The Ultimate Guide to Understanding & Enjoying UFC Fights

What is UFC and How Did it Come to be?

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a Las Vegas-based MMA promotion corporation. Endeavor Group Holdings’ Zuffa runs it. The world’s largest MMA promotion business as of 2011. 

The Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts govern its global tournaments, which feature 12 weight divisions (eight men’s and four women’s). By 2022, it had almost 600 events. Since 2001, Dana White has been president. Under White’s leadership, it became a global multi-billion-dollar corporation.

In 1993, businessman Art Davie and Brazilian martial artist Rorion Gracie formed the Ultimate Fighting Championship at Denver’s McNichols Sports Arena. In a tournament with few rules and no weight divisions, the early Ultimate Fighting Championship competitions sought to determine the most effective martial art. 

Later competitions had stricter restrictions and fighters used techniques from other disciplines, which indirectly led to mixed martial arts. Ultimate Fighting Championship’s main business, Zuffa, was sold to Endeavor, formerly known as William Morris Endeavor (WME–IMG), Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, and MSD Capital for US$4.025 billion in 2016. Endeavor paid $1.7 billion to acquire Zuffa in 2021.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship organization hosts approximately 50 events per year and oversees more than 500 events since its inception in 1993. The UFC produces 10+ shows annually with cards running every few months on average in non-pay-per-view productions.

The organization also produced over 120 reality television series which aired internationally starting in 2006 with “The Ultimate Fighter”.The UFC has produced and distributed more than 350 hours of programming in the UFC Fight Pass year, including over 200 hours of live content.

In 2015, the organization sold over 1 billion total pay-per-views worldwide. It also had an estimated annual revenue of $600 million and is “the largest mixed martial arts promotion company in the world.”

On July 9, 2018, it was announced that the year’s event would be its last at Manchester Arena before moving to Las Vegas to become a part of The Mandalay Bay Events Center starting in 2019. Ahead of the 2019 event, a fan-designed poster was selected by event organizers as the official poster to be used for the first time.

The Rules & Regulations of UFC Fights

The UFC was created by the Gracie family of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu as a showcase to demonstrate their style of fighting which they developed in Brazil, including techniques such as the Gracie Arm Bar, Rear Naked Choke, and Kimura Lock. The original UFC was held in 1993 with no weight classes, awarding points for takedowns and submission victories.

The first weight class was introduced in 1995 when Art Davie and Rorion Gracie decided to hold an extra event with 8-ounce gloves (the weight limit at the time) to find out who would be crowned “UFC Heavyweight Champion.” Royce Gracie won this tournament and is still the only man to ever hold two UFC titles.

UFC fights are a combination of stand-up fighting, clinch fighting, and ground fighting, each of which is governed by different rules and regulations. The rules sometimes change depending on the weight class or fight style. For example, in lighter-weight classes where striking is more important than grappling most points are awarded to strikers rather than grapplers. In heavyweight bouts, there is often a large emphasis on submissions from the clinch position as opposed to takedowns from the standing position; this is also true for women’s fights in their respective divisions.

In general, the UFC follows the “One Point Must” system which means that the fight only goes to a decision if, when the final round ends, both fighters are still standing and one fighter has achieved at least one point. If both fighters are not standing at the end of the final round, then the fight is declared a “NO CONTEST” by a referee’s decision. UFC events are broken up into three rounds with a minute of rest in between rounds. The round timer will show “90 seconds” and the fighters must enter the cage within ten seconds or a warning will be given by the referee.

Understanding the Different Weight Classes & Fighting Styles in UFC

With the rise of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in recent years, understanding the different weight classes and fighting styles has become increasingly important. It is essential to know the rules of each weight class and fighting style to be a successful fighter. Weight classes range from Flyweight to Super Heavyweight and there are various striking techniques as well as grappling techniques used by fighters.

This article will explain the different weight classes, striking styles, and grappling styles used in UFC fights so that you can have a better understanding of how MMA matches are fought. These are:

Weight Classes in UFC, There are five weight classes in the UFC: lightweight (up to 155 pounds), welterweight (156-170 pounds), middleweight (171-185 pounds), light heavyweight (186-205 pounds), and heavyweight (206 or greater).

There are Fighting Styles in MMA (Mixed Martial Arts):

1. Cage Fighting

The UFC is unique in that it has only one style but all fighters are cage fighters. The style typically involves heavy punching and grappling coupled with submission holds. In this type of fighting, the goal is to force an opponent out or punish them into submission by damaging their joints, or otherwise disabling them to the point where they are unable to defend themselves. Every fight has three rounds, each of which lasts five minutes.

