Are You A UFC Fan?
In 1993, three enterprising guys by the names of Art Davie, Rorion Gracie, and Robert Meyrowitz all got together and founded the Ultimate Fighting Championship on the premise of seeing which martial arts from around the world would easily prevail over others in a no holds barred fight. After deciding that the rules of UFC would generally be that there were no rules, the first competition was held in Denver, Colorado showcasing fighters from all around the world.
The fighters came from different fighting proficiencies in martial arts including Brazilian Jujitsu, Judo, boxing, and karate. The competition included, among others, Patrick Smith, Kevin Rosier, Zach Martin, Ken Shamrock, and Royce Gracie. The first of many top UFC champs and the younger brother of one of the co-founders of the sport, Gracie would go on win the first, and what was supposed to be the only, UFC competition. When the numbers came in for the amount of viewers, being very close to 100,000 people, the creators decide to keep going with events, everyone bigger than the last.
As time went on and the UFC gained more and more popularity, it eventually caught the attention of the U.S. government which stepped in and demanded that the sport do something to protect the participants more. This led to the formation of more rules that forbade things like hair pulling and groin punches. The rules of UFC continued to evolve over time as more and more worries of trainers and fighters were made heard and as it stands today there are 31 rules that you can be fouled for.
Since its inception, the sport has turned out some accomplished UFC fighters including top UFC champs Tito Ortiz, and Chuck Liddell. Both of these fighters still participate today and have huge followings from their legion of supporters that has been growing over their long running careers.
Eventually, after the reformation period, the Ultimate Fighting Championship gained a mainstream following and started to leak into other forms of media. There is a reality TV show based around up and coming Mixed Martial Arts fighters all fighting for a UFC contract. The UFC also managed to release an album of music based on the fights and a series of successful video games with the most recent title being released on May 19, 2009.
The franchise also had a line of action figures produced featuring some of the most accomplished UFC fighters set to be released in November of 2009. There are two series already planned and they include names such as Royce Gracie, Chuck Liddell, and Evan Tanner. Also available is a few series from another toy company by the name of Round 5 which includes Tito Ortiz, Randy Couture, and Rich Franklin.
After all of the years spent being a cult sport with a rabid fan base, it seems that the UFC is finally coming into its own right and starting to be looked at and judged with the same pedigree as other national sports such as football and basketball.