Top 5 Myths About MMA

Written by Spencer Sher

It's a sport on the rise, but many people still don't know what it's all about. Welcome to WatchMojo's Top 5 Myths. In this installment, we're counting down the Top 5 Myths About MMA.

Special thanks to our user Ashjbow and MikeMJPMUNCH for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
Top 5 Myths About MMA

It’s a sport on the rise, but many people still don’t know what it’s all about. Welcome to WatchMojo’s Top 5 Myths. In this installment, we’re counting down the Top 5 Myths About MMA.

For this list, we’ll be breaking down some of the common misconceptions that surround the sport of MMA and its athletes.

#5: MMA Fighters Are Rich

This is an understandable misconception, but one that is quickly debunked when you realize that the UFC isn’t the NBA, MLB, NHL or the NFL when it comes to salary. The NFL, which has the lowest average player salary of the “big four”, still comes in at a whopping $1.9 to $2.1 million per player. The average yearly salary for a UFC fighter? A comparatively measly $42,000. Sure that’s still a decent paycheck, but not after you factor in gym fees, taxes, travel expenses and, oh yeah, the fact that their job consists of them getting pummeled inside of a cage for five rounds.

#4: You Should Never Have Sex Before a Fight

This sports adage has been circulating for decades, so much so that even the great Muhammad Ali allegedly refused to have sex for up to six weeks before a fight! However, our good friends over at science have discovered that having sex before a fight actually improves your chances of success. Let us explain. You see copulation increases your testosterone levels, with loads of sex accounting for an overall increase in aggression. It would appear that making the beast with two backs pre-fight isn’t so bad after all! So fighters… make love before you go out and make war in the ring!

#3: MMA Is Just Human Cockfighting

MMA is not for everyone. But not liking the sport isn’t a reason to dismiss it as mindless. When the UFC was getting started back in the ‘90s former Arizona Senator and one-time Presidential candidate John McCain publicly called the sport “human cockfighting”. Two men pounding on each other inside of a cage clearly evoked a certain image for McCain, but MMA is much more than that. Firstly, the fighters aren’t forced to fight, they’re paid. Second, cockfighting typically involves one of the cocks dying, whereas MMA fighters don’t fight to the death. To call MMA “human cockfighting” is a derogatory and ill-informed label. Unsurprisingly, McCain later did a 180 on the sport.

#2: Without Dana White, MMA Wouldn’t Exist

Professional sports will always be bigger than just one person. While Dana White’s contribution to the sport of MMA can’t be understated, to say it wouldn’t exist without him is a stretch. As UFC President, White completely revitalized the sport, introducing it to a larger audience and turning it into the multi-billion dollar industry we know today. However, around the same time that White purchased the UFC a number of other mixed martial arts organizations already existed in various places across the globe. In fact, the Pride Fighting Championships in Japan was drawing crowds of over 90,000 people back in 2002. So despite popular belief, Dana White doesn’t own MMA.

#1: MMA Is More Dangerous Than Boxing

MMA and boxing are simply two different beasts, but the reality is, all combat sports are dangerous. Boxing requires fighters to punch each other in the head, face and body for up to 12 rounds. MMA fights involve various fighting styles, many of which focus on grappling and on-the-ground wrestling, thus potentially limiting the amount of headshots. Additionally, most MMA fights end in submission or go to decision, which means the fighters aren’t being knocked unconscious. While the early days of the UFC were considerable more vicious, the sport now does a fantastic job of limiting the risk of injury every time someone steps in the ring - within reason.