Originating from the full contact sport of Vale tudo in Brazil, the UFC was created in the United States in 1993 with minimal rules, and was promoted as a competition to determine the most effective martial art for unarmed combat situations.
It wasn't long before the fighters realized that if they wanted to be competitive among the best, they needed to train in additional disciplines. UFC fighters began to morph into well-rounded, balanced fighters that could fight standing or on the floor. This blend of fighting styles and skills became known as mixed martial arts (MMA).
Today, the UFC is the premier organization in MMA and enforces the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts without exception. With more than 40 fights every year, the UFC hosts most of the top-ranked fighters in the world. Events are held not only in America, but in many countries all over the globe.
There are three main ways to win a fight: Knockout, Submission, or Decision. A fighter must either knock out his opponent, get his opponent to tap out or submit, or fight the best he can to prove himself the stronger competitor in the eyes of the judges.
The UFC has 9 weight classes, ranging from 115 pounds to 265 pounds. The highly anticipated weigh-ins determine whether or not a fighter will make it to their scheduled bout.
Learn all about the cage, from why the Octagon™ shape was chosen to who and where the key players are for each fight.