Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Degree

Master of Arts

Program

Kinesiology

Supervisor

Dr Kevin B. Wamsley

Abstract

The sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), found in 1993, has a very tenuous history. Three influencing factors, sport-related violence, the sportization process, and subculture, have interacted directly with events and individuals through the sport’s history, resulting in these three multi-directional sources of influences having the greatest effect on the direction and development of the sport. MMA, initially promoted as a violent spectacle, became the target of political attacks. Such unprecedented levels and presentation of sporting violence had never before been seen. In reaction, the sportization process of MMA began and the subculture of the sport started to develop as a reaction to the political pressure. The top MMA organization, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), changed ownership in 2001, resulting in the legitimizing of violence, entrance into the global sports system, and increased diversity of the subculture. The interaction between violence, sportization, and subculture transformed MMA from a violent event with limited reach to a modern global spectacle.


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