2. Boxing

Boxing is a widely popular combat sport. It is characterized by its tight punching range (as opposed to techniques such as kicks and grappling) and more often than not, distance fighting tactics in which fighters try to avoid punches while landing their own on an opponent. Boxers typically wear light gloves with four ounces of leather covering the knuckles and protecting the hand. They do not typically wear headgear or other protective gear; this makes boxing-related injuries more likely to be severe. Boxers are involved in powerlifting and strongman competitions, such as the World’s Strongest Man. 

Famous Fighters & Great Fights in the History of UFC 

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has become one of the most popular sports in the world, and with it comes some of the greatest fighters and fights in history. From Royce Gracie to Jon Jones, the UFC has seen some of the most talented martial artists compete for titles and glory.

With that said, let’s take a look at some of the top five fighters in UFC history and their greatest fights ever seen.

1. Anderson Silva 

Anderson da Silva is a mixed martial artist and a boxer. He is of Brazilian and American descent. He formerly held the title of UFC Middleweight Champion and currently holds the record for the longest title reign in the history of the UFC at 2,457 days. 

This began in 2006 and continued until it was finished in 2013, during which time it included a record-setting 16 consecutive victories in the UFC. Several MMA experts, including Dana White, Joe Rogan, and other UFC commentators, have praised Silva as one of the sport’s all-time greats. Silva left the UFC in November 2020 and resumed his boxing career.

2. Chuck Liddell

Charles David Liddell, born on December 17, 1969, is a former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and American mixed martial artist. Together with fellow UFC fighter Randy Couture, he is widely recognized for introducing mixed martial arts to a wider audience in the United States. Liddell, often known as “The Iceman,” retired in late 2010 after amassing a 21-8 record (including 16 wins via knockout in the UFC). The one match he played after coming out of retirement in 2018 was a loss, bringing his overall record to 21-9. UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell was honored on July 10, 2009. 

3. Georges St-Pierre

Georges St-Pierre, a Canadian actor, used to fight. He’s considered MMA’s greatest fighter. St-Pierre won UFC welterweight and middleweight belts.

St-Pierre was UFC Welterweight Champion twice and interim champion once between November 2006 and April 2008. Sherdog and other magazines ranked St-Pierre #1 welterweight for years. Rogers Sportsnet awarded him Canadian Athlete of the Year 2008, 2009, and 2010. He’s Fight Matrix’s best MMA welterweight and most decorated fighter.

He retired as Welterweight Champion in December 2013, holding the record for most championship wins and the second-longest cumulative title run in UFC history (2,204 days) while defending his title nine times. In UFC 217, he defeated Michael Bisping by submission to capture the Middleweight championship, becoming the fourth UFC multi-division champion. He quit MMA a few weeks later due to health issues.

4. Jose Aldo

Jose Aldo is a former mixed martial artist from Brazil. Before joining the UFC at Bantamweight, he was the fourth and last WEC Featherweight Champion.

The UFC/WEC merger made him the first UFC Featherweight Champion. After defending his UFC and WEC titles seven times, Aldo is considered the greatest featherweight of all time.

Aldo won 18 straight fights until UFC 194 when he lost to Conor McGregor. 2009 Sherdog Fighter of the Year. Sherdog’s April 2017 pound-for-pound rating dubbed Aldo “the finest featherweight in mixed martial arts history”.

5. Jon Jones

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has signed American light heavyweight Jonathan Dwight Jones. He was UFC Light Heavyweight Champion from March 2011 to April 2015 and from December 2018 to August 2020. 2016 interim UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jones He’s #10 in UFC men’s pound-for-pound rankings as of February 14, 2023.

Jones defeated Maurício Rua at 23 to become the youngest UFC champion. He has the lightest heavyweight UFC titles, wins, and win streaks. Jones was the finest pound-for-pound boxer for most of his championship tenure. Jones’s first professional loss, a controversial disqualification against Matt Hamill, is disputed by Hamill and UFC President Dana White.

Jones was disciplined three times between 2015 and 2017. After his 2015 felony hit-and-run arrest, the UFC stripped him of his championship and rankings. In 2016 and 2017, Jones won title battles against Ovince Saint Preux and Daniel Cormier, however, he tested positive for banned substances and was suspended twice, with the latter reverted to a “no contest.” Jones defeated Alexander Gustafsson to win the belt in 2018. In 2020, during a financial dispute with White, he voluntarily resigned from the championship to move up to heavyweight.

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