Mixed Martial Arts…An American Sport.
Who really invented MMA in America? It’s a confusing question with an surprising answer.
Mixed martial arts fans simply aren’t concerned with revisionist history, but integrity of the “sport” is in jeopardize. Note “sport” is a very specific label not to be confused with methodology, brutal contests of yesteryear that would include an analysis of Pankration, Vale Tudo, and any number of distant relatives that inspired modern MMA “competition” in the United States (long before we knew it as mixed martial arts). The “invention” of mixing martial arts dates back to the rise of humanity, but the “creation” of an American sport has direct lineage.
The field of trailblazers runs deep including everyone from Bruce Lee to “Judo” Gene LeBell setting the stage with challenges, but their contributions, although groundbreaking, do not constitute an “open” regulated sport. Like stick-and-ball games, baseball didn’t become a sport until the emergence of a diamond, 3 strikes and 4 bases and MMA is no different. While the UFC popularized the idea of no-holds-barred, the “sport” was created a decade earlier (MMA’s best kept secret). CV Productions provided the blueprint for a multi-billion dollar business in 1979; the first league of its kind.