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Since the early 2000s, MMA, or mixed martial arts has gained wild popularity. Mixed martial arts consists of a hybrid of wrestling, striking, and submission grappling techniques that fighters routinely cross-train. Examples include: Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, judo, boxing, and karate.

Fights for the top MMA event, the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC), take place inside the trademarked octagon which is basically a mat surrounded by an octagonal cage to contain the match. Pioneers of the sport include Chuck Liddell, who has a biography about his UFC career on the New York Times Bestseller list. In addition to being the star of a reality show, Liddell made cameos on a popular HBO series The Entourage. Few athletes experience the adoration and fanbase that UFC fighters now receive.

MMA students come from all walks of life, like highly educated MMA fighters such as blogger Mike Calimbas, who trains and studies Brazilian Jiu Jitsu using techniques that minimize injury as well as employ structured self-defense. Less orthodox fighters such as "backyard brawler" Kimbo Slice are featured in brutal homemade videos on YouTube and Mahalo.

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