The fastest growing sports organization in the world, the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®), started in 1993 as a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. UFC has revolutionized the fight business, and today stands as the world's leading MMA promoter, offering the premier series of MMA sports events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe.
The UFC organization follows a rich history and tradition of competitive MMA dating back to the Olympic Games in Athens. About 80 years ago, a Brazilian form of MMA known as Vale Tudo (anything goes) sparked local interest in the sport. Today, the UFC has evolved into an organization where hybrid athletes are required to know various disciplines in order to compete at an elite level in a regulated environment where safety is paramount. UFC athletes are skilled in many forms of martial arts, including karate, jiu-jitsu, boxing, kickboxing, grappling, wrestling, sumo and other combat sports.
Owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC, headquartered in Las Vegas and with offices in London, Toronto and Beijing, UFC produces more than 40 live events annually and is the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world, broadcast in over 149 countries and territories, to nearly one billion homes worldwide, in 30 different languages. UFC content is also distributed commercially in the United States to bars and restaurants through Joe Hand Promotions, in English throughout Canada via Premium Sports Broadcasting Inc. and in French throughout Quebec via Interbox.
In 2011, the UFC burst into the mainstream with a landmark seven-year broadcast agreement with FOX Sports Media Group. The agreement includes four live events broadcast on the FOX network annually, with additional fight cards and thousands of hours of programming broadcast on FOX properties FX and FUEL TV. This also includes the longest-running sports reality show on television, The Ultimate Fighter®, which airs on FX.
The UFC also connects with tens of millions of fans through its website, UFC.com, as well as social media sites Facebook
. UFC President Dana White is considered one of the most accessible and followed executives in sports, with over two million followers on Twitter.
Ancillary UFC businesses include best-selling DVDs, an internationally distributed magazine, UFC.TV offering live event broadcasts and video on demand around the world, the best-selling UFC Undisputed® video game franchise distributed by THQ, and a new franchise in development with EA, UFC GYM®, UFC Fight Club affinity program, UFC Fan Expo® festivals, branded apparel and trading cards.