Ultimate Fighting and Embodiment: Violence, Gender and Mixed Martial Arts (Routledge Research in Sport, Culture and…
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Mixed martial arts (MMA) is an emergent sport where competitors in a ring or cage utilize strikes (punches, kicks, elbows and knees) in addition to submission techniques to defeat opponents. This book explores the carnal revel in of fighting through a sensory ethnography of MMA, and the way it transgresses the cultural scripts of masculinity in pop culture. In line with four years of participant commentary in a local MMA club and in-depth interviews with amateur and professional MMA fighters, Spencer documents fighters’ training regimes and the meanings they attach to participation within the sport. Drawing from the philosophical phenomenology of Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Jean-Luc Nancy, this book develops bodies-centered ontological and epistemological grounding for this study. Guided by this type of position, it places bodies on the center of research of MMA and elucidates the embodied revel in of pain and injury, and the sense and rhythms of fighting.