Cage fighting started in November, 1993. The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) wanted to hold a competition with Mixed Martial Artists in a real fight. The fighting would demonstrate boxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, karate, judo, and Muay Thai maneuvers. The goal of the cage fighting would be allowing the fighters to adopt and display different techniques combined, which is known as Mixed Martial Arts.

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the largest promotional company in the world that promotes Mixed Martial Artists who are the top ranking fighters in the industry. Dana White is the president of the UFC, and Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta are brothers who own the Zuffa Corporation. The UFC has nine different weight divisions which include:
Light Heavyweight

An eight-man tournament that was a single elimination was called, “War of the Worlds” was inspired by a video series that featured jiu-jitsu students fighting against Mixed Martial Arts Masters. The eight-man tournament would allow each Mixed Martial Artist to fight against their opponent in a no-holds-bar fight. Art Davie drafted a plan, then got twenty-eight investors to start the WOW Promotions, which led to the first start of cage fighting.

WOW Promotions designed the octagon, which is a signature piece that was made for this form of fighting. This is how the octagon came into existence, and this occurred in 1993. The first fight was in Denver, Colorado, and to promote the fight the show asked sports fan this question, “Can a wrestler beat a boxer?” The first fight and pay per view show was a success with over 85,000 subscribers.

The promoters didn’t intend for the fighting show to be a series. This was going to a one-time event, but it did so well on pay per view, Dana White decided to do another, which led to another, and the rest is history.

The Cage
The UFC cage is an eight-sided enclosure that is officially called, “The Octagon”. The UFC cage’s walls are metal chain-link fencing. The fencing is coated with black vinyl. The fence is 5 foot 6 inches tall, and it sits on a four foot platform. There is foam padding around the top of the fence, and between each eight sections of the fence.

Rules of the Cage Fighting
When the first UFC debuted, the UFC used the tagline, “There are no rules”! There are indeed rules. The rules of cage fighting with the UFC include:

No Biting
No Eye-Gouging
No Steroids

The UFC said there was no head-butting, groin strikes, and fish hooking, but it is allowed, only frowned upon. The fighter will not be disqualified if he does a head butt or a fish hook to their opponent.

In the late 1990’s, cage fighting was deemed as a violent nature sport, and Senator John McCain called it, “Human cockfighting”, and tried to ban cage fighting. The UFC redesigned the rules, because of the negativity and criticism, and banned any head kicks and strikes to the back of the head and neck.

The UFC continued to grow with fans. In 2010, over 1.25 million pays per view viewers tuned in to watch Shane Carwin and Brock Lesnar fight. The UFC purchased the World Extreme Cagefighting organization in 2006, and merged the two. UFC is continuing to grow. Each week more and more fans are tuning in to watch UFC fighting. Despite the negativity that this sport has, it isn’t going anywhere.