25 Interesting MMA Facts You’ll Want To Know

Posted by , Updated on March 23, 2024

Mixed Martial Arts has had a long and proud history. From Greek, Brazilian, and Japanese culture, mixing various fighting styles has been a common practice. Only until recent has mixed martial arts become more popular with the advent of the UFC. As an international organization, the Ultimate Fighting Champion has become synonymous with the best fighter in the world. It’s also a multi-billion dollar industry with many fighters vying for the title. Here are 25 Interesting MMA Facts You’ll Want To Know.



Zuffa purchased the UFC for $2 million.

UFCSource: https://www.thescore.com/mma/news/1046902

The owner of the UFC, Zuffa LLC, purchased the organization for $2 million in 2001. They recently sold it for $4.2 billion in 2016.


Anderson Silva holds the record for most knockouts.

Anderson_SilvaSource: http://www.sherdog.com/fighter/Anderson-Silva-1356

Considered one of the best strikers in the world, Anderson “The Spider” Silva holds the records for most knockouts in The Octagon.


Ken and Frank Shamrock aren't biological brothers.

Ken shamrockSource: http://mmajunkie.com/2013/07/ken-shamrock-mends-fences-with-adoptive-brother-frank-shamrock-for-mma-project

UFC Hall of Famer and champion Ken Shamrock and his brother Frank were both adopted by Bob Shamrock. For a long time, the two were in a heated feud, but they began mending fences around 2013.


Tank Abbott appeared in a Friends episode with Jon Favreau.

Friends_logoSource: http://friends.wikia.com/wiki/David_%22Tank%22_Abbott

In the episode “The One with the Ultimate Fighting Champion,” Tank Abbott is a guest star and fights actor and director Jon Favreau.


UFC 37.5 was the first fight ever aired on U.S. Cable.

Vitor_belfortSource: http://www.mmaweekly.com/key-moments-in-ufc-history-mma-debuts-on-u-s-cable-tv-with-ufc-37-5-video

In the UFC 37.5 fight, Vitor Belfort and Chuck Liddell faced off against each other and was the first fight ever aired on cable.


Tito Ortiz's real name Is Jacob Christopher Ortiz

Tito_OrtizSource: https://short-biography.com/tito-ortiz.htm

While everyone knows the UFC light heavyweight champion as Tito Oritz, his real name is Jacob Christopher Ortiz.


The State Of Abu Dhabi owns 10 percent of the UFC.

Abu_DhabiSource: http://www.arabianbusiness.com/abu-dhabi-s-flash-to-keep-ufc-stake-after-4bn-sale-638119.html

Abu Dhabi’s Flash Entertainment bought a stake in the UFC and will keep their shares even with the recent sale in 2016.


Melton Bowen was the first to wear gloves.

mma glovesSource: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100324202553AAXyEZy

While gloves are now required in the UFC, Melton Bowen is credited to be the first fighter to wear gloves in the Octagon.


The UFC has had international mafia troubles.

mafiaSource: http://mmapayout.com/2008/10/dana-corruption-and-local-mafia-roadblocks-to-ufc-intl-expansion/

Rumors have swirled about the UFC’s long-standing connection with the mafia, but no proof has been provided. In Japan and Mexico, however, they’ve had trouble expanding their business due to organized crime and the mafia like the Yakuza.


The Octagon is inspired by Chuck Norris.

the octagonSource: http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/news/who-invented-the-octagon

The Octagon has been a constant in all the UFC fights. It was first created by Jason Cusson;  he claims it was inspired by the 1980 film, “The Octagon” starring Chuck Norris.


Stefan Struve is the tallest UFC fighter to enter the Octagon.

Stefan_StruveSource: http://www.ufc.com/fighter/Stefan-Struve

Nicknamed “The Skyscraper,” Stefan Struve from the Netherlands towers over his opponents at 7’0″.


New York had a ban on the UFC for years before finally lifting it.

New_YorkSource: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mma/2016/04/14/mma-ban-lifted-new-york-madison-square-garden/83027166/

New York was the last state to ban the UFC despite many years of lobbying by the organization. However, in 2016, Governor Cuomo signed a bill that lifted the ban.


The first mixed marital arts was called Pankration.

PankrationSource: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/28473-ancient-greek-pankration-the-origins-of-mma-part-one

Introduced in the Olympic games in 648 B.C., Pankration was the first mixed martial arts developed in Ancient Greece and means “all power.”


