Today, the UFC is the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) organization in the world. The goal of the organization is to promote MMA fights. MMA is a modern combat sport combining elements from different martial arts into one fighting style.
Founders of the UFC
It all began when an article in Playboy caught the attention of an entrepreneur, Art Davie. BJJ legend Rorion Gracie was offering to fight anyone for a winner’s prize of $100,000. Davie met up with Gracie and John Milius, a screenwriter/director. They gathered funding and formed WOW Promotions. Bob Meyrowitz and David Isaacs joined them to become founders of the company known today as the UFC.
Betting on the UFC
Today, many states in the U.S. have legalized sports betting, and several people enjoy placing bets on UFC fights. The best UFC betting sites offer bonuses, competitive odds, and reliable payouts on a wide range of fights every week. Michigan sports betting is popular, and sports bettors can choose from 15 sportsbooks to place their bets in the state.
The first event and trouble on the horizon
WOW Promotions aired its first event in partnership with SEG in November 1993. The eventual format was an eight-man tournament with a $50,000 prize for the winner. This first event was promoted as having no rules and no time limit. This is very different from the highly regulated sport it is today. There are now referees who enforce the rules from within the ring. Judges take a ringside position and score the match.
In 1995, Davie and Gracie sold their shares in the franchise to SEG and WOW Promotions ceased to exist. Senator John McCain led a campaign in 1996 that resulted in the banning of no-holds-barred fighting in 36 states. He famously called the sport “human cockfighting”.
Takeover of the UFC
In 2001, Dana White and Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta bought the company for $2 million. They set about revolutionizing the fight business and they succeeded. In 2016, the UFC’s parent company, Zuffa, was sold for over $4 billion.
Today, people across the world enjoy betting on UFC fights. A good UFC casino strategy is to bet live rather than to bet pre-fight because it offers unique odds advantages.
The UFC today
The UFC is currently owned by several companies, and Dana White is still a key person in the organization. It has become a global sports brand, media content company, and the largest pay-per-view (PPV) event provider in the world.
Legendary Brazilian fighter Anderson Silva holds the record for the most consecutive wins in the UFC. He won 16 straight fights from June 2006 to July 2013.
The bigger names in the UFC today may have an income of several million dollars a year. The most popular fighters have huge fan bases with large followings on Instagram.
Weili Zhang from China is currently the women’s Strawweight Champion. Valentina Shevchenko from Kyrgyzstan holds the Flyweight title. Henry Cejudo from the U.S. holds the men’s Bantamweight title. Khabib Nurmagomedov from Russia is the current Lightweight Champion.
The UFC schedule for 2023 gives all the upcoming fights spectators can look forward to in October and December. It is the 30th year in the history of the UFC and it is bigger and more popular than ever.