Capture the excitement of MMA with vivid descriptions of many of the sport’s most famous fights. Brazilian Royce Gracie defeated much larger men in the first MMA tournament in 1993. Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar competed in the reality program The Ultimate Fighter in 2005 in one of the best-ever bouts. That same year, Matt Hughes overcame an accidental foul and subsequent seemingly unbreakable chokehold to turn the tables on Frank Trigg and force him to tap out.

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


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)