UFC® Overview

History of UFC®

The fastest growing sports organization in the world, the Ultimate Fighting Championship® (UFC®), started in 1993 as a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. UFC has revolutionized the fight business, and today stands as the world's leading MMA promoter, offering the premier series of MMA sports events that have sold out some of the biggest arenas and stadiums across the globe. UFC events have been hosted in the USA, Canada, Ireland, Brazil, Germany, England, Australia, Japan, Puerto Rico and the United Arab Emirates. With at least one event per month, your UFC VIP Experience awaits!

What is UFC®/MMA

The UFC® was created in the United States in 1993 with minimal rules, and was promoted as a competition to determine the most effective martial art for unarmed combat situations, originating from the full contact sport of Vale tudo in Brazil.

UFC® fighters realized that if they wanted to be competitive among the best, they needed to train in additional disciplines, and began to morph into well-rounded, balanced fighters that could fight standing and on the floor. This blend of fighting styles and skills became known as mixed martial arts (MMA).

Today, the UFC® is the premier organization in MMA and enforces the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts without exception. The UFC® hosts most of the top-ranked fighters in the world with events held in America and across the globe.


The fighters' safety is top priority. If the ref feels that a fighter is not intelligently defending himself, they will not allow him to keep competing. The ref will warn the fighter that he needs to defend himself. If he doesn't, the fight is stopped.

MMA is considered to be safer than boxing because once a fighter is knocked out, they are not given a chance to get up and continue fighting. In boxing, if a fighter gets up within 10 seconds, the fight goes on. Read about the ways to win.

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Weight Classes

UFC fighters showing weight classes

The UFC added a women's division in Bantamweight in February of 2013

Inside The Octagon™

Step inside the Octagon to find out how and why the Octagon™ was created, earn about the referee, cutmen, cornermen, judges, commentators, UFC® Executives, Octagon Girls™ and how you can step inside too!

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Check out the UFC® Glossary to learn more about different fighting styles brought into the Octagon™, popular moves that make matches as unpredictable as the day the UFC® started, and more, like UFC® championships, camps, training, and bouts!

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Ways to Win

A championship fight goes for 5 rounds at 5 minutes each. A non-title fight goes for 3 rounds at 5 minutes each.

UFC fighter knocking another fighter out

A knock out occurs when a fighter is knocked down and either unconscious, disoriented or unable to intelligently defend himself. Some fighters go their entire career without ever notching a win by knock out while others have reputations of being knock out artists.

Sometimes the final blow is delivered after a barrage of strikes, and other times it's one solid strike that ends the fight.

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UFC fighter holding a fighter in a choke hold

A fighter gets their opponent to submit by using a choke hold or joint lock.

  • Choke hold - Pressure is applied to the neck in an attempt to cut off blood flow to the brain. The goal is to get his opponent to tap out or lose consciousness.
  • Joint lock - A fighter brings his opponent's joint to its maximum range of motion, causing extreme pain. The opponent will tap out to avoid any serious consequences.

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UFC fighter winning by decision

With such fearless fighters in the UFC, some bouts will run the full duration of all rounds without either fighter backing down. In these cases, judges appointed by the state commission (not chosen by the UFC) decide on the victor.

The judges score based on a 10-point must system and at the end of the fight, all three judges add up their points for each fighter to come to a decision.

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Rules & Regulations

UFC®, like any sport, has its own set of rules and regulations that differ from each of the fighting styles and their specific guidelines. See what the MMA requires for Weight Divisions, Safety, Equipment, Apparel, Judging, Fouls and more!

See Rules & Regulations

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