What does UFC stand for?

In this photo illustration the Ultimate Fighting...
In this photo illustration the Ultimate Fighting... / SOPA Images/GettyImages

What does UFC stand for?

Since its founding in 1993, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has become the largest promotion for mixed martial arts in the world. Boasting events on a near-weekly cadence, and in all corners of the world, it’s understandable that the brand has almost become bigger than the sport itself. UFC are three letters that are so well known, some still make the mistake of identifying the promotion initials as the discipline itself. 

The first UFC event was held back in 1993 when the promotion was run by Art Davie and Rorion Gracie. The name MMA comes from the practice of bringing together fighters across multiple styles and pitting them against each other to see which comes out on top. Since then, UFC has grown as a brand that is now tied to athletic wear, video games, gym locations, and the entire sport itself.

Training UFC” is a tongue-in-cheek term used by hardcore fans to jokingly mock their less-knowledgeable peers. 

The “Ultimate” in UFC was used to signify the danger around fights that included very few rules. In early UFC events, shots to the groin were legal, one of the many differences when compared to today’s product. Over time, the blending of these rules and the multiple styles available in fighting led to the development of the term mixed martial arts (MMA). 

UFC shows up on marquees all across the world and in multiple forms of entertainment. As more time passes, its brand identity will continue to overshadow MMA.

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