Combat Sports
An Encyclopedia of Wrestling, Fighting, and Mixed Martial Arts
by David L. Hudson, Jr.
May 2009, 379pp, 7 x 10
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-0-313-34383-4
$91, £70, 80€, A125
eBook Available: 978-0-313-34384-1
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In this essential resource author David Hudson provides illuminating accounts of all of the most famous combatants, promoters, managers, trainers, moves, and events from the world of combat sports.

Fistic combat represents the greatest human drama in all of sport. Roman gladiators thrilled citizens and emperors alike when they entered the octagon to face an intense, life-threatening experience. Boxing, the sport of kings, also has its roots in the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome. Banned in 500 A.D. by the Emperor Theodoric, it resurfaced twelve centuries later in England. John Milton praised it as a noble art for building character in young men, and sports writer A.J. Leibling dubbed it the Sweet Science. Many of its major protagonists – men such as Joe Louis, Rocky Marciano and Muhammad Ali – have become transcendent, near-mythic heroes. But boxing is not the only combat sport, and mixed martial arts, in all their ferocious beauty, represent the fastest growing sports genre in the world. Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC) has joined boxing in paying seven figures to some of its champions, and draws millions in its pay-per-view events. This book details leading figures in boxing, sumo wrestling, kickboxing, Greco-Roman wrestling, and mixed martial arts (including organizations such as Ultimate Fighting, PRIDE, K-1, Total Combat, and SportFighting). Over 150 entries cover champions, contenders, and other famous combatants from all over the world, as well as legendary promoters, managers, trainers, and events. Also included in this encyclopedia are sidebars on controversies, highlights, brief bios, and other noteworthy events, along with a general timeline.



"To the book's credit, each individual's professional record and list of championships, if any, are included--certainly a plus as far as statistic-crazed fans are concerned."—Library Journal, September 1, 2009

"A Tennessee-based writer and teacher on law and sports, Hudson focuses on boxing and mixed martial arts, the two most popular and widely practiced combat sports today, but also provides information on kickboxing, savate, sambo, sumo wrestling, and Greco-Roman wrestling. He does not include professional wrestling, because it is not a competitive sport. Most of the articles focus on people—boxers, mixed martial artists, promoters, and writers—but others describe organizations, great fights, and submission holds. In each case he provides brief information that could settle an argument or clarify a reference, and cites sources for readers who’d like more information." —Reference & Research Book News, August 1, 2009

"Although there are many excellent works on boxing and wrestling, as well as some on the history and techniques of fighting and mixed martial arts, Combat Sports is the first and only mainstream reference work to encompass all of these sports. . . . The author brings considerable knowledge to this project, having served as a licensed boxing judge, a contributing writer at, and the author and coauthor of 20 books on legal and sports-related topics, including boxing. Considering the level of interest in these sports and the lack of professional reference material available at this time, Combat Sports would make a good addition to any reference collection serving the public or young adults."—Booklist, October 15, 2009

"Recommended."—Choice, November 1, 2009

" of these sports will appreciate the complementary biographical information that Hudson provides. His guide will serve interested audiences from high school to adult."—Lawrence Looks at Books, June 1, 2009

"As a reference book, I believe this source would be most commonly used to find bibliographical information on individual fighters. For the aficionado of combat sports, it would no doubt make great reading from cover-to-cover. For libraries, it is recommended for reference collections that serve high school level and above, and general readers."—Reference Reviews, May 1, 2010

"Combat Sports is an excellent resource that provides a novice to the topic a starting point for learning. The introduction gives a brief account of the topic; the time line at the end of the book highlights several key events in the combat sports world. . . . this book is an excellent addition to high school and public libraries."—VOYA, October 1, 2010

"Hudson’s work on boxing and mixed martial arts provides a wealth of information and serves as a useful tool for researchers, historians and others interested in these captivating sports."—Mike Fitzgerald
boxing historian
Author of Ageless Warrior: The Life of Boxing Legend Archie Moore

" 'A must read for Boxing and/or MMA fans - from casual observers to die-hards, you're guaranteed to learn a thing or a few while thumbing through the history of two sports jam-packed into a few hundred pages for your reading pleasure."—Jake Donovan
Managing Editor

"As an International Boxing Consultant and a former professional boxing judge, who had the privilege of judging over 170 Championship fights, this Encyclopedia of Combat Sports is not only a Must-Read but a Must-Have for all fans of boxing and MMA. It's an unbelievable source of information! This book is truly a work of passion by author and boxing judge, David Hudson."—Chuck Giampa
International Boxing Consultant
Las Vegas, NV
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