Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) celebrates its 20-year anniversary this month with UFC 167 in Las Vegas, Nevada, with Georges St. Pierre putting his UFC Welterweight title on the line against Johny Hendricks in the main event of the evening.
It's been a pretty awesome run for UFC, or more specifically Zuffa, its parent company. Since purchasing the promotion in 2001, there have been many ups and downs. It battled awful publicity, as well as ban across all 50 states thanks in part to United States Senator John McCain dubbing it "human cock fighting."
The bills and debt started to pile up and even during the first season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), Zuffa wasn't sure that UFC would make it as a brand. It was only during the Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar fight that Zuffa and Spike TV -- the television partner -- knew that it could work.
Following UFC Fight Night 32: "Belfort vs. Henderson," Dana White was asked about his most memorable moment in UFC history. Previously, he's stated that Matt Hughes' comeback against Frank Trigg in their rematch was the single best moment for the promotion.
"That Hughes/Trigg 2 thing stood for so long but now after this last year... Seriously think about this. This is the 20th anniversary of the UFC and it would be hard to debate that this hasn't been the greatest year of fights in the UFC. Anderson Silva-Weidman 1 and we're gonna get two in the same year. We had Dan Henderson and Shogun. We had Melendez and Sanchez, one of the sickest things I've ever seen. The Dos Santos fights with Cain, the last two. The Jones-Gustafsson fight. The Henderson-Pettis fight. That entire card in Houston. The fight for the troops was awesome. The list goes on and on. It's probably been the greatest year, at least in the history of Zuffa."
If I can opine for a bit, I'd say I'd have to agree with the bossman.
I've followed this sport for quite some time. Because my parents had satellite television when I was growing up, I was able to watch fights during the "dark ages" when cable pay-per-view (PPV) providers wouldn't dare show cage fighting.
While UFC's PPV business has dried up a bit, the sport is as popular as ever. The promotion is expanding to new international markets almost on a monthly basis and a lot of that is because for the first time in a very long time, it seems like the company is firing on all cylinders.
I'm having difficulty pointing out a favorite event or a favorite fight because honestly, they've pretty much all been super good, especially lately.
So sound off Maniacs. What's your favorite moment in UFC history, or more specifically, whats your favorite moment of 2013?