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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 organized by Royce Gracie (a member of the famous Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu family) and Art Davie, a Californian entrepreneur. UFC 1 was an 8-man tournament, with each fighter representing a different Martial Art. The event was not like the Mixed Martial Arts Fight Nights we know and love today, but was rather a tournament compromising of competitors from several Martial Arts with the aim of discovering which Martial Art was the greatest of them all! The craziest part? 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 more of a spectacle than a sporting event, there were very few rules in place. Gloves were not mandatory, there were no time limits or weight classes, and the fight could only end by way of 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. This design was created to make the event look violent and dangerous to viewers.

The tournament was won by Royce Gracie, a skinny BJJ black belt who defeated a boxer, shoot fighter, and a Savateur, with relative ease to claim the UFC 1 prize. The result of the tournament shocked many, as that the majority of viewers in the United States were uneducated about the sport of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and therefore were dumbfounded by the fact that Royce managed to defeat men who were much larger and stronger than he was. Following UFC 1, the participation in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu surged in the United States

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 processing speed. Middle-aged Men and Women took part in a range of cardio and Martial Arts exercises followed by 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, 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’ (which translates as ‘All power’) was a one-on-one combat Olympic sport that involved Boxing, Wrestling and joint locks. Ancient Greek Mythology states that Pankration was created by Heracles and Theseus to defeat Monsters. In fact, Theseus is said to have defeated the famous Minotaur using Pankration.

Although Pankration is over 2600 years old, the sport is still practiced as a Martial Art today. Pankration is not only still practiced, but it also still proves to be extremely effective. In fact, many past and present UFC stars such as Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson and Khabib Nurmagomedov have a background in Pankration!

The Olympic Games were revived in 1896, with Pankration missing out on inclusion in the modern-day games. Although any form of Mixed Martial Arts has been missing from the Olympic Games for over 1500 years, industry leaders will be hoping that 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. However, their luck changed when the introduction of the reality tv show ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ dramatically increased interest in the sport, and in turn, the revenue the UFC was able to generate. From 2005 onwards, the UFC’s popularity  began to rise dramatically.

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 in 2016 to WME/IMG for $4 billion, which to date is still 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 organizations, while each netting hundreds of millions of dollars in the process!

5: MMA Fans can train at the World’s Best 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 physical or experience level requirements to be accepted into the program. Regardless of someone’s age, weight, or fitness level, Wimp2Warrior 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!