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Throwback Thursday: Muhammad Ali Helps Invent MMA

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Muhammad Ali arguably remains the greatest boxer ever and his influence still continues worldwide. However, he also must be recognized for his role in creating Mixed Martial Arts, or MMA for short. On this date in 1976, Ali fought Antonio Inoki, a wrestler, in the first match that combined both boxing and wrestling. The background to the fight is both interesting and mysterious, as it allegedly began as a fixed, exhibition, but ultimately became a real fight.

The fight became something of an unexciting spectacle, as many people were disappointed in it. There were many rules and restrictions placed due to the new nature of the fight. However, both fighters suffered brutal injuries, including a broken leg for Inoki and two leg blood cots for Ali. The fight still drew a large audience and has been seen as a reason for the advent of MMA. 

Watch the fight below, it's certainly unique:

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