UFC based itself on a WWE business model.


While UFC doesn’t control the outcomes of the fights like the WWE, many (such as Brock Lesnar) have pointed out, the UFC still used the WWE template for their business model.


Matt Serra was the first American to get his black belt from Renzo Gracie.

Matt_SerraSource: https://www.bjjheroes.com/bjj-fighters/matt-serra

Former UFC Champion Matt Serra was the first American to get his black belt in Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu from Renzo Gracie.


Evan Tanner has the most triangle choke submissions.

Triangle_chokeSource: http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/forums/UnderGround/25-things-you-may-not-know-on-mma:1228823

Anyone facing off against Evan Tanner would have to do their best to avoid his triangle choke submission. It was a favorite move to the point of setting a record for most triangle choke submissions in the MMA.


The UFC belt really is made of gold.

UFC_Superfight_beltSource: http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/forums/UnderGround/Chris-Weidman-UFC-belt-is-worth-333000-in-Gold:2229157

The coveted UFC Belt that is always held with pride and esteem after a fighter becomes champion is made of gold and is worth $333,000.


Igor Vovchanchyn won 37 consecutive fights.

Igor_VovchanchynSource: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/704090-the-30-most-impressive-unbeaten-streaks-in-mma-history

While he didn’t face off against the greatest fighters, there’s no denying Igor Vovchanchyn has an unrivaled record; he has won 37 consecutive fights.


UFC 1 was going to have alligators and a moat.

alligatorsSource: http://www.cagepotato.com/ufc-originally-had-gators-seriously/

The original creators of the UFC 1 were big thinkers. One of their ideas was to have alligators thrashing around inside a moat surrounding the fighting ring. Another idea they had was to put up an electrical fence. Of course, all the sane people put a stop to those ideas immediately.


Shooto is the oldest MMA organization on the planet.

mmaSource: http://www.usashooto.com/history

Originally from Japan, Shooto is one of the oldest forms of MMA and the first MMA organization with matches starting in 1986.


President Theodore Roosevelt fought MMA.

Theodore_RooseveltSource: http://fightland.vice.com/blog/the-strenuous-life-theodore-roosevelts-mixed-martial-arts

President Theodore Roosevelt is known for his macho, tough guy persona but not many know he learned boxing, wrestling, and Judo, and would have frequent wrestling matches with anyone willing to take him on in the White House. He employed many different fighting styles.


Multiple class action lawsuits have been filed against UFC.

gavelSource: https://www.bloodyelbow.com/2015/3/21/8268695/ufc-lawsuit-two-more-fighters-file-antitrust-complaint-against-zuffa

Multiple UFC fighters have filed antitrust class action lawsuits against the organization stating, “Through a series of anticompetitive, illicit, and exclusionary acts, the UFC has illegally acquired, enhanced, and maintained a dominant position in the markets.”


Mauricio "Shogun" Rua was a male model in Brazil.

Mauricio_'Shogun'_RuaSource: http://www.mixedmartialarts.com/vault/best-of/7-mma-stars-modeled-acted/3

Before knocking, punching, and fighting his way through the UFC, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua was a male model in Brazil, doing both commercials and runway modeling.


MMA fighters take on an unhealthy amount of head trauma.

brain traumaSource: http://nationalpost.com/g00/news/canada/mma-fighters-suffer-traumatic-brain-injury-in-almost-a-third-of-professional-bouts-study/wcm/0c4bd592-8eea-4820-9545-88348b0d53e1?i10c.referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fnationalpost.com%2Fg00%2Fnews%2Fcanada%2Fmma-fighters-suffer-traumatic-brain-injury-in-almost-a-third-of-professional-bouts-study%2Fwcm%2F0c4bd592-8eea-4820-9545-88348b0d53e1%3Fi10c.referrer%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.google.com%252F

It might seem like a no-brainer, but MMA fighters take on considerable risk when entering the ring. However, some may not realize that a third of professional bouts can end in a traumatic brain injury. In fact, MMA fighters are much more likely to get a traumatic brain injury than any other sport, including hockey and football.


MMA’s first Olympic athlete was Mark Shultz (UFC 9).

olympic gamesSource: http://fightland.vice.com/blog/how-foxcatchers-mark-schultz-ended-up-at-ufc-9

Olympic gold medal athlete Mark Shultz tragically lost his brother when John du Pont murdered him. His way to cope? He decided to turn to Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu and fought in UFC 9, becoming the first Olympian to do it.

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