Happy 19th Birthday to Ultimate Fighting Championship

via UFC 1 DVD

Ultimate Fighting Championship celebrates its 19th birthday today. The sport has evolved considerably since men were allowed to pull hair, fight any weight class and grab the fence with impunity. Come recollect inside.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) debuted 19 years ago today.

My, how time flies.

It's hard to believe it's been nearly two decades since a collection of eight warriors including Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Patrick Smith and even the infamous one-gloved Art Jimmerson. stepped into the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorada, testing their skills against each in no holds barred combat in a one-night tournament on pay-per-view.

Of course, as the legend goes, Gracie would roll through his opposition, submitting Jimmerson, Shamrock and then savat fighter Gerard Gordeau to win the event, doing wonderful PR for Gracie jiu-jitsu in the process.

We've come a long way since then. The sport has evolved, the unified rules of mixed martial arts were created, weight classes were added to the mix and with them, a vast array of different champions have risen and fallen.

When did you start watching MMA, Maniacs?

How many of you have been here since the beginning? Don't be ashamed to admit you didn't join in until The Ultimate Fighter. Hell, I didn't start really watching until even after that.

Speak up!

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