The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)

 

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    The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company in the world that hosts most of the top-ranked fighters and produces numerous events worldwide. The UFC has seven weight-divisions and enforces the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. Dana White serves as the president of the UFC; Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta control its parent company, Zuffa, LLC.

    Inspired by vale tudo tournaments in Brazil, the UFC and the sport of MMA have roots in the ancient Olympic combat sport of Pankration in 648 BC. In 1993, the UFC held its first competition in Denver, Colorado. Showcasing fighters of different disciplines — including boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, wrestling, Muay Thai, karate and other styles — the UFC sought to identify the most effective martial art in a real fight. After a period of political backlash, the UFC gradually underwent reform by embracing stricter rules and achieving sanctioning with State Athletic Commissions.

    With a cable-television deal and expansion into Canada, Europe, Australia the Middle East, Asia and new markets within the United States, the UFC as of 2011 has gained in popularity, along with greater mainstream-media coverage. As of 2011 viewers can access UFC programming on pay-per-view television in the U.S., Brazil , Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Italy. UFC programming can also be found on Spike, Versus and Ion Television in the U.S., on ESPN in the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as in over 130 countries and 20 different languages worldwide.

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