On Saturday, Nov. 12, the Ultimate Fighting Championship—that's cage fighting—makes its broadcast network television debut with UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos.
At this point, it's safe to say the UFC's popularity is snowballing. Even that may be a mild analogy. With the UFC and its fighters finding newer and wider avenues into the mainstream seemingly every day, MMA's premier promotion is more like a magnet in a river of paper clips, or a molten ball of caramel careening down a mountain of chopped walnuts. You get the idea.
The UFC's blockbuster deal with the network that brought you The Simpsons and Terry Bradshaw is just the latest in a long line of accomplishments. Not to get all maudlin, but fans like me are thrilled to watch more and more people gravitate toward this compelling sport, and as a result watch old stigmas fall away as new frontiers draw ever nearer.
So as a celebration of—and perhaps a token of appreciation for—how far it has all come, here's a list of the greatest moments in UFC history. This encompasses old school and new, serious and funny, inside and outside the Octagon. Moments that were special to witness or helped in some way to move the sport closer to where it is today, which is to say, on the precipice of world domination.
Thanks for reading.