25 Bloody Things You Will Want To Know About the UFC

Posted by , Updated on November 17, 2022

Just a few hours ago, the UFC announced that it has been sold for an astounding $4.2 billion, and what some fans might see as the end of a glorious era, others might view as the rise of a new, brighter period for the world’s biggest mixed martial arts promotion company that features most of the top-ranked fighters in the sport. In 2001, the ailing franchise’s value didn’t exceed $2 million, but on Monday, July 11, 2016, Lorenzo Fertitta and Dana White sold the leading professional fight brand for a record-breaking reported $4.2 billion. Thanks to the rapid and “violent” progress of the sport of MMA, the UFC became one of the largest and fastest growing sports brands in the world.

Dana White, the dominant and most recognized non-fighting figure of the sport and the man who had a twenty percent share in the UFC under its parent company, Zuffa, will stay on as the CEO, but his word will no longer be the final one, and that will probably be the most crucial thing (for the fans and the sport itself) going forward. So what make UFC as valuable and profitable as Star Wars? The answer might be hidden in the following 25 Bloody Things You Will Want To Know About the UFC, the world’s fastest growing and most profitable fight brand in the world.


The first UFC fight was supposed to involve alligators. Putting electric fences around the ring was also considered. Thank God, neither of those things happened.

alligatorSource: mmajunkie.com, Image: Wikipedia

The first official Ultimate Fighting Championship event was finally held on November 12, 1993, at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado. The show proposed to find answers to sports fans’ questions such as, “Can a wrestler beat a boxer?” As with most martial arts at the time, fighters typically had skills in just one discipline and had little experience against opponents with different skills.

UFCSource: mmajunkie.com, Image: YouTube

This trend continued for a few years, and the main purpose of the early UFC competitions was to identify the most effective martial art in a fight, with minimal rules, between competitors of different fighting disciplines including boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Sambo, wrestling, Muay Thai, karate, judo, and other styles.

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Dana White serves as the president of the UFC, while Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta control the UFC’s parent company, Zuffa, LLC.

Dana White; Frank and Lorenzo FertittaSource: mmajunkie.com, Image: Wikipedia

There have been 3,749 UFC fights and more than 1,500 fighters in the promotion’s history since November 1993 when it was founded. UFC 200 last Saturday was the 363rd event in UFC history.

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The earliest UFC events, before the promotion was taken over by Zuffa, were marketed as some kind of barbaric death match where only one man would leave the octagon alive. Dana White admits that back then they had to do whatever they could to get attention, even if it was negative attention.

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Although the UFC used the tagline “There are no rules!” in the early 1990's, it did in fact operate with limited rules. It banned biting and eye gouging and frowned on (but still allowed) techniques such as hair pulling, head-butting, groin strikes, and fish-hooking. For that matter, in a UFC 4 qualifying match, competitors Jason Fairn and Guy Mezger agreed not to pull hair—as they both wore ponytails tied back for the match.

UFC fighterSource: mmajunkie.com, Image: Wikipedia

Frankie Edgar became the first fighter in UFC history to log more than six hours of fight time during UFC 200. He has now spent six hours, two minutes, and forty-nine seconds in the octagon.

Frankie_Edgar_vs_Chad_MendesSource: mmajunkie.com, Image: Wikipedia

Only two fighters have won the belt in two weight classes. Randy Couture was the first, winning in heavyweight and light heavyweight. B. J. Penn won in welterweight and then lightweight.

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Additionally, Randy Couture has competed in a record fifteen title fights and also holds the most title reigns in the UFC with five. He is the only UFC champ to have recovered a title he had previously lost a record three times.

Randy CoutureSource: mmajunkie.com, Image: Wikipedia

After the UFC was featured in the reality TV series American Casino, and seeing how well the series worked as a promotion vehicle, the Fertitta brothers developed an idea for the UFC to have its own reality series. This is how The Ultimate Fighter, a show featuring up-and-coming MMA fighters in competition for a six-figure UFC contract, began.

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During the late 1990's, the promotion had to change its rules drastically due to the violent nature of the sport, which was drawing the attention of the US authorities. When Senator John McCain saw a tape of the first UFC events, he led a campaign to ban it, calling it “human cockfighting,” and sending letters to the governors of all fifty states asking them to ban the event.

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There have been sixty-three fighters who have won a belt in UFC history. No weight class has had more champions than the heavyweight division (seventeen in total), and no heavyweight champ has managed to successfully defend his title more than twice.

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The most takedowns in one fight in UFC history was twenty-one by undefeated Russian lightweight Khabib Nurmagomedov against Abel Trujillo at UFC 160, according to FightMetric. It might sound incredible, but many notable fighters haven’t even had that many takedowns in their entire careers.

Russian lightweight Khabib NurmagomedovSource: mmajunkie.com, Image: YouTube

The most strikes in one fight in UFC history was 361 by Stipe Miocic against Mark Hunt at UFC Fight Night 65, according to FightMetric. Miocic is the current heavyweight champion.

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The fastest fights in UFC history have lasted seven seconds. At UFC 102, Todd Duffee knocked out Tim Hague in seven seconds. That mark was matched by Chan Sung Jung against Mark Hominick at UFC 140 and again by Ryan Jimmo against Anthony Perosh at UFC 149.

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Ironically, the very first UFC event without a single knockout was called UFC 76: Knockout.

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The most wins currently in UFC history is nineteen, by both former welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre and Michael Bisping. Bisping won his nineteenth fight at UFC 199, at which he won the middleweight belt for his first career UFC title.

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Contrary to popular belief, Dana White never fought for a living when he was younger. Before becoming the president and co-owner of the UFC, he worked as a humble aerobics instructor.

Dana WhiteSource: mmajunkie.com, Image: YouTube

The UFC belt is gold plated, and according to former middleweight champion Chris Weidman, costs about $330,000.

UFC BeltSource: mmajunkie.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

WWE’s Brock Lesnar was the fastest fighter in UFC history to win a belt, winning the heavyweight title in his fourth professional fight. He had never even fought at the amateur level before turning pro. He’s also the biggest Pay-Per-View (PPV) draw and the highest-earning UFC fighter in history.

Brock LesnarSource: mmajunkie.com, Image: Wikipedia

Even though fighting in the UFC cages is as real as it gets, the promotion company used the WWE (where everything is scripted) as its role model. Dana White openly admitted that WWE’s chairman and CEO, Vince McMahon, was the main influence on the UFC business model.

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New York’s first UFC (and MMA in general) event will be held this November at Madison Square Garden, as the sport was only officially legalized there in April.

 Madison Square GardenSource: mmajunkie.com, Image: commons.wikimedia.org

Dana White was one of the many people who thought that women’s MMA wouldn’t draw fans and could never generate a huge superstar. With the incredible rise of Ronda Rousey as one of the biggest, if not the biggest, stars of the sport in the past few years, Dana White admitted being terribly wrong.

Ronda RouseySource: mmajunkie.com, Image: YouTube

Despite the UFC being by far the most prestigious and popular organization among fans in the sport, it’s not known for paying its fighters the best money or offering the most profitable contracts. This is one of the main reasons Fedor Emelianenko, arguably the greatest MMA fighter of all time, has never fought in the UFC, despite several attempts made between him and Dana White to reach a deal.

Fedor EmelianenkoSource: mmajunkie.com, Image: YouTube

SEE ALSO: 25 Richest Celebrities With The Highest Net Worth »


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