The brief history of the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship)
The UFC started way back on November 12th in the year 1993 which is over 25 years from the date of this article. Its amazing to see just how far the UFC has come and how the people globally embraced it and brought it to fruition. Back in 1993 Art Davie, an advertising exec along with Rorion Gracie, a noted master of Brazilian Jio-Jitsu originally started the whole thing. Their idea was to create a tournament existing of fighters with various disciplines to find out who was the very best fighter.
Rules were almost non-existent in the early stages of the UFC and this helped them market UFC to their pay-per-view audience. Hair pulling, head butts and low blows were all permitted which many times resulted in bloody and brutal matches. But the shows became extremely popular, especially as a result of the clashes between vastly different fighting styles. The Gracie family who were fighting legends based out of Brazil were well-represented in the early UFC fighting tournaments. The brother of one of the founders Rorion Gracie who's name was Royce Gracie was elected from the family to compete and he lived up to the legendary Gracie namesake winning three of the first four tournaments. Royce Gracie has since been inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame because of his illustrious mixed martial arts career spanning over two decades.
The fact that the UFC was a somewhat no-holds-barred event caused issues with the company later on when they started to feel pressure from certain politicians such as John McCain who once called it "human cockfighting". Many of the leading cable companies would refuse to televise any of the Ultimate Fighting Championship events and some video tape distributors were not willing to sell video tapes of the events.
Soon after the UFC responded and managed to keep its company name and sport it represented above water by introducing new rules and regulations. Weight divisions and gloves were implemented and headbutts and groin strikes were not allowed along with many other changes to make the sport more widely accepted and giving the fans a more fan-friendlty product.
in January of 2001, Zuffa LLC purchased the UFC company which was lead by Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta alongside Dana White (who currently acts as the president of the UFC). After the transition of the new rules and the implementation of new ownership, the UFC began to flourish as a global sport powerhouse and a major pay-per-view attraction.
The UFC continued to grow to new levels of popularity due to more effective marketing campaigns. They started introducing skilffull stars who were also charismatic such as the likes of Randy Couture and Tito Ortiz. Celebrities started to attend las vegas based events which increased its fan base over time. Over time, the ufc began to reach televisions across the globe and this is when their popularity really exploded. They introduced a reality show called The Ultimate Fighter which brough in a new fan base of people that were unfamiliar with the sport. Within a few years of the shows debut, the UFC was at an all-time high in popularity.
ESPN now recognizes the UFC as a sport and now covers it on the ESPN network and UFC pay-per-views can been seen around the world.
UFC: The Ultimate Fighting Championship (Overview)
During UFC events, both men and women compete in fights using a combination of wrestling, boxing, jiu-jitsu, judo and other martial arts. The combination of these various skills are referred to as "mixed martial arts". All UFC matches take place inside "The Octagon" which is an eight sided cage structure comprised of chain fencing. The fencing is six feet high and allows for 30 feet of space from point to point inside the octagon. The octagon is a copyright cage design exclusive to the Ultimate Fighting Championship and no other fighting company can use this specific design as it is officially trademarked to UFC.
Non-title fights are three rounds with each round consisting of five minutes in duration. Title fights are five rounds with each round also having a duration of 5 minutes. In between rounds, fighters are allowed one minute of rest before the next round begins.
UFC Weight Divisions (A Closer Look)
The UFC currently has the following weight divisions
|Weight Class||Upper Weight Limit|
|Super Lightweight||165lb (74.8kg)|
|Super Welterweight||175lb (79.4kg)|
|Super Middleweight||195lb (88.5kg)|
|Light Heavyweight||205lb (93.0kg)|