UFC - From Backyard Brawls To $12 Billion Empire
The UFC, or Ultimate Fighting Championship, has a pretty fascinating history. It all started in 1993 when the UFC held its first event in Denver, Colorado.
The Early Days
The concept was to bring together fighters from different disciplines, such as boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, kickboxing, and more, to determine which martial art was the most effective.
The early days of the UFC were tumultuous to say the least with events that barely had any rules or weight classes, something that brought problems, both political and regulatory.
In 2001, the UFC was purchased by Zuffa LLC, led by Dana White. At the time the valuation of the promotion was $2M. Under new management, the UFC implemented more rules and regulations to ensure the safety of the fighters and to comply with state athletic commissions. The changes helped the organization gain wider acceptance and popularity.
The UFC continued to evolve, introducing weight classes, creating a unified set of rules (the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts), and expanding its global reach. The introduction of The Ultimate Fighter reality show in 2005 played a crucial role in boosting the UFC's popularity.
Nowadays, the UFC is a household name, with huge broadcasting deals and millions watching their pay per view events. For a complete list of the biggest UFC pay per view events of all time read this article. The fighters on this list have become mega stars and with the help of Dana White's marketing machine they are now mainstream names that even the least fighting interested have heard of.
What is the UFC worth today?
In 2016 Zuffa LLC sold their majority stake in the company in a deal worth around $4 Billion. The president of the UFC, Dana White allegedly made $340 million from this sale. In 2021, Dana White and Zuffa LLC sold the rest of their stakes at a valuation of $12.2 Billion.
On what channel can you watch the UFC?
For more information on where to watch the UFC or what events are up next our best suggestion is to visit our information page on the promotion. This page can be found here.