Las Vegas and the Ultimate Fighting Championship

The largest and most popular mixed martial arts (MMA) organization in the world, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was founded in 1993 by Rorion Gracie and Art Davie. Founded with the goal of determining which martial arts discipline was the most effective in a real fight.

 

UFC in the early years. Early UFC events were a spectacle to be seen with many featuring fighters from a variety of martial arts backgrounds competing in a single elimination tournament format. There were no weight classes or rules, and fights could only be won by knockout, submission, or a fighter’s corner throwing in the towel. The first UFC event was held in Denver, Colorado, and was won by Royce Gracie, a Brazilian jiu-jitsu (BJJ) fighter. The UFC events quickly became controversial, facing criticism from politicians and the media for being too violent and lacking rules to protect the fighters. This resulted in the UFC being banned in many states, and the organization had to make significant changes to its rules and regulations to resume operation.

 

In 2001, the UFC was purchased by Zuffa LLC, a sports management company owned by two brothers, Lorenzo, and Frank Fertitta. Under their leadership, the organization went through a significant transformation, ultimately resulting in its mainstream popularity. The Fertitta brothers took the criticism received by the UFC and implemented new rules, regulations, and weight classes. With the goal of adopting a more professional approach to promoting and marketing its events, the Fertitta brothers also signed a landmark television deal with Spike TV, which allowed the UFC to reach a wider audience.

 

In 2005, the organization held its first pay-per-view event, UFC 52. One of the most significant moments in UFC history, the main event featured a rematch between Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture, two (2) of the most dominant fighters in UFC history. Liddell won the fight by knockout, cementing his status as one of the greatest UFC fighters of all time.

 

Over the years, the UFC cultivated a track record of legendary fighters, many of whom have become household names.

 

Meet some of the most dominant fighters in UFC history.

Anderson Silva, a Brazilian fighter who held the middleweight title for a record-breaking 2,457 days. During his reign, Silva was considered unbeatable, and he holds the record for the longest winning streak in UFC history, with 16 consecutive wins.

 

Georges St-Pierre, a Canadian fighter who held the welterweight title for a total of 2,204 days. St-Pierre is known for his exceptional wrestling and striking skills, and he is considered one of the most well-rounded fighters in UFC history.

 

Conor McGregor, an Irish fighter who became the first fighter in UFC history to hold titles in two different weight classes simultaneously. McGregor is known for his striking ability and his brash personality, and he has become one of the biggest stars in combat sports.

 

Jon Jones, a dominant light heavyweight champion who has never been defeated in the Octagon.

 

Khabib Nurmagomedov, a Russian fighter who retired with a perfect record of 29-0.

 

The UFC has also seen its fair share of controversy over the years, however, despite its obstacles, the UFC has continued to grow in popularity, with millions of fans tuning in to watch the organization’s events. Today, the UFC is considered the premier MMA organization in the world, and its fighters are among the best athletes in combat sports.