An overview of the one of the country’s fastest growing sports. Includes a brief history and rules. Also a survey of the leading MMA organizations and profiles of several of the most famous fighters.

  • Publisher: Capstone
  • Series: World of Mixed Martial Arts
  • Year Published: 2009
  • Age Level: 8-13
  • Category:


If you are wondering where all the boxing fans have gone, here’s your answer. Mixed martial arts, best known as the sport of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) league, has ramped up in recent years, and this entry in the Velocity: The World of Mixed Martial Arts series is an ideal entry point. It begins with the fascinating story of Senator John McCain’s campaign to ban the sport, and how his partial success compelled leagues to institute additional rules. By the time the final page is turned, readers will be echoing the last words of any UFC loser: “I submit.” (ALA Booklist)

This series stands out for its exciting subject matter that has been popularized on television but that is not prevalent in material for this audience. Covering history, skills, basic rules, and greatest fights, Whiting provides information in fact boxes and in short bursts of text. Dramatic camera angles show sweating, bloody kickboxers, and cagefighters from just outside the ring. The black, red, and gold palette reflects the intensity of this sport that is often considered violent. The uninitiated will learn new vocabulary and that Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is comprised of pankration, wrestling, and boxing. The author also discusses how politics has entered into the viewing of competitions on network and pay-per-view television. Fans of the sport will be mesmerized by these books. (School Library Journal)

Whiting nicely combines history lessons with gritty fight descriptions. Although the Web-friendly, blurb-happy layout prevents a completely fluent read, the individual blurbs are well written with active verbs and sentence variety. In general, the frequently included factoids are fun and informational. Footnotes also nicely explain fight vocabulary. (Paul Walter, Children’s Literature)