S-V |

A predetermined budget that DFS players must adhere to when selecting fighters for their lineups.

A Soviet martial art and combat sport influenced by judo and local wrestling styles, known for its throws and submission grappling.

Practice fighting to develop skills and technique.

Two judges score the fight for one fighter, and one judge scores it for the other.

The activity of placing bets on various sports, including MMA, through bookmakers or betting platforms.

Facilities or platforms that accept bets on various sports events.

A now-defunct mixed martial arts and kickboxing organization that played a significant role in the sport’s history before being purchased by the UFC.

Using punches, kicks, elbows, and knees to hit an opponent.

The lightest women’s division in the UFC, with a limit of 115 pounds.

Exercises focused on increasing muscle strength and power.

A method of winning a fight where one fighter forces their opponent to “tap out” (either physically or verbally) by applying a joint lock or chokehold.

Techniques that compel an opponent to submit due to pain or the risk of injury.

Bringing an opponent to the ground from a standing position, often using wrestling techniques.

A Korean martial art known for its emphasis on high kicks and spinning techniques.

Occurs when a fighter cannot continue safely in the match due to injuries, as determined by the referee, doctor, or fighter’s corner, leading to a stoppage of the fight.

Competitive DFS contests with large fields of players and top-heavy prize distribution.

All judges agree on the same fighter as the winner.

A set of rules adopted by most MMA organizations to standardize the sport, including guidelines on legal and illegal techniques, weight classes, and judging criteria.

The largest MMA promotion company in the world.

Fights that occur before the main event(s) of the evening.

A full-contact combat sport with minimal rules, originating in Brazil that has significantly influenced modern MMA’s development.

| W-Z |

Music played as a fighter enters the arena before a fight.

Men’s and Women’s Weight Classes:

  • Men’s Flyweight: 125-pound limit
  • Men’s Bantamweight: 135-pound limit
  • Men’s Featherweight: 145-pound limit
  • Men’s Lightweight: 155-pound limit
  • Men’s Welterweight: 170-pound limit
  • Men’s Middleweight: 185-pound limit
  • Men’s Light Heavyweight: 205-pound limit
  • Men’s Heavyweight: 265-pound limit
  • Women’s Strawweight: 115-pound limit
  • Women’s Flyweight: 125-pound limit
  • Women’s Bantamweight: 135-pound limit
  • Women’s Featherweight: 145-pound limit

The process fighters undergo to qualify for a specific weight class often involving dehydration and dieting to lose weight before weigh-ins, followed by rehydration and refueling before the fight.

A weight class for fighters up to 170 pounds.

A grappling sport emphasizing takedowns and ground control.

A position in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu where the bottom grappler entangles one of the top fighter’s legs with their own legs, creating leverage for sweeps.

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