5 MMA Fun Facts

Five Facts about MMA that you never knew!

1: The purpose of UFC 1 was to see which discipline was most effective

The first-ever UFC event was held in Denver, Colorado on the 12th of November 1993. The tournament was organised by Royce Gracie, a member of the famous BJJ family and Art Davie, a Californian entrepreneur. UFC 1 was an 8-man tournament, with each fighter representing a different Martial Art. UFC 1 was not the sport of MMA we know and love today, but rather a tournament of intersystem matchups to discover which Martial Art was the greatest of them all! The entire tournament took place in one night, meaning the finalists of the event would fight three times in a matter of hours!

As UFC 1 was organised to see which Martial Art was the most effective against other Martial Arts, there were very few rules in place. No gloves were mandatory, there was no time limits or weight classes, and the fight must end by knockout, tap out or corner stoppage. The only rules in place (no eye-gouging, biting or groin shots) were enforced by a $1500 fine. The Octagon cage we know today was also given its debut at UFC 1, designed to make the event look violent and dangerous to television viewers.

The result of UFC 1 shocked the world of combat sports and created a surge in interest in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. The event was won by Royce Gracie, a skinny BJJ black belt who beat a boxer, shoot fighter and a Savateur, with relative ease to claim the UFC 1 prize. The result of the tournament not only shocked viewers for the effectiveness shown by a submission-based sport, but also because of the large size advantage two of Royce’s competitors had on him. Pictured above is our Co-founder John Kavanagh and the SBG squad with Royce Gracie at the opening of SBG’s new state of the art facility in 2019!

2: Mixed Martial Arts Improves Cognitive Performance

A study conducted by the US Journal of Human Kinetics in 2015 compared the benefits of cardio training against Martial Arts training in the areas of attention, memory, executive functioning and procession speed. Middle-aged men and women took part in a range of cardio and martial arts exercises and took a series of cognitive performance tests upon completion of the exercise.

After undertaking rigorous testing, scientists discovered that both cardio and martial arts training improves attention and processing speed in middle-aged adults, but only Martial Arts training improved executive function, the highest order of cognitive performance which greatly effects the areas of working memory, planning, reasoning and problem-solving.

As Executive function is the most important aspect of cognitive performance in humans, this study shows that Martial Arts training can prove to be a major asset to anyone who wants to improve their cognitive skills!

3: A form of MMA existed in the Ancient Greek Olympic games

Although modern MMA was created in the late 20th century, the first form of Mixed Martial Arts appeared in the Greek Olympic Games in 648 B.C. ‘Pankration’ (translates to ‘All power’) was a one-on-one combat Olympic sport that involved boxing, wrestling and joint locks. Ancient Greek Mythology states that Prankration was created by Heracles and Theseus to defeat Monsters. Theseus is said to have defeated the famous Minotaur using Pankration.

Although Pankration is over 2600 years old, the sport is still practised as a martial art today. Pankration is not only still practised, but it is still extremely effective. In fact, many past and present UFC stars have a background in Pankration including Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson and Khabib Nurmagomedov.

The Olympic Games were revived in 1896, with Pankration missing out on inclusion in the modern-day games. Although any form of MMA has been missing from the Olympic Games for over 1500 years, industry leaders will be hoping this hiatus can be put to an end as the campaign for MMA to become an Olympic sport gains momentum with each year!

4: The sale of the UFC was the largest transaction in professional sports history

July 11, 2017; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Conor McGregor and UFC president Dana White listen as Floyd Mayweather speaks during a world tour press conference to promote the upcoming Mayweather vs McGregor boxing fight at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In 2001, the UFC was purchased from Sephamore Entertainment Group by the Fertita brothers, two entrepreneurs who had found success in the casino industry. When the Fertita Brothers purchased the company, they appointed childhood friend Dana White as the UFC CEO. The Fertita Brothers and Dana took over the UFC during an unsuccessful period in the company’s history and for the first three years, the Fertita Brothers lost millions trying to keep the business afloat.With the help of the Ultimate Fighter, the UFC’s popularity and in turn revenue began to rise dramatically from 2005 onwards with MMA Mania sweeping the USA. 6 years later, Fox paid the UFC $813 million for a seven-year broadcasting deal.  With the help of stars such as Conor Mcgregor and Ronda Rousey, the popularity of the UFC continued to soar and the company was sold to WME/IMG for $4 billion, the largest single transaction in professional sports history.

In just 15 years, Dana and the Fertita brothers had turned the UFC from a company on the verge of collapse to one of the world’s most valuable organisations, while each netting hundreds of millions of dollars in the process!

5: MMA Fans can train at the world’s best Pro gyms

Unlike any other sport in the world, Mixed Martial Arts gives its fans full access to the world’s top MMA gyms through W2W. By joining the Warrior Training Program, MMA fans can train in gyms such as City Kickboxing, SBG, Tristar, AKA, Roufusport and American Top Team!

Thanks to the Warrior Training Program, MMA fans can get full access to the world’s best coaches without being a professional fighter! The best part of all? There are no requirements needed to be accepted into the program. Regardless of someone’s age, weight, or fitness level, the Warrior Training Program accepts all adults into their training programs. If you’re an MMA fan who has always wondered what its like to have your own MMA fight camp, or train in the worlds best gyms, you can do just that with Wimp 2 Warrior!