The UFC is currently MMA's biggest promotion, and therefore has the world's best stable of fighter's. The UFC has also become the new darling of Las Vegas much to the chagrin of the powers that be in the boxing world. But instead of being bitter, the sport of boxing needs to take a look at why that is. For one, you can't get any big fights for free anymore when it comes to boxing. The UFC on the other hand, air's free broadcast's labeled "UFC Fight Night" on Spike ever couple of months at least, and usually more than that. And these are normally big main events that the hardcore fans want to see, not fighters that nobody knows.
What a new fan should watch for on the ground is the use of "the guard", and the escape from this position for the other fighter, also known as "passing the guard." The guard position consists of the fighter on bottom to control his/her opponent by wrapping his/her legs around the waist of the fighter on top while controlling the head, keeping him/her off balance, making it easier to sweep or submit the other. Normally the fighter on top or "in the guard" will try to get his/her legs around the leg's of the opponent, or to "ground and pound" the other fighter with strikes from the top position. There are usually no submissions from inside the guard.
The key to enjoying the excitement of the sport though, is to understand all the different aspects of the sport, and to recognize the transitions that you see throughout a typical fight. The least understood of these being the "ground game". To the casual observer, this might seem boring compared to striking (the term used in MMA referring to the stand up phase of a fight). And sometimes it is with average talent. But when you have two world class grappler's going at it, it’s the most exciting part of a fight in my opinion. This modern form has gained major success just over the last few years and this sport is currently evolving. Sport experts all around the world have seen how much MMA have matured and expand in this era. Everyone knows where it is headed from here.
It's impossible to cover all the tinge of the sport in this article, but once the more common ideas of the grappling part of MMA is understood by new and non fans, the more enjoyment will come out of watching great fights and understanding how technical these fighters are, not to mention the level of conditioning that it takes to compete in this sport. MMA contests are being aired to a larger audience, the numbers of MMA gyms are countless and the number of people walking into the stadium to watch a fight live is numerous. It may not be wrong to assume that MMA could surpass the popularity of boxing. Maybe not this year or two to three years from now but it is only a matter of time that MMA will be the sport of the new era.