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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has become the most successful mixed martial arts organization after the discipline surged in popularity in the 1990s. With a combination of dynamic fighters and great marketing, UFC quickly built up enough buzz to become the go-to combat sport organization in North America.
The very first event, UFC 1, took place in Denver, Colorado in November 1993. The idea was the brainchild of Art Davie who had proposed an eight-man single-elimination tournament to discover the best fighter in the world. At a time when fighters were trained heavily in one discipline and cross training was rare if not non-existent, the event appealed to sports fans by asking questions like: “Can a wrestler beat a boxer?”
The very first event was won by Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Royce Gracie who had a submission-based style that his heavy-striking opponents had no answer to. Originally intended as a one-off event – or at most the first of a number of specials – UFC 1 instead created its own sport in a niche that was untapped to that point. As UFC evolved, the fights became more tightly regulated with additional rules, and eventually weight classes were established to further legitimize the promotion’s sense of equality among fighters.
The mid-2000s saw a huge growth in popularity as UFC hit the mainstream news and sports media. The top-selling UFC pay per views can do staggering numbers, with UFC 202 in August 2016 surging to over 1.6 million buys on the back of a main event featuring Nate Diaz vs. Connor McGregor. McGregor is one of the company’s biggest success stories to date, with his cross-over potential spiking the popularity of UFC whenever he is featured.
Where does UFC run shows?
In the early days, not all states allowed UFC to hold mixed martial arts fights. This is no longer an issue as of March 2016, when New York became the 50th and final state to legalize and regulate the sport. This means that UFC cards can now take place anywhere in the USA that wins a bid to host an event.
How much to UFC tickets cost?
UFC ticket prices vary based on the strength of the overall card and – specifically – the main event.
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