Authors: Chenghao Ma
School of Humanities and Social Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen, China
2001 Longxiang Blvd.,
Shenzhen, China 518172
Chenghao Ma is now at the School of Humanities and Social Science, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen.
Age, regional distribution, and fighting styles of elite mixed martial arts athletes
This study aims to analyze the age, regional distribution, and fighting styles of 174 top-ranking Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) elite athletes to encourage the long-term success of coaches and athletes in terms of athletic development, talent selection, and training strategies. It uses frequency and descriptive statistical analysis to reveal age, nationality, and differences between fighting styles. A t-test was conducted to identify the age differences of male and female athletes within the same weight divisions, and a one-way ANOVA test was applied to see if there were significant differences between these weight divisions. Results showed that the athletes competed within a wide age range (23-42 years old), with a mean age of 31.82±3.77 years (male: 31.75±3.70; female: 32.00±3.99). There was no significant difference in the ages of male and female athletes or between weight classes, and most athletes were aged between 26 and 35 years, which accounted for 80% of the total number. Athletes represented 33 different countries, with more from the United States and Brazil (58.6%). They displayed 13 different fighting styles, categorized into styles in which either mixed, striking, or grappling were dominant, accounting for 44.9%, 32.7%, and 22.4%, respectively. The resultant data showed that UFC elite athletes compete with mixed fighting styles, with striking styles being more widespread, which is different when compared with the early stages of the event when grappling or wrestling styles were dominant in competition.
Key Words: combat sports; UFC; athletic performance; talent selection; training strategies(more…)