In the Cage: MMA Fighters’ Experience of Competition

in The Sport Psychologist

Click name to view affiliation

Peter JensenUniversity of Tennessee

Search for other papers by Peter Jensen in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Jorge RomanUniversity of Tennessee

Search for other papers by Jorge Roman in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
,
Barrett ShaftUniversity of Tennessee

Search for other papers by Barrett Shaft in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
, and
Craig WrisbergUniversity of Tennessee

Search for other papers by Craig Wrisberg in
Current site
Google Scholar
PubMed
Close
Restricted access

Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) is a relatively new and rapidly growing sport within contemporary athletics yet, to date, it has received relatively little attention in the sport psychology literature. To shed more light on the sport, the aim of the current study was to examine the experiences of MMA fighters during sanctioned competitions. Audio-recorded phenomenological interviews were conducted with seven participants and the transcripts were qualitatively analyzed to identify emerging themes. The findings revealed that the most important aspect of fighters’ experience was the chaotic nature of MMA fights, which participants characterized as “cage reality.” The results also suggested that fighters’ arousal regulation skills are at least as important as their technical skills for performance success. Taken together, the present findings extend previous research on MMA and suggest several implications for sport psychology consultants interested in working with fighters.

Jensen, Roman, Shaft, and Wrisberg are with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Recreation, and Sport Studies, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN. Jensen is now with the Center for Enhanced Performance, United States Military Academy, West Point, NY. Shaft is now with the Dept. of Athletics, Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona Beach, FL.

  • Collapse
  • Expand
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 2375 791 147
Full Text Views 130 26 1
PDF Downloads 114 35 1