Why Does MMA Use An Octagon? Quick Answer

Photo Credit: Wikimedia

Octagon is often loosely referred to simply as “cage” by many MMA fans. The only MMA promotion that uses the octagon is UFC. The rest of the MMA organizations do not use the octagon in their events. In the following, you will quickly learn everything you need to know about the octagon.

The UFC Octagon Is Trademarked

The name “Octagon” is intellectual property that is owned by UFC. Therefore no other MMA promotion can set up a fighting cage to the exact same specification as the UFC Octagon nor can any other MMA promotion refer to their cage as “Octagon.”

The octagonal competition mat and fenced-in design are registered trademarks and/or trade dress of Zuffa, LLC and are symbolic of the highest quality mixed martial arts events presented under the UFC® brand name.


The Reason Why UFC Uses Octagon Instead of Boxing Ring

UFC uses “Octagon” mainly for safety. In the Octagon, eIght-sided fence wall surrounds the padded canvas to protect fighters from falling out during a fight, unlike a traditional boxing ring where fighters can fall out between the ropes. For this reason, the octagon is better suited for MMA fights than the traditional boxing ring.

Photo Credit: abc.net.au

On the UFC website, the UFC further explains why they use Octagon than the ring:

A robust plastic-coated fence eliminates the chance of athletes tumbling out of the Octagon, as they can in a traditional ring during boxing, kickboxing, or Muay Thai bouts. This is unique in combat sports, as it eliminates the advantage of competitors who are well-versed in the art of “cutting off the ring” as a boxer or kickboxer may do. There are many examples of MMA athletes competing in other organizations falling from a traditional ring during competition, often resulting in unnecessary injuries.


The Different Size of Octagon In UFC

Currently there are two sizes of Octagon that has been used by UFC and here are some details of the two Octagon.

Full SizeSmaller Size
Exterior Diameter: 38 feet (11.5m)Exterior Diameter: Not Specified
Height from Canvas to Top of Fence: 5 feet, 9 inches (1.8m)Height from Canvas to Top of Fence: 5 feet, 9 inches (1.8m)
Interior Diameter: (Fighting Space) 30 feet accross (9.1m)Interior Diameter: (Fighting Space) 25 feet accross (7.62m)
Interior Area: ~ 746 ft2Interior Area: ~ 518 ft2
Canvas: Textured and hand-painted; used only once for each eventCanvas: Textured and hand-painted; used only once for each event
Source: UFC.com & Sportskeeda.com

The Octagon Size Affects The Outcome

The size of the Octagon affects the outcome of a fight according to the data. The smaller Octagon has a higher finishing rate of a fight than the fight goes the distance. According to the analyst done by MMAfighting.com, the smaller size of Octagon has a 55% finishing rate compared to the 48% finishing rate in the full size of the Octagon. This is due to the belief that fighters have less space to maneuver around in the smaller octagon which encourages fighters to engage and fight.

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