Over the years, especially in the media and newspapers like The Sun, Cage fighting is mentioned a lot to describe a form of fighting.

However, is cage fighting some ancient Roman style of fighting or are the tabloids just describing MMA (mixed martial arts) as Cage fighting for sensationalism to help sell a story?

What is Cage Fighting?

Cage fighting is not some gladiator fighting with spears and other weapons, it is simply describing MMA, which is fought in a cage.

In one of our previous articles titled ‘What is MMA?’, we suggested that:

‘MMA is an abbreviation for Mixed Martial Arts which is a combat sport that is fought in a cage.

Some refer to this sport as cage fighting, but it takes more than just stepping into a cage to become an MMA fighter.

MMA has evolved since the original UFC days and has become its own style in itself.

This means that most great MMA fighters have a background in other combat sports like boxing, kickboxing, or wrestling. From these combat sports, fighters often progress to learn other styles and work to compete in MMA.’

It is a full-contact sport where two fighters compete using various types of fighting techniques within a cage. This cage is usually an octagon ring and the winner of the fight is the fighter who physically overpowers their opponent.

Types of mixed martial arts- like cage fighting- incorporate techniques from boxing, wrestling, judo, jujitsu, karate, Muay Thai (Thai boxing), and other disciplines.

The sport has become more popular over the years with televised fights and promotions like UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) and ONE Championship becoming more and more frequent.

The rules of cage fighting (also known as MMA) are as follows. The fighters are all divided into different weight classes and the fight is divided into 3 or 5 rounds. These rounds are generally 5 minutes long and there is a referee located inside the cage during the fight in order to moderate the match.

The winner is usually the fighter who knocks out their opponents using their striking or force. However, it can also be the fighter who forces their opponent into a tap out using grappling.

The video below explains a bit more about Cage Fighting and how it is simply MMA fought in a cage:

Is Cage Fighting (MMA) Dangerous?

As with all contact sports, there is always an element of danger or risk of injury. However, as cage fighting (known as MMA) requires physical contact, and punches to the face, it can seem a lot more brutal than other forms of contact sports.

With facial blows, blood can gush- especially if the mouth is impacted- and eyes/heads can swell up as a result too. However, other forms of physical injury can occur too. Ribs can be broken and fractures occur frequently. Because of this risk, it is always advised that fighters are well-trained and know the risk of the sport.

Is Cage Fighting the Same as MMA?

As suggested above, cage fighting is simply a term that is used sometimes to describe MMA. It is used to describe it in this way for a few reasons:

  • The media are trying to exaggerate a story or make a particular fighter look bad. This is because the term ‘cage fighting’ has been associated with brutal fighting over the years, even though the sport is simply MMA fought within a cage.
  • They are not familiar with martial arts and don’t appreciate the extreme skill needed in an MMA fight. This means that the term ‘cage fighting’ is probably being mixed up with MMA in general.
  • They just want to boycott the term ‘MMA’ altogether and use ‘cage fighting’ as a catch-all term instead.

Is Calling Someone a Cage Fighter Insulting?

It all depends on the fighter. If someone is a true mixed martial artist that has trained in various disciplines for many years, the term cage fighter they may find a little offensive.

However, another person might find the term fits them more, and they don’t feel any offense at being called a cage fighter at all.

There have been MMA promotions like Cage Rage and Cage Warriors but that was just their promotional name.

As suggested above, cage fighting is just another term that many like to use for MMA fighting.

We have a full article about MMA here.