UFC: TRANSFORMING SPORTS SINCE 2001

UFC: TRANSFORMING SPORTS

MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is one of the fastest-growing sport in the world and one of its biggest
promotion companies is UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship). Since it got purchased by Zuffa in 2001,
UFC has been attracting millions of fans through the UFC events. UFC began as a deadly and brutal
championship event with no rules and regulations whatsoever. However, with time it has evolved into a
systematic series in compliance with Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts’ set weight divisions and rules.

Given its widespread success and popularity, a number of questions come to one’s mind. What has gone
into the creation of this billion-dollar enterprise? How has this company managed to gain a monopoly on
the market? How has it managed to attract consumers and make sports grow through various
platforms? Read on to find the answers.

Historical Challenges and Successes

UFC formed in November 1993. WOW Promotions and SEG held the first event. The purpose of the
program was to provide a physical response to fan questions. These questions prompted individuals
with different skill-sets and weights to fight. It got severely opposed and later banned by the Senator at
that time and thus this led to its disappearance from the public eye.
However, when it returned it had already found a solution to its backlash. It had developed rules and
regulations to make it more acceptable politically. The huge success of this show eventually led to the
development of a booming franchise in 2001.

Partnership with Fox

In 2011, UFC ended its long-running partnership with Spike TV and Versus and announced a partnership
with Fox Sports. Its first event attracted an average audience of 5.7 million making it the most-watched
combat sport since 2003’s brawl between Lewis and Klitschko. This success led to the launching of its
very successful UFC magazine-style series.

Female Inclusion

Although reputed to be a male-centric show, UFC decided to include female fighters by the end of 2012.

Ronda Rousey, the Olympic medalist became the first-ever UFC champion and defended her title till
2015. In 2013, 11 more fighters signed the contract with UFC and since then the numbers kept growing.
Being a sports fan, I was so thrilled about this decision to include female fighters that I started watching
UFC on pay per view on Spectrum and I don't miss any women's fight.

International Expansion

Ever since its first success, UFC transformed the world of sports. With hundreds and thousands of
viewers turning up to see their favorite fighters at the events, the demand to hold international events
only grew with time. With the success of the event held in Puerto Rico, UFC began to organize events
outside the US as well. To date, it has held events in about 15 different countries including Brazil,
Australia, China, Canada, and Latin America.

ESPN and M-1 Global Partnership

Since 2018, UFC has expanded its horizons and partnered with giants like ESPN and M-1 Global. These
partnerships enabled users to access UFC through various platforms and watch them with the utmost
ease.

Rules That Make UFC Exciting

UFC has certainly made sports even more thrilling and gripping for the audience. No die-hard fan
can even dare to change the channel! Be it the rules related to attire, cage, or rounds, they engage the
audience in a unique way. These are some of them:

1) Rounds

UFC has two kinds of events. Within the main event, there are a total of five rounds and within the no-
the main event, there are a total of three rounds. Each round in either of the events lasts for about five
minutes. The duration of each round is the main thing that makes the fight so exciting. The anticipation
of what can happen in about seconds captivates the viewers. The ‘sudden-death’ fourth round in case of
a draw in the non-main event is yet another exciting feature.

2) Cage

The cage that's officially called the ‘Octagon’ is the ultimate key to drawing the audience. The thought of
the favorite fighters stuck in it certainly electrifies the audience.

3) Attire

With fighters dressed in Reebok’s uniform and showing off their muscular bodies, the audience certainly

gets amazed by the display of strength and fitness. This surely works to increase the viewer’s excitement
and interest in the game.
Whether it be through the rules, the fighters, or its partnership with a number of exciting platforms, UFC
has managed to attract the audience as no other sports company has. The thrill and excitement offered
by UFC make sure that people like me subscribe monthly to Spectrum Internet packages to Livestream
its events on our mobile devices.

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