Mixed Martial Arts in Brazil
MMA (Mixed Marshal Arts) is an extremely popular sport in Brazil, and it’s not only the men who are watching it. Incorporating elements of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (shortened to “BJJ”), Muay Thai, Kickboxing, Taekwondo, Karate and Judo among other styles, MMA is an art form as much as it is a sport. This full contact sport requires intense mental concentration as well as physical strength. (How do you get out of a hold? When/where do you strike your opponent?) Becoming an MMA champion requires years of study and training, and some of the most infamous MMA trainers happen to be Brazilian, with a strong background in Jiu-Jitsu.
Brazilian UFC Champions
MMA is becoming more and more popular worldwide, but this sport is dominated by Brazilians more than any other culture. UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva is one of the most notorious Brazilian UFC Champions of all time. Other famous names of Brazilian UFC fighters include Junior Dos Santos, José Aldo, Lyoto Machida, Maurício Rua, Vitor Belfort, Wanderlei Silva and José Aldo. And of course everyone who is interested in Brazilian martial arts knows of the legendary Royce Gracie, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu master and UFC Hall of Fame Champion. Gracie’s family is responsible for the international popularization of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and he revolutionized mixed martial arts with his techniques (Gracie’s father and older brother are the founders of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu – Modern Brazilian Jiu Jitsu).
UFC In Brazil
UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) is the largest MMA promotion company worldwide. Brazil is a country that has a long-standing tradition of specialization in martial arts, which has produced some of the most talented martial artists, fighters and trainers that the world has ever seen. So it is no surprise that watching UFC fights is becoming increasingly popular in Brazil. In 2011, when UFC hosted in Rio de Janeiro, the event completely sold out in just 74 minutes. Pretty impressive.