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Opinion: Putting a legal and regulatory shape on MMA

Laura Donnellan (School of Law) recently wrote an opinion piece for RTÉ Brainstorm on MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). In the article, she argues that the huge growth in interest in MMA has not been matched by regulation and universally accepted rules within the sport.

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a hybrid unarmed combat sport, which combines traditional martial arts sports with non-traditional ones. It’s an ancient sport, but its modern inception dates back to 1993 when the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was established.

MMA has few rules and permits wrestling holds, punching, marital arts throws and kicking. Unlike boxing, MMA appears to have little regulation and there is a lack of universally accepted standardised rules. That is not to say that it is devoid of rules: the UFC has its own unified rules and regulations.

The full article can be accessed at:

Brainstorm is a partnership between RTÉ and Irish third level institutions, namely University College Cork, NUI Galway, University of Limerick, DCU, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ulster University and Maynooth University. It is a forum for the academic and research community to contribute to public debate.

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