Pound for pound, the most revealing book on the sport today.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is one of the fastest-growing sports in the world. Its origins hail from ancient Greece and the combat sport Pankration. Today MMA is a multi-million-dollar industry, led by the Ultimate Fighting Championship promotion, and programs in Canada, Japan, South America, Russia and Europe.
In MMA NOW!, Brian Sobie and Adam Elliott Segal share the history of mixed martial arts and present the top fighters plying the trade today. From "ground and pound" specialists to ferocious strikers to the complete-package fighters, this book is packed with 40 profiles of the most dangerous and awe-inspiring combatants to ever step into the octagon.
Fans can look forward to reading about fighters such as:
Other dynamic MMA fighters included are George St. Pierre, Ken Shamrock, Matt Hughes, Anderson Silva, Frank Shamrock, Tito Ortiz, Chael Sonnen, Josh Koscheck, Nate Diaz, Michael McDonald, Rory McDonald, Phil Davis, and Gunnar Nelson.
Complete with more than 125 action photos, as well as essays on MMA history, the media and the movers and shakers of the sport, MMA NOW! is the most incisive book on MMA.
Brian Sobie is an award-winning television producer, director and writer who has been creating sports programming for over two decades. He is best known for creating and producing Full Contact Fighter, the first-ever weekly MMA show in North America.
Adam Elliott Segal is the author of three books. His work has been published in Sportsnet magazine, Maisonneuve, enRoute, and Reader's Digest.
Mixed martial arts has come a long way. From fringe activity to one of the fastest-growing sports on earth, MMA is now in its golden age. It's truly an exciting time to be a fight fan!
Combat sports have been around as long as men have been standing. As UFC president Dana White told the Vancouver Board of Trade prior to UFC 174, "Before a guy threw a ball in a hoop, a guy hit a puck with a stick, or hit a ball over a wall . . . two men were put on this earth, somebody threw a punch and whoever [else] was standing around ran over and watched. Fighting is the first sport ever, and will be the last sport ever."
Fighting is simply in our DNA, White concluded. And of course, he's right. Over the course of history, a variety of fighting disciplines, like judo, vale tudo, karate, sambo, boxing, wrestling and jiu-jitsu, have emerged, and what we call MMA is a hybrid of all of these.
Since jiu-jitsu master Royce Gracie captured the belt at UFC 1 in 1993 -- a tournament-style event with no weight classes -- it's been a long and winding road for the once-fledgling sport. But despite the myriad controversies, lost dollars, countless beefs, rule changes and revolving door of promotions over the last two decades -- such as Pride, Pancrase, Strikeforce and the UFC -- MMA has found a way to not only survive but to also thrive. Women's MMA is now on the rise, and the UFC is expanding across the globe, hosting fights in Turkey, Ireland and New Zealand. New weight classes, including flyweight and strawweight, have been added in recent years, and top fighters come from far-flung destinations such as Dagestan, Sweden and Iceland. The UFC is no longer confined to pay-per-view television, either. Fans from across the world can now watch cards on cable or download fights directly to their phones or laptops.
Any successful sport needs its idols, those personalities that rise above the fray to become icons. From Gracie to Ken Shamrock to Chuck Liddell to Georges St-Pierre, the UFC has successfully manufactured star after star. And while Georges St-Pierre's seven-year reign as the UFC's welterweight champion has come to an end (as all title reigns must), there is no doubt his work in the ring along with his clean-cut persona helped usher in a new era of MMA, one that bridged the gap toward mainstream acceptance. Although GSP may be semi-retired since his last fight versus Johny Hendricks -- and recovering from another devastating knee injury suffered in training -- we haven't yet seen the last of him in the octagon.
But the torch has officially been passed, and fighters like Jon Jones, Rory MacDonald and Anthony Pettis are becoming marquee names in their own right. That's not to disrespect the legends who paved the way for these current stars. We hope you'll find the stories of Japanese trailblazers like Kazushi Sakuraba and Masakatsu Funaki compelling; we hope you'll see echoes of your favorite UFC fighters in the stories of Liddell, Randy Couture and Fedor Emelianenko. Perhaps you'll discover a new favorite in our rising stars section or learn a thing or two about the early days of MMA.
The UFC may be big business now, but don't let that overshadow why we watch -- when two fighters go toe to toe, anything can happen. Dan Henderson versus Mauricio "Shogun" Rua at UFC 139 is a perfect example, as the two aging light heavyweights slugged it out for five unbelievable rounds in a fight for the ages that few anticipated. Even more exciting was Lyoto Machida's Karate Kid-style front kick to the head that ended the night of former UFC champion Randy Couture at UFC 129. And more recently, the unheralded T.J. Dillashaw absolutely dismantled UFC champion Renan Barao (who hadn't lost in nearly a decade) for the bantamweight belt at UFC 173. These stories are why we watch: for jaw-dropping moments and unpredictable endings.
So whether you're a hardcore fan or a newbie, we hope you'll be as excited as we are for the new era of mixed martial arts.
It's time . . .
Acknowledgments Credits Index