The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was not always what we know it today – throughout its history things have changed. We were shocked to find out these facts.
Fighters did not always wear gloves
While we know UFC today as a sport where fighters wear gloves, this was not always the case. Nowadays even amateur fighters wear gloves, because of the injury risk. However many years ago there were no requirement for fighters to wear any gloves at all.
Some sources claim the first form of MMA began in 648 B.C!
While we all know UFC itself was founded in 1993, some scholars have suggested Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) dates back to ancient Rome! It has been claimed that the first form of MMA was called Pankration, which literally means ‘all force’. This was “a combination of wrestling and boxing”, and was a dangerous sport, where everything was permitted except biting, gouging (stabbing with your finger in your opponent’s eye, nose or mouth) and attacking the genitals. The rules, therefore, were quite similar to modern-day UFC.
The UFC was sold for more than 4 billion dollars
Since the sale of UFC to brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta in 2001, the competition has grown considerably. The brothers bought it for an initial $2 million twenty years ago, and since it has ballooned to be worth an estimated $7 billion! The brothers sold it in 2016 for $4 billion – quite the investment!
Fighters with conviction are allowed back in the ring
Not only does the UFC have issues with many fighters being charged with illegal street fighting, but they also allow fighters with convictions to return to the ring.
According to thethings.com, Nate Diaz was sent to jail back in 2018 for domestic battery, yet it wasn’t long before he returned and was set to fight. Perhaps prison time may have even improved their fighting skills!