UFC: Ultimate Fighting Championship
The Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, is a company that played a massive role in bringing the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighting into the awareness of the mainstream public. Founded in 1993, the UFC was created to promote events in which two fighters from different disciplines would be able to face each other in a competitive setting. Matches take place in an eight-sided ring that is referred to as the Octagon.
Although we now take it for granted that a boxer and a karate black belt can go head-to-head in an MMA match, when the concept was first encountered by the public it was considered novel, if not groundbreaking. The aim of UFC in the beginning was to see which fighting discipline was most effective when things like rules and weight classifications were taken out of the equation, and so it had a tournament structure from the outset.
When did UFC start?
The first UFC tournament, now known as UFC 1, was a televised Pay Per View event that saw eight fighters compete for supremacy and a cash prize of $50,000. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter Royce Gracie won that first tournament, and he also went on to win UFC 2 and UFC 4 before achieving a draw with bare-knuckle boxing promoter Ken Shamrock in UFC 5.
Given the popularity of combat sports with spectators, it is no great surprise that the UFC formula was a success from the outset. Tournaments now take place on a monthly basis, and there have been more than 250 since 1993. Additional UFC Fight Night events also take place between UFC tournaments, giving MMA fans plenty of action to enjoy all year round,
A UFC Hall of Fame was established in 2003 to acknowledge some of its biggest stars. The first two fighters to be inaugurated into the UFC Hall of Fame were the two who drew UFC 5, Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock.