Did LA reporter coin the term Mixed Martial Arts?

Monday, April 02, 2012

“At that time Macondo was a village of twenty adobe houses, built on the bank of a river of clear water that ran along a bed of polished stones, which were white and enormous, like prehistoric eggs. The world was so recent that many things lacked names, and in order to indicate them it was necessary to point.”
Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 100 Years of Solitude

Mixed Martial Arts is the world’s fastest growing sport, but there was a time it was so young, that it didn’t have a name. People called in Cagefighting or Ultimate FIghting, or No Holds Barred, or Extreme Fighting, or NHB, or Submission Fighting. I grabbed MixedMartialArts.com and SubmissionFighting.com because no one else did, and we didn’t even use MixedMartialArts.com, for years.

There has long been debate on who coined the term.

There are accounts that the term Mixed Martial Arts was used in Japanese Puroresu in the 70s, but there is no hard evidence to support that.

Wikipedia says name mixed martial arts was coined by Rick Blume, president and CEO of Battlecade, in September 18, 1995.

In the biography ‘Let’s Get it On’ Loretta Hunt names John McCarthy as the source, with former Olympic Gold Medalist and UFC Commentator Jeff Blatnick  as the co-creator. “John actually named the sport ‘Mixed Martial Arts,’ ” wrote Hunt.  “It was called ‘No Holds Barred’ or ‘Ultimate Fighting’ back in the early days.  Himself and Jeff Blatnick – a former commentator for the UFC – came up with the ‘Mixed Martial Arts’ name, but it was John’s phrase.  And Jeff Blatnick is the one who pushed it on the pay-per-views until people really started picking it up.”

Now UGer dudefromisrael may have found the first printed use of the word, in a piece by Pulitzer winning LA times reporter Howard Rosenberg, written on November 15, 1993.

“St. Louis cruiserweight boxer Art Jimmerson didn’t get to throw even one punch before giving up,” wrote Rosenberg. “He was swiftly taken down and dispatched with a chokehold by jujitsu master Royce Gracie, whose family is synonymous with the sport in their native Brazil, where mixed-martial arts championships like this one are commonplace.”

The search for who names the world’s fastest growing sport is still not over. If you know anything, let us know!