"Why should you watch the sport?" asks the author. "There is one simple reason: it's entertaining."

Last month, UFC Heavyweight Francis Ngannou defeated Stipe Miocic to claim the UFC heavyweight belt in electric fashion, knocking out the former champion in the second round.

This fight is a perfect example of why each and every one of you should tune in and watch mixed martial arts: amazing finishes like the one that took place on March 27, 2021 happen all the time.

An MMA fight features martial artists who look to knock out their opponent or force them to tap out to submissions or holds.

“MMA is a sport of discipline,” said Robert Ta, an electromechanical engineering technician student at Algonquin College. “MMA is the peak of physical performance, and it is a sport of commitment. If you saw someone playing violin, you would know they committed to learning that instrument. MMA is similar.”

MMA was popularized by the Gracie family, a family of high-level Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighters who wanted to prove their martial art was better than any other. So, Gracie family patriarch, Rorion Gracie, with the help of John Milius and Art Davies, founded the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC for short.

Gracie originally thought that if one of his students could win in a tournament against all the other forms of martial arts, it would show his Jiu-Jitsu was the best martial art. The first Ultimate Fighting Championship tournament in 1993 was a massive success. His son Royce Gracie won the whole tournament, and he garnered an audience of people who wanted more.

However, in the late 1990s, the sport of MMA was starting to be banned around the United States. The initiative was being led by former war veteran, senator, and boxing fan, John McCain. McCain claimed the UFC was too violent, and the term “human cockfighting” would be given to the UFC. It took the UFC decades to shake that label.

The Sport of MMA is now legal in all 50 states and Canada. According to Dana White, president of the UFC, the business was worth $7 billion as of 2018.

However, MMA is a very different sport than the one Gracie and his group of financial backers helped found. When the UFC was founded, many martial artists knew one kind of martial art, such as the Gracie family’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or Art Jimmerson’s boxing. Nowadays, martial artists are masters of several kinds of martial arts.

For example, current UFC Middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya, is trained in boxing, kickboxing, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He fought professionally in boxing and kickboxing. He also has immense experience in Jiu-Jitsu, amassing an impressive purple belt, which is two steps below a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Why should you watch the sport? There is one simple reason: it’s entertaining.

Anyone who likes watching any sort of fighting, whether in other sports like hockey or just straight-up street-fighting can enjoy MMA. In fact, people come from street-fighting to the UFC in some cases. Jorge Masvidal, the number-four ranked welterweight in the world, came to the UFC from fighting in backyards in Florida.

Seeing people feeding haymakers or wrestling one another into submission is just entertaining and allows you to enjoy yourself. It is as cathartic as catharsis gets.

“People should watch MMA because it’s the purest form of entertainment there is,” said Jake Lachance, an e-supply chain management student. “Most sports are at their most exciting when players are in each others’ faces, and the fans expect a fight to break out. So why not just watch an actual fight?”

The next card you should definitely tune in for is on April 24, Where three belts go on the line at UFC 261.

Firstly, female Flyweight champion Valentina Schevchenko will be fighting Jessica Andrade. Then, female Strawweight champion Zhang Weili fights Rose Namajunas. Finally, men’s Welterweight champion Kamaru Usman fights Jorge Masvidal. All three fights look to be great bouts.

You should legitimately consider tuning in for an MMA event. They can be some of the most exciting and thrilling sporting events out there.