History of The UFC

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Ultimate Fighting Championship, better known as UFC, is the world’s premier Mixed Martial Arts organization. UFC was originally conceived as a series of no-rules “style versus style” fights, with the goal of promoting the Gracie Jiu-Jitsu style of fight. Fighters from different backgrounds would be matched against each other, so you’d see karate veterans against grapplers, street fighters against amateur wrestlers, and other such oddball matchups.

While the UFC enjoyed some early success, the extreme violence and utter lack of rules, regulations, or oversight caused significant problems. No State Athletic Commission would sanction UFC bouts, and Pay Per View carriers were increasingly reticent to air UFC shows. Struggling under the weight of these issues, the original ownership group sold the company to Zuffa, backed by casino magnates Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta. The Fertitta Brothers quickly installed Dana White (our brief opinion of him), a former agent and manager for boxers and MMA fighters, as company president.

Under White, UFC quickly began changing their format, implementing the set of rules we know today in order to secure sanctioning from State Athletic Commissions. As UFC moved from Indian reservations to the Vegas strip, they quickly found themselves back on Pay Per View, riding the strength of stars like Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, and Chuck Liddell. While UFC had come a long way from it’s tough-man roots, it was still a long way from being mainstream.

All of that changed with the advent of The Ultimate Fighter, UFC’s ground-breaking reality show on Spike TV. In the show’s finale, Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar engaged in one of the sport’s most legendary fights, live on cable TV. The sport’s popularity soared overnight, and the UFC moved further into the national consciousness. Since then, UFC has absorbed many of their top competitors, including PRIDE FC, to cement themselves as the undisputed worldwide leader in Mixed Martial Arts.

Now, UFC has firmly entrenched itself as a mainstream sport. They have an exclusive gear deal with Reebok, one of the world’s largest athletics companies, and routinely air shows on network television as well as Fight Pass, their subscription-based online streaming service. UFC Pay Per Views are shown all over the world, and the roster represents the company’s global appeal. The best fighters from all over the world compete against each other across eight weight classes and two women’s weight classes. UFC’s top stars have become some of the sports world’s most notable celebrities, including Jon “Bones” Jones, Anderson Silva, and “Rowdy” Ronda Rousey, who recently starred in Hollywood blockbuster The Expendables 3.

UFC is where the vast majority of the sport’s top talent competes, which makes it the ideal playground for online gamblers. As UFC’s popularity has exploded, so have your betting options. Check out our BETTING GUIDE to learn the tips and tricks to making money betting on UFC, or check out our guide to DRAFT KINGS and try your hand at Fantasy MMA for money!

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