Started in 1993, the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®) brand is in its fourteenth
year of operation as a professional mixed martial arts organization offering the premier
series of MMA sports events.
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.
Then, the UFC organization brought MMA to the United States. The goal was to find
“the Ultimate Fighting Champion” with a concept to have a tournament of the best
athletes skilled in the various disciplines of all martial arts, including karate, jiu-jitsu,
boxing, kickboxing, grappling, wrestling, sumo and other combat sports. The winner of
the tournament would be crowned the champion.
Once the UFC brand was launched, MMA popularity surged in Brazil, followed by
immense interest in Japan where these bouts became major events.
In January 2001, under the new ownership of Zuffa, LLC, the UFC brand completely
restructured MMA into a highly organized and controlled combat sport. As a result, the
UFC organization now offers twelve to fourteen live pay-per-view events annually
through cable and satellite providers. UFC fight programs are also distributed
internationally throughout the world, including broadcast on Viewer’s Choice in Canada,
MAIN EVENT in Australia, Globosat in Brazil and Setanta and Bravo in the United
Response to the UFC brand of MMA has been tremendous, resulting in a growing fan
base that has grown exponentially through the years.
Recently, a UFC event in Columbus, Ohio attracted more than 19,000 people—the
largest audience in North American to witness a mixed martial arts event. UFC
popularity continues to reach new heights as the sixth season of the hit reality series The
Ultimate Fighter® delivered top ratings in male 18-34 and 18-34 demographics for the
Spike TV cable network.
The UFC organization and Spike TV also extended its two-year strategic partnership
through 2008 to present four additional seasons of hit reality series The Ultimate
Fighter®, as well as ten live UFC® Fight Night™ events and 26 taped programs of UFC:
The UFC organization is regulated and recognized by the world’s most prestigious sports
regulatory bodies including the California, Florida, Nevada, New Jersey, Ohio and
Pennsylvania State Athletic Commissions. The UFC organization strives for the highest
levels of safety and quality in all aspects of the sport.