E pluribus unum – 

This Latin phrase has been the de facto motto of the USA for over 200 years. It means “Out of Many, One.” This phrase captures the essence of what the United States of America is all about. It’s not just a matter of being a mix of ethnic backgrounds either. The USA is a nation where the St Patricks Day from Ireland, Groundhog Day and Oktoberfest from Germany, Halloween from Celtic England, Christmas and Cinco de Mayo from Mexico will likely all be celebrated by most Americans, irrespective of their ethnic heritage. Similarly, American cuisine borrows heavily from all corners of the world. Mixing things together is just what American’s do.

That spirit of E Pluribus Unum might just be the secret of US fighters success in mixed martial arts as well. Eight of the UFC’s current nine champions are Americans. Americans have seen great success in the biggest MMA promotions, past and present. If you count every champion of every type in UFC history, 84 of them are Americans, 20 Brazilian, 5 Canadian and the rest of the nations in the world adds one or two here and there. The very first Pride FC tournament champion was Mark Coleman, also an American. When Pride FC died, two of it’s four title belts were held by Dan Henderson, yet another American.

The United States didn’t invent martial arts. Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient China, Ancient Greece and other lands created the foundational combat arts. Those and other nations modified and perfected martial arts over the centuries. All of that happened long before the United States existed.

Of course USA did not invent MMA either. The oldest mixed martial arts promotions were up and running in Japan and Brazil years before the idea caught on in the USA.

In 1993, SEG unintentionally got the United States into the MMA game. They put together a spectacle pay per view event they dubbed The Ultimate Fighting Championship. Their purpose was to answer the age-old question, “Which martial arts system is the very best.” Initially, the success of Royce Gracie made us all believe that the definitive answer was Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. As more time passed, an even better answer emerged: The best martial arts style is all of them mixed together.

In a sport built on melding numerous martial arts systems and constant innovation, nobody does it better than the USA. MMA fighters trains in wrestling, boxing, Muay Thai, Judo, kickboxing and Jiu Jitsu. Any fighter who is not well versed at all of these will never get far in this sport. Additionally, if you are not constantly innovating and adapting you won’t last long in MMA.

Unsurprisingly, most of the best MMA camps are right here in the USA. When you’re ready to really get serious about fighting in MMA, you go to Jackson’s MMA, American Top Team, American Kickboxing Academy, Team Roufhouse, Team Alpha Make, The Pit or one of the many American gyms. Even the best Brazilian camps like Nova União, Team Nogueira, Black House and the Gracie family are often better established in the USA than they are in Brazil.

I hope that the rest of the world eventually catches up. I really do.It is in the sport’s best interest after all. It is in the UFC’s best interest to have non-American champions as well. But for now, the land of the free and home of the brave just does it better than anybody else.

About The Author

Kevin Sampson
Staff Writer

Ever since UFC 1, Mixed Martial Arts became my passion. I also love the old American favorites: Football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey and Boxing. But to me, Mixed Martial Arts is the purest form of athletic competition that there can ever be while still remaining legal. No ball, no goalie, no basket. Just raw ability vs raw ability. Everyone should be doing what they love, and I love writing about sports, especially mixed martial arts. I've been writing about my favorite sport for about 5 years now. I live with my wife, son and daughter about two hours west of Chicago. I work in IT in a major corporation's enterprise data center.