For many people, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) it is the worst fight, because of its savagery. For others, it is the greatest of their passions, because, with feeling and interpretation, the best fighters dispute their strength. The UFC has captured great followers, but also many enemies. Although it is already a sport known worldwide, its formal start came in 1993. But was the UFC always as we know it today?
Mixed Martial Arts: Origins
Saying mixed martial arts today is practically synonymous with UFC. In fact, the term of MMA was coined in 1993 with the formal creation of the UFC. However, there are interesting precedents of fusion of martial arts. For example, formats for mixing martial arts were created among the four Asian Tigers. In addition, in countries like Brazil, there were practices such as Vale Tudo, where fighters faced without rules. One of the main inspirations of MMA is Vale Tudo, and in the 1980s, different groups tried to start MMA leagues in the United States, without success. Generally, the proposals were discredited when the rulers considered MMA as violence without reason. It was not until the UFC that MMA emerged and became popular.
The first UFC championship that was undertaken was UFC 1, in 1993. This was produced at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado. It was a time where MMAs were not so developed, and that generated that fighters from different disciplines, such as sumo, karate or wrestling, faced without clear rules. Since then, the UFC has captivated an audience that was looking for a real fight, without rules and with global influences. This resulted in immediate television success, so more TV networks wanted to broadcast these events. The frequency of the UFC fights increased, but also the controversies, so the sport evolved towards one with clear rules.