For many years fight sports debated who was the best. The boxers thought they would beat the karateka that practice karate and the wrestlers thought they were more capable than the kickboxers and the Jiu-Jitsu guys thought they could beat everyone.
“There were no weight categories and no judges”
On November 12th 1993 in Denver Colorado, the first Ultimate Fighting Championships were held – UFC 1. It was the first event of its type, pitting fighters from different disciplines against each other in brutal bouts with no rules, weight categories or time limits. It was an 8-man knockout tournament with $50,000 for the winner.
Below is a list of the rules as they were then, which are brutal:
- No doping probes.
- No holds barred.
- No rules.
- No mandatory gloves and combative uniform (bare-knuckle contest).
- No judges’ scores.
- No time limits.
- Knockout, tap out, or corner stoppage(indicated by a towel) is the only determination methods. The referee could only halt a match pending the corner decision.
There were no weight categories and no judges. The only things that were not allowed were groin shots, eye-gouging and biting.
Royce Gracie from the world-famous Gracie Jiu-Jitsu family won the event and that elevated Jiu-Jitsu to become one of the most recognised fighting methods in the world. As the UFC has grown fighters have entered with specific capabilities in certain arts and to be a top fighter you need to be incredibly competent in several disciplines with BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu), boxing and kickboxing/Muay Thai being the most popular disciplines.
Over the years the UFC has come a long way from the initial no-holds-barred fights. The first event was held in Denver specifically to avoid any regulation and allow such brutal contests to go ahead. In 1996 Senator John Mcain attempted to ban UFC in all 50 states and this threat lead to rules being unified for MMA in November 2000 to ensure its future and its success. Over the following years, the UFC continually developed to the slick productions you now see on TV.
It’s quite incredible to think that in the space of 27 years the UFC has gone from no-holds-barred fighting to be one of the most-watched sports on the globe.
Why not receive 8 weeks of free MMA training and take part in a spectacular event in front of your friends and family? Sign up for free today for more information.