Today im going to be talking about the ultimate fighting championship and how it has grown into one of the fastest growing sports of all time but first im going to talk about some back ground on the birth of brazillan jiu jitsu and how it shaped the events of the ufc being created. Next I will talk about the evolution of the ufc and lastly I will talk about the ufcs future projects
The events that led up to the ufc being created started 80 years ago in brazil. A judo champion from japan named Mitsuyo Mayada travled to brazil to spread judo. He met a man named Carlos Gracie and decided to teach him. Carlos spent the next several years learning from Mayeda and eventually passed the art down to his brothers. The youngiest brother Hilo Gracie was very weak and smaller than his brothers so the doctors told him he could only watch them do jiu-jitsu and while he watched his brothers he would think of ways to do the techniques so that a smaller, weaker man could do the moves effectively. Hilo later traveled all over brazil challenging professional wrestlers, boxers, savate fighters, and judokas to prove that brazillian jiu jitsu was the best. He defeated all of them and they were all much bigger than he was sometimes weighing double his size. Hilos sons would later travel all over brazil challenging any one that would fight them. One of Hilos sons Rorion Gracie would eventually move to America to spread the art to the states
While in the united states Rorion thought of an idea to prove once and for all that Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu was the greatest martial art ever created, so he created a tournament with men from all different martial arts who would fight each other to prove what martial art was the best. He called the tournament the ultimate fighting championship. In the tournament they had no weight classes and the fights were no time limit. The only way fights were stopped was by knock out or they gave up and the only rule was that there were no rules. The fighters ranged from several different disciplines ranging from a boxer, kickboxer, sub mission wrestler, karate master, savate fighter, and a 300 pound sumo wrestler. When choosing which member of his family would represent brazillian jiu jitsu they originally wanted to pick the champion of the family rickson gracie who at the time was undeafeated in 400 fights but they thought because rickson weighed 190 pounds it wouldnt be that impressive if he won so they decided to pick his 170 pound younger brother Royce Gracie. They gave Royce the biggiest opponents weighing 30-50 pounds more than him and the toughest opponents to prove that brazillian jiu-jitsu was the greatiest martial art. That night ofthe tournament Royce beat all 3 of his opponents by submission becoming the first ufc champion.
Now because the ufc was marketed for its brutality it up set many politicians particually john mccain. Mccain decided to write letters to other politicians all over the united states to prevent the sport from growing and it became banned in 36 states and because of this the owners of the ufc decided to sell the company. So frank and Lorenzo ferritata decided to purchase the ufc for 2 million dollars and they hired dana white as the president. They quickly created rules to increase cooperation with the athletic commission now there were no head butts, fish hooking, groining strikes, or hair pulling allowed. They also started weight classes and now gloves were mandatory. They began to transform it into a sport from a spectacle.
After investing 44 million dollars into the company the fertitta brothers decided to create a reality tv show to grow the popularity of the company. Their idea was the ultimate fighter reality show. The show had 16 fighters live in a house together and each week they would fight an elimination fight and the last fighter would win a 6 figure contract with the ufc. During the season finale forrest griffin and Stephan bonner fought in a back and forth toe to toe brawl for 15 mins. The fight was such a success that it is widely regarded as the best fight in ufc history making the ultimate fighter and the ufc a huge success.
In conclusion the ufc went from a 2 million dollar company to a 1.2 billion dollar company. There pay per view numbers have more than quadrupled since the ultimate fighter reality tv show. They now have a deal with fox sports and are the biggiest mixed martial arts company in the world and also is the fastest growing sport in the united states. Because of the huge success of the ultimate fighter in the united states the ufc has announced that they will have the ultimate fighter in countries all over the world to grow the sport internationally.