Monday, March 3, 2008

Man Up: Mixed Martial Arts

Mixed martial arts is reportedly the fastest growing sport in the United States. But it has had its share of growing pains. MMA matches once featured no-holds-barred combat and were considered by many the equivalent of "human cock fighting." Promoters, including the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), have gradually instituted rules to better protect athletes, ensure fairness, and obtain support from state athletic commissions.

One of the sport's most well-known and successful competitors (at 43 wins, 6 losses) is an Illinois boy: Matt Hughes, a stand-out high school and collegiate wrestler from Hillsboro. Hughes recently served as a coach on the sixth season of Spike TV's reality show The Ultimate Fighter. His autobiography Made in America and other titles about MMA are now available.

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