Evolution of a Sport : Key Moments In UFC History

Justin DowlingContributor ISeptember 3, 2010

Evolution of a Sport : Key Moments In UFC History

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    The UFC organization follows a rich history and tradition of competitive MMA. Since it's inception in 1993, the UFC as a professional mixed martial arts organization has had numerous historic moments in only 16 years. Here's a look at some of the key moments that evolved the UFC into one of the fastest growing phenomenons in sports history.

The Begining : November 12th, 1993

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    UFC 1 : Denver, Colorado hosted the first MMA event held by the UFC.

Revenge Of The Warriors : December 16th, 1994

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    UFC 4 : The Legendary Royce Gracie wins his record 3rd UFC tournament, cementing his place in the history books.

Judgement Day : February 7th, 1997

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    UFC 12 : Mark Coleman defeats Dan Severn to become the first UFC Heavyweight Champion.

Ultimate Japan : December 21st, 1997

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    The UFC visits the "Land of the Rising Sun" for Ultimate Japan, the organization's first show in Asia.

A Champion Is Born : May 15th, 1998

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    UFC 17 : The legendary "Iceman" Chuck Liddell, makes his UFC debut with a victory over Noe Hernandez.

High Stakes : November 17th, 2000

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    UFC 28 : The UFC makes it's debut in Atlantic City with a spectacular event that features the Heavyweight Title bout between Randy Couture and Kevin Randleman.

New Ownership : January 2001

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    Zuffa, LLC, owned by Frank Fertitta, Lorenzo Fertitta, and Dana White, purchases the UFC brand and completely restructures MMA into a highly organized combat sport.

Battle On The Boardwalk : Febuary 23rd, 2001

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    UFC 30 : Jens Pulver decisions Japan's Caol Uno over five rounds to become the first 155-pound Champion in UFC history.

Locked and Loaded : May 4th, 2001

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    UFC 31 : Premiered the weight class re-alignments which are the current standard.

Home Sweet Home : September 28th, 2001

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    UFC 33 : The UFC finally makes it's debut in the fight capital of the world , Las Vegas, Nevada, begining a new era for Mixed Martial Arts as the premier combat sport on the planet.

Brawl at The Hall : July 13th, 2002

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    UFC 38 : Matt Hughes defends his welterweight title against Carlos Newton in the UFC's first foray into Europe at London, England's Royal Albert Hall.

Hall of Fame : November 21st, 2003

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    Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock are the first inductees in the UFC Hall of Fame.

The Ultimate Fighter : January 17, 2005

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    Spike TV aired the first season of the reality television series called "The Ultimate Fighter".

All Or Nothing : February 3rd, 2007

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    UFC 67 : Was the event at which 72% of attendees came to Las Vegas from outside of Nevada, indicating that the primary purpose of their trip was for the event and underscoring the tourism boost that the UFC delivers.

Fight For The Troops : December 10th, 2008

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    Over 8,000 military personnel fill the Crown Coliseum in Fayetteville, North Carolina for UFC : Fight For The Troops. A simultaneous fundraiser for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund raises over $4 million.

Redemption : April 18th, 2009

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    UFC 97 : Was the UFC's sophomore event in Montreal which set a new North American attendance record for MMA with 21,451 attendees. Taking the lead over Montreal's first record-breaking event, UFC 83, by just 61 people.

UFC 100 : July 11th, 2009

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    UFC 100 : The highly anticipated and monumental UFC 100. It was held in Las Vegas NV. With three blockbuster fights and two title fights in Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir 2, George St. Pierre vs. Thiago Alves, and a non-title fight in Michael Bisping vs. Dan Henderson. This was one of the fastest tickets sellouts in UFC history.

Rise to The Silver Screen : March 27th, 2010

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    UFC 111: This was a ground-breaking event for the UFC who for the first time featured the 111 event card in select theaters around the United States.

More to Come

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    Those are just a view of the main events in the young history of the UFC that helped shape the MMA landscape and the # 1 Promotion in the World today, with many more to come in the future.

UFC 119 Preview

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    UFC 119 : Sept. 25th, 2010 Conseco Fieldhouse Indianapolis, Indiana

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