Ultimate Fighting Championship Rules Of Engagement!
The Ultimate Fighting Championship is a Mixed Martial Arts that was inspired by vale tudo fighting competitions in Brazil. The league was formed in 1993 and held its first event in Denver, Colorado. The matches in the UFC take place between two top UFC champs in an octagon shaped ring. Fighters come from all over the world to compete and they all have varying background in martial arts that include Brazilian Jujitsu, various forms of karate, Judo, and even traditional boxing.
The rules of UFC in the beginning were pretty simple; there were no rules. Two men would enter the octagon and fight five, five minute rounds for a title or three, five minute rounds for a non-title match with a one-minute rest period between every round. The two combatants were allowed to do almost anything to each other except for two things: biting and eye gouging. Other than that, they were free to use any technique to win the match. This made for an extremely violent sport and it quickly caught the attention of the U.S. government. After the government caught wind of what was happening, the Ultimate Fighting Championship was forced to reform and add more rules to make the competition a little cleaner and more civil. They introduced weight classes, added rules against dirty fighting like pulling hair and head butting, and they started regulating the clothing worn by all competitors so fighters couldn't grab onto the other contestants clothing.
The league has produced some very accomplished UFC fighters and some of the top UFC champs have been inducted into the Hall of Fame. Current fighters include Tito Ortiz, Chuck Liddell, and Ken Shamrock. Of all of the accomplished UFC fighters, Royce Gracie must be the most successful.
Gracie's fighting style is in Brazilian Jujitsu which he has been learning since the age of 8 from his father, Helio, and currently holds a 6th degree black belt in the martial art. He began his career fighting in the vale tudo competitions in Brazil and made his way to America when his brother offered him a job teaching Brazilian Jujitsu out of his garage. He then joined the UFC and won his first eight matches in a row becoming an overnight Mixed Martial Arts phenomenon and securing his future place in the Hall of Fame.
As time trudged on, the rules of UFC changed dramatically to forbid more and more actions against a fighter's opponent. As of today, there are 31 different rules that a competitor can be fouled for. Some of the biggest ones are for safety reasons. There is no kicking, kneeing, or stomping on an opponent's due to massive amounts of head injuries sustained during the beginnings of the sport. There is no spitting, hair pulling, pinching, or abusive language allowed in the octagon. Any violation will result in a foul and could possibly end the match in a disqualification.
The sport is still in its infancy in many ways, but the popularity surrounding it continues to steadily grow year after year. It is now broadcast in over 30 countries and drawing athletes from other sporting events of similar nature to the octagon. This seems to just be the start for this up and coming sport.