Are you interested in UFC and MMA and want to know more about their history? Perhaps you have recently watched some UFC fights and want to know more? Or maybe you are considering betting on MMA or UFC and want to know as much as possible before doing so? Whatever your reason might be, we have the answer for you.
We know how important it is to understand the thing you are betting on. After all, the more you know, the more educated your bet can be. But finding out this information can be challenging, can’t it?
Well, no more. Today we are here with a brief history of UFC and MMA to help you learn more about them. Keep reading to learn more about UFC and MMA before checking out Fanduel’s MMA odds and placing your next bet.
To help you today, we have divided the history into MMA and UFC, but you can expect to see some crossover. Happy reading.
History of MMA
MMA, or mixed martial arts, is a hybrid sport using techniques from boxing, wrestling, judo, BJJ, Karate, Muay Thai, and other disciplines. It was initially known as a brutal sport without any rules, but it has evolved from there and has become the fastest-growing spectator sport in the early 21st century.
MMA can be traced back to the ancient Olympic Games in 648 BCE, where martial training of Greek armies was considered the combat sport of ancient Greece. It combined a range of fighting methods with only biting and eye-gouging forbidden. In some cases, the fights were so brutal that competitors died during the matches. It was later banned in 393 CE.
But many years later, the style of fighting resurfaced in the 20th century in Brazil. Known as vale tudo aka”anything goes” the sport was popularised by brothers Helio and Carlos Gracie, who began a Jiu-Jitsu school in Rio de Janeiro. It became popular, with the brothers taking on challenges in large stadiums, with huge crowds enjoying the fights.
It made its way to North America in the 1990s, when the Gracie family showcased its trademark Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). Helio’s son Royce Gracie represented the family in a tournament in Denver, Colorado, UFC 1.
The name referred to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), which later became the leading promoter of MMA events.
This first fight was televised on cable as a pay-per-view event, attracting 86,000 viewers. But the third event, 300,000 people tuned in, and the fate of MMA fighting in the US was sealed. Since then, MMA fighting has been wildly popular in the US, with people tuning in across the globe to watch these fights.
History of UFC
As we just mentioned, UFC, or Ultimate Fighting Championship, is an organization born from MMA. The two can be viewed separately or together, which is how we will look at UFCs history today. The organization was founded in 1993 after the first MMA fight in North America and has since revolutionized the fighting business.
In the first few years, the organization struggled to make money, partly due to the emerging sport and not being hugely popular. But in 2001, Zuffa, LLC became the new owner and was able to restructure MMA fighting. Gone were the days of the anything-goes attitude; now, the sport is highly organized, sanctioned, and a controlled combat sport.
The organization is headquartered in Las Vegas but has employees all around the globe and produces more than 40 live events a year. These events quickly became sold-out events taking place in some of the most prestigious arenas in the world. Their programming is now broadcast in over 165 countries and territories, streaming to more than 1 billion TV households. It has a large fan base of young people, with 40% of its fans being between 18-34.
Part of this is down to the newness of the sport but aided by the popularity of some of the fighters. Many fighters signed directly to UFC have become household names thanks to their performance and social media profiles. Fighters like Conor McGregor are known even to those who aren’t fans of the sport due to his online presence and usually controversial incidents.
But that hasn’t stopped the success of UFC. They have taken the sport’s popularity and the revenue it generates to invest in performance institutes to train present and future MMA fighters. They have also invested in private Brain Health Studies to better understand the effects of MMA fighting on fighters and ensure they are better protected and supported.
UFC took a popular fighting method and turned it into a billion-dollar industry that shows no sign of slowing.
And there you have it, the history of MMA and UFC. We’ve kept it as brief as possible, but as you can see, the sport has come a long way from Ancient Greece and shows no signs of disappearing from our screens.