Mixed martial arts (MMA) as the contemporary United States citizen knows it began with the advent of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in 1993. At this time, it featured the slogan, “There are no rules.”
The rules system and production itself were the brainchild of Rorion Gracie. Rorion was one of the children of Helio Gracie, who helped invent and popularize Gracie Jiu Jitsu, which is also called at times, “Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.” It has often been aruged that the first few Ultimate Fighting Championship shows were in effect, Gracie Jiu Jitsu infomercials. Proponents of this idea say that opponents were hand picked so that the Gracie Jiu Jitsu practioner could prevail, just as the rules were designed.
In the rules, fighters were bare-handed. (Interestingly enough, Art Jimmerson, a professional boxer in the first UFC, had a broken hand and was allowed to compete wearing one boxing glove). Also, there were no time limits. The usual game plan for the Gracie Jiu Jitsu representative was to clinch with his opponent, take them to the ground, wait for a mistake, and execute a submission hold.
Eventually, the Gracies sold the UFC promotion to SEG who, in turn, sold it to Zuffa. Like SEG, Zuffa implemented more rules to make the sport more exciting and fan friendly. Eventually, prior to the Zuffa purchase, all competitors began using gloves for MMA. Eventually, they also began wrapping their hands just like boxers and kickboxers.
Today, just as the sport of MMA has grown greatly with the UFC promotion, so has the number of types of MMA fight gloves. Read some of our other articles to learn more about the various types of gloves.