Know the Sport: UFC For Beginners
Everything you need to know about the UFC and how it works
The UFC is the biggest MMA (mixed martial arts) company in the world. It is thanks to them (and many of the companies they have absorbed) that MMA is such a popular sport in America and around the world right now.
The UFC began putting on events in the 1990s, in 2012 they started allowing women to fight for the company. Over the last 30 years, they have slowly taken over the MMA market. They know hold multiple sports viewing records – mostly in the PPV (pay per view) market.
What is MMA?
MMA – or mixed martial arts – is a combat sport that was invented in the mid 20th century.
It was invented by a pair of brothers who wanted to make a more competitive version of Brazilian Ju-Jitsu.
The sport combines popular elements from wrestling, boxing, and many different martial arts. Competitors enter the octagon (the equivalent of the ring) and attempt to win via knockout or submission.
Players can use moves from most martial arts – but poking, gouging, and biting are outlawed.
The most successful fighting style within the world of the UFC is kickboxing.
UFC Winning Rules
There are a few different ways a fighter can win a UFC fight
KO – kicking or hitting your opponent hard enough to knock them out
TKO – the referee calls an end to the match because a player was knocked out but carries on
Submission – holding your opponent in a position that hurts then and they cannot get out of, so they submit and lose the match
Judge’s Decision – there is no knockout or submission, so the judges score the fighters on performance and blows landed
No Contest – your opponent is disqualified for illegal actions
Forfeit – your opponent is forced to end the match because they are unable to continue
The Current UFC champions
There are Women’s leagues and Men’s leagues in the UFC. There are split into smaller groups using weight categories. There is always a reigning champion in each category. If a fighter wins enough matches in one weight class, they will be allowed to challenge the champion for the title.
Occasionally, one fighter will be the champion of multiple divisions.
There are 4 weight divisions in the Women’s league and 8 for the men.
If you think any of these fighters are going to lose their titles this year, then you should check out Fanduel’s UFC betting odds.
Here is the list of current male champions in the UFC:
Heavyweight Championship – Francis Ngannou and Ciryl Gane (interim)
Light Heavyweight Championship – Glover Teixeira
Middleweight Championship – Israel Adesanya
Welterweight Championship – Kamaru Usman
Lightweight Championship – Charles Oliveira
Featherweight Championship – Alexander Volkanovski
Bantamweight Championship – Aljamain Sterling* and Petr Yan (interim)
*Aljamain Sterling is the only current American Men’s Champion in the UFC.
Here is the list of current female champions in the UFC:
Featherweight Championship – Amanda Nunes
Bantamweight Championship – Julianna Peña
Flyweight Championship – Valentina Shevchenko
Strawweight Championship – Rose Namajunas
Most Iconic Fights In UFC History
There have been hundreds of fights in the UFC over the last 30 years, and if you want to go back and watch some of the best, then you should check out these 3 fights.
Ronda Rousey Debut
Rousey’s debut was iconic for many reasons. Firstly, her debut was also the debut female fight in the UFC. Rousey was the first woman to be hired by the company and CEO Dana White credits watching Rousey fight as his main reason for allowing women to join the company.
Rousey debuted for the UFC in 2012, at UFC 157 and she arrived with a bang. She carried over her Bantamweight title from her days at Strikeforce and was scheduled to defend it against Liz Carmouche.
Many had expected the match to last all five rounds – but Rousey won via submission in 4:59 minutes.
Connor McGregor vs Nate Diaz 2
This event was also iconic for multiple reasons. Firstly, it was, and still is, the highest-selling Pay Per View event that the UFC has ever held.
This match saw the successful McGregor taking on the equally beloved and talented fighter Diaz. This was their second fight, and many expected it to be over quickly. However, the fight lasted for all 5 rounds.
In the end, the judges decided that McGregor had one the fight and crowned him the champion. This was one of the first UFC fights to gather attention across the pond – as McGregor is an Irish fighter.
Brock Lesner Debut
There is now a well-established trade of fighters between the WWE and the UFC – but it was Lenser that kicked it all off.
Lesner joined the UFC in order to prove that he was a real fighter and he did just that – winning his debut via Unanimous Decision.