The A-Z of the UFC

The UFC, which began as a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) organization in 1993, has revolutionized the fight industry and is now a premium global sports brand, media content corporation, and the world’s largest Pay-Per-View event provider. The UFC is based on a long history and culture of competitive MMA that dates back to Pankration, a Greek Olympic Games event inaugurated in 648 BC. A Brazilian variation of MMA known as Vale Tudo ignited local interest in the sport some 80 years ago. The UFC then popularized and sanctioned MMA in the United States. The idea was to find “the Ultimate¬†

Fighting Champion” by hosting a single-night competition including the most outstanding athletes from all martial arts disciplines and different fighting styles.

MMA was one style of fighter competing against another in the early days of the UFC. As a result, you could have had a boxer facing a Judo expert or a wrestler fighting a Karate expert. However, as the UFC grew over time, it became evident that more than one style was needed to be genuinely effective. This realization would permanently alter MMA. No longer a mash-up of martial arts with one technique pitted against another, UFC athletes began to cross-train in several martial arts, with grapplers becoming better strikers and vice versa. This meant that mixed martial arts events were no longer a combination of martial arts fighting against one another but one where MMA evolved into its own style.

At UFC 1, fighters were not allowed to bite, yank hair, or strike each other in the crotch. But that was all there was to it. Within the octagon, a single ref started matches and declared the winner by submission or knockout. There were, however, no rounds, weight classes, or time limits. Today the UFC has 12 divisions, eight for men and four for women. To compete in that division, a fighter must weigh at or below the upper weight limit the day before the event.

A typical UFC bout these days comprises three five-minute rounds. Title matches, on the other hand, are extended to five five-minute rounds. A referee can stop a fight if a fighter taps out due to a submission, gets knocked out, or is no longer rationally defending oneself. In the UFC, three judges examine each bout from different angles of the ring and award up to ten points every round to each fighter. To win a round, a fighter must score ten points, and his opponent must score less than ten. Judges are tasked with analyzing a fighter’s performance in the following areas: striking, grappling, ring/fighting area control, aggressiveness, and defense.

Fights in the UFC do not occur in a ring but rather in the octagon. As you might have guessed from its name, the octagon is an eight-sided octagonal mat and cage. It is 30 feet broad and has walls made of fence material with cushioning covering all the edges and corners. The mat is made of canvas that is hand-painted for each event and is never reused. Two gates lead into the octagon and are locked at the start of each round. Only the referee and the two fighters are permitted inside during a fight. Officials open the gates between rounds to let a fighter’s corner men enter.

Approximately once a month, the UFC stages a significant event. These occurrences are listed in ascending order. Each event usually has 11 or 12 fights. Typically, there are two or three early-preliminary fights, four preliminary fights, and five fights on the main program. The main event is usually a fight for a UFC title. Along with these significant events, the UFC runs minor events known as UFC Fight Nights every one or two weeks. These usually feature more than ten fights but rarely a title match.

The UFC has announced its first-quarter schedule for 2023, which includes three international pay-per-views. During the press conference, they announced a calendar of activities for January through March, including pay-per-view events in Brazil, Australia, and England. During the quarter, there will be four pay-per-view events, beginning with UFC 283 on 1/21 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, with Deiveson Figueiredo defending the UFC flyweight title against Brandon Moreno. UFC 284 takes place on February 12th at the RAC Arena in Perth, Australia, with Alexander Volkanovski going up a weight class to face lightweight title Islam Makhachev. Finally, in March, there will be two pay-per-view events.

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