It’s been a big year for the UFC. In December, UFC 194 broke records in the US with a total gate of $10,006,249.
The sport of MMA has recognisable faces and the UFC is a hugely merchandisable brand. But it has had to come a long way to make it to where it is today.
The UFC was founded to pit fighters from various disciplines and backgrounds against each other. Boxers boxed each other and wrestlers wrestled each other but what would happen if a boxer met a wrestler? Better yet, what would happen if a black belt in Brazilian jui-jitsu met a master of Muay-Thai? The UFC wanted to find out.
The first event was in November, 1993 and uncertainty about what was about to happen is clear in the video. The first fight was between sumo-wrestler Teila Tuili and savate fighter Gerard Gordeau. Right from the beginning it was clear that the UFC was doing something that had never been seen before.
The UFC was described at the time as being, “A battle where anything can happen, and probably will.”
Brazilian jui-jitsu black belt Royce Gracie stole the show and submitted all of his opponents despite being the smaller man. Grappling and fighting on the ground had never been seen like this before. The UFC had changed the professional combat industry forever.
The UFC has events worldwide, showcases ten weight divisions and has held over 300 events to date.
Jack Cahill, Pundit Arena