Are MMA And UFC The Same Thing? (Vital Information)

If you are still confused about the question: “Are MMA and UFC the same thing?”, let’s read through this article to clear up any confusion.

If you’re a sports enthusiast, you may have already heard of the two terms MMA and UFC. But what exactly are MMA and UFC? Are MMA and UFC the same thing? Chances are, people often use these terms interchangeably without knowing that they might indicate different meanings.

Undoubtedly, it can be bewildering to understand the differences between MMA and UFC, especially if you’re a newcomer. But don’t worry. This article will provide the desirable answer to help you distinguish between the two and some mind-blowing information about the golden rules of combat sports.

Are MMA And UFC The Same Thing?

Surprisingly, MMA and UFC are not the same. MMA, which represents Mixed Martial Arts, is a category of combat sports. On the other hand, UFC stands for Ultimate Fighting Championship and is an institution/organization that organizes and promotes MMA fights.

Theoretically, these definitions have illustrated that MMA and UFC are entirely different. However, both terms have a connection to some degree, so it’s vital to understand precisely about them.


MMA refers to a full-contact combat sport in which two competitors utilize various martial arts styles such as wrestling, boxing, judo, jiu-jitsu, taekwondo, and karate to knock out one another.

Are MMA And UFC The Same Thing

Although the history of MMA is controversial and has not yet been proved, one of the first record pieces of evidence took place around 648 BCE from the ancient Olympic Games. It was where a dangerous ancient martial art called Pankration, which is a combination of wrestling and boxing, was practiced in ancient Greece.

Even though MMA was initially criticized as a brutal sport, it still emerged as a successful martial art worldwide in the early 21st century, thanks to the creation of the UFC in 1993. 

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MMA was once a pure form of battle in which two skilled competitors from different martial arts backgrounds would fight until one of them got knocked out. However, these fights were deemed brutal, causing several tragic deaths and injuries for fighters.

It was not until 1993 that UFC marked its first journey and created a favorable condition for MMA to thrive in public. After Dana White became the president of UFC, the organization has sought to ensure the safety, recovery, and treatment of professional athletes, abiding by the regulations of the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts.

What Are The Rules Of MMA?

Under the Unified Rules, each championship MMA fight consists of five rounds, each round no more than 5 minutes with a one-minute rest between each round. Meanwhile, preliminary and main-card fights tend to last for three rounds. Women also follow the same round structure as men.

There are three common ways that a fighter can win:

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  • Knockout (KO): When one fighter causes another to no longer defend and temporarily lose consciousness due to legal punches or strikes, the referee will announce it as a knockout.

Interested in the top thrilling knockouts in MMA’s history? Check out this video.

  • Technical knockout (TKO): A TKO is declared when the referee intervenes and decides that a fighter is not able to defend themselves or continue the match. Generally, the fighter is knocked down in a daze, but he is conscious to a certain degree.
  • Submission: A submission win occurs when one fighter performs grappling techniques to force an opponent to submit. Hence, the other would be defeated when they physically tap out on the mat or submit through a verbal confirmation. In such cases, the referee would call for the fight to be stopped.
  • Decision: If a match goes the distance, the three judges then evaluate and decide the result using the “10-point must system” (the winner is the fighter with 10 points, the loser gets nine points or fewer).

There are also possible ways to win or end the match as the following:

  • Forfeit: This rarely happens in MMA fights. Forfeit is announced when a fighter chooses to quit the match before it begins if they are injured or unable to fight.
  • No contest: Similar to forfeit, a no-contest is rare in MMA fights. It is likely to occur when both fighters violate the Unified rules, or a fighter is injured by accidental illegal actions such as eye gouging or groin strike. 
  • Disqualification (DQ): The DQ call tends to be made after a combination of warnings or after a flagrant foul that is deemed unnecessary or excessive by the referee.


Several illegal moves that are banned in MMA include:

  • Groin shots
  • Hair pulling
  • Eye gouging
  • Striking the throat 
  • Striking to the spine or back of the head
  • Twisting the flesh
  • Kicking the kidney 
  • Slamming the head or neck
  • Biting
  • Headbutting
  • Holding the fence

The Final Words

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed the article and grasped essential information for the question: “Are MMA and UFC the same thing?”. Now, you’re ready to tell the differences between MMA and UFC.

Throughout the years of development, UFC has successfully promoted MMA and gained popularity within the combat sports community, attracting outstanding fighters all across the world. At the same time, MMA has rocketed as one of the fastest-rising sports worldwide.

Last but not least, feel free to share your knowledge and ideas on MMA and UFC with us. 


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