|The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the premier no-holds-barred,
mixed styles martial arts tournament in the world and seeks out the very best in any and all arts. For thousand of years, people around the world have studied the martial arts. As various disciplines evolved, from tae kwon do to jujitsu to karate and others, schools were formed and provided the athletes with a systematic means to develop and refine their fighting techniques.
Today, millions study specific martial arts,
however, the key question remains: which is the superior discipline? The UFC was created to answer this question. It is a full-contact, mixed martial arts competition that matches top fighters in various fighting styles in a single-elimination tournament. Since its inception and launch in 1993, the UFC has become a modern sports phenomenon. Originally created as a pay-per-view television event modeled after similar competitions in Latin America and Asia, the UFC has created a new sport with a new generation of hero athletes.
The UFC has been called
the Olympics of martial arts fighting. It actually resembles the original Olympic games, where pankration (a combined form of boxing and wrestling) served as the main event. Carrying on the spirit of these original Olympic contests, todayís UFC events feature world-class athletes, including Olympic champions and top-ranked fighters with multiple black belts and international recognition in each of their respective disciplines, from many different countries.
The range of disciplines
featured in a UFC event are as diverse as the personalities of the fighters. They include karate, ninjitsu, jujitsu, kung fu, muay thai, judo, kickboxing, sumo, tae kwon do, shoot-fighting, pancrase, wrestling and others. This combination has enabled the UFC to continually set new records for live attendance and television viewership. Fans overwhelmingly cite one factor for the UFCís popularity: it is real.
There are no choreographed moves.
There are no theatrical stunts.
There are no planned outcomes. There are only two men, each determined to triumph using only his strength, training and will. UFC events are staged as 8-man or 4-man single-elimination tournaments with the richest purses in martial arts history. Although the original UFC matches included fighters of all sizes, the modern UFC has created two separate weight classes: under 200 pounds and over 200 pounds. This move opens the door to more fighting styles, with the lighter class offering greater emphasis on speed, technique and skill, while the heavy-weights focus on size, strength and power. Fighters are pitted in hand-to-hand, no-holds-barred combat in The Octagon, a 30-foot-diameter ring enclosed by a five-foot-high chain-link fence.
When two UFC fighters enter the ring,
they have only one purpose: to end the fight. To do so, a fighter must make his opponent submit or end the fight with a knockout. Fights also can be stopped upon intervention by a doctor, referee or the fighterís cornerman. The most unique aspect of the UFC that sets it apart from such traditional sports as boxing and wrestling, however, is that it provides a crucial safety valve by allowing a fighter to end a match with honor by "tapping out" to signal his submission. Most UFC fights end in this manner. Detractors of the UFC cite the potential risk of permanent physical contest. However, in more than 100 matches staged around the country since 1993, no fighter has sustained any serious, lasting injuries.
In addition, the Ultimate Fighting Alliance,
the governing body of the UFC, has established a comprehensive set of rules for the administration and management of each event. In many cases, these guidelines are more rigorous than those established by the most stringent state boxing commissions. Praised for their high production values, UFC events have a production budget in excess of $1MM. Set pieces, including The Octagon, were created by noted movie director John Milius (Conan the Barbarian).