Friday, October 28, 2005

The Ultimate Explaination

This is for Aunt B. She approached me at the blogger gathering and asked if I was the ultimate fighting blogger guy. Or something like that. then she proceeded to ask me