The Frontier Sports of MMA


The Frontier Sports of MMA

Think you know your MMA? Today, mixed martial arts have definitely entered the mainstream of sport, rather than being seen as a completely niche activity. You can find coverage of mixed martial arts on TV, live tournaments draw thousands of fans and you’re able to bet on the different matches as easily as you can on other sports at online sites such as 32red, Paddy Power and bet365.

Many of those sites also offer free bets for new customers. For example, a new player signing up to the sports book of  will get a free £10 sports bet when they first join, along with 10 free games of the new Terminator 2 slot. So, if you want to put money down on your favorite fighter, just to make watching a fight even more interesting, it’s as easy as betting on the football or a horse race.

However, there are some forms of mixed martial art that remain on the fringes of the sport and are unlikely to ever make it into the mainstream. Why? Well, take a look at the list below and you’ll begin to pick up clues as to why these sports are unlikely to ever become as commonplace as kick boxing or judo.


Also known as Vacon, Bakom began in the back streets of Peruvian city Lima. The aim of the sport is to disable or kill your opponent as quickly as possible. It also features hidden weapons, which can make the combat even more deadly. Unlike many MMAs, Bakom doesn’t have ancient roots. It was developed by an ex-Marine and former prisoner called Roberto Puch Bezada. There are elements of jujutsu and Vale Tudo street fighting in the sport of Bakom.

Spectators of Bakom need to have pretty strong stomachs, as moves include arm locks to snap bones and specialized kicks and punches to vital organs like the kidneys. Unsurprisingly the pace is very quick, with fights often over before they’ve really begun.


This martial art is West African and its origins are ancient Egyptian hand-to-hand fighting skills. Dambe is the favored martial art for the Hausa people and most injuries are caused by use of the fighter’s ‘strong side fist’. Fighters have one lower arm and hand wrapped in cloth and secured with cord. In previous generations, the cloth was dipped in resin and broken glass to make the strong side fist more deadly, but this has now been banned. One leg is wrapped in a thick metal chain and the two fighters then have to get the best of their opponent using their weapon limbs.

Kino Mutai

If you’re squeamish, then you probably won’t want to watch a Kino Mutai fight. This Filipino martial art is translated as ‘the art of biting and pinching’. Eye gouging is also used, with a selection of grappling moves.

The rules state that biting should only be used when the situation is suitable and bites should be aimed at the nine Artery Points. The goal of using the bite is to achieve ‘uninterrupted biting’ – holding their opponent in a biting grip until they give in. Given that , fought viciously and without mercy, many in the Filipino martial arts community class it as street fighting and not a martial art.

Sports such as those mentioned above make the more mainstream MMA look quite tame in comparison. It’s probably unlikely that they will ever become as popular as the better-known mixed martial arts and will remain on the fringes of the martial arts world.


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