Ultimate Fighting Championship

Ultimate Fighting Championship
IndustryMixed martial arts promotion
Founded1993; 28 years ago (1993)
Key people
Dana White

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company based in Las Vegas, Nevada, which is owned and operated by Endeavor Group Holdings along with Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital via Zuffa, LLC.[3][4] It is the largest MMA promotion company in the world and features some of the highest-level fighters in the sport on its roster.[5] The UFC produces events worldwide that showcase twelve weight divisions (eight men's divisions and four women's divisions) and abides by the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts.[6] As of 2020, the UFC has held over 500 events. Dana White has been UFC president since 2001. Under White's stewardship, the UFC has grown into a globally popular multi-billion-dollar enterprise.[7]

The first event was held in 1993 at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado.[8] The purpose of the early Ultimate Fighting Championship competitions was to identify the most effective martial art in a contest with minimal rules and no weight classes between competitors of different fighting disciplines like Boxing, Kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Sambo, Wrestling, Muay Thai, Karate, Taekwondo, and Judo. In subsequent events, fighters began adopting effective techniques from more than one discipline, which indirectly helped create a separate style of fighting known as present-day mixed martial arts.[9] In 2016, UFC's parent company, Zuffa, was sold to a group led by William Morris Endeavor (WME–IMG), including Silver Lake Partners, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and MSD Capital[10] for US$4.025 billion.[11]

With a TV deal and expansion in Australia, Asia, Europe,[12][13][14] and new markets within the United States, the UFC has increased in popularity, and has achieved greater mainstream media coverage; the promotion brought in a total revenue of US$609 million in 2015,[15] and its next domestic media rights agreement with ESPN was valued at $1.5 billion over a five-year term.[16]

  1. ^ Meltzer, Dave (April 8, 2009). "UFC 6: Wild West". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  2. ^ "UFC Creator Bwb Meyrowitz Announces New MMAPromotion". MMAjunkie.com. January 29, 2009. Archived from the original on July 10, 2012. Retrieved December 31, 2011.
  3. ^ "WME-IMG Renames Parent Company as Endeavor". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  4. ^ Kroll, Justin (October 9, 2017). "WME-IMG Renames Holding Company Endeavor". Variety. Retrieved April 19, 2018.
  5. ^ Gross, Josh (March 20, 2011). "UFC buys rival Strikeforce". ESPN. Retrieved July 2, 2011.
  6. ^ "Learn UFC Rules". Ultimate Fighting Championship. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  7. ^ Boice, Danny. "Boxer To Entrepreneur: How Dana White Became The Champ Of Mixed Martial Arts". Forbes. Retrieved May 12, 2017.
  8. ^ Stefano, Dan (June 25, 2009). "Former UFC champ helps promote Pittsburgh event". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Archived from the original on July 1, 2009. Retrieved June 27, 2009.
  9. ^ "Royce Gracie's Legacy, BJJ's Relevance on the Decline in Modern MMA". Bleacher Report. April 27, 2012. Retrieved November 19, 2012.
  10. ^ de la Merced, Michael (July 11, 2016). "U.F.C. Sells Itself for $4 Billion". The New York Times. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  11. ^ Rooney, Kyle. "UFC sold to WME-IMG". Retrieved October 1, 2016.
  12. ^ "Australia tapped an annual UFC destination". MMAjunkie.com. February 20, 2010. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  13. ^ "Dana White on UFC in Abu Dhabi, Afghanistan and GSP vs. Silva". MMA Fighting. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  14. ^ Stupp, Dann (August 29, 2010). "UFC officials announce Asian operations, NBA exec Mark Fischer named head". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved September 23, 2010.
  15. ^ "What investor documents tell us about the UFC's past – and its future". MMAjunkie. October 31, 2016. Retrieved May 25, 2018.
  16. ^ Mullin, Benjamin (March 18, 2019). "ESPN, UFC Reach Exclusive Pay-Per-View Deal". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved April 30, 2020.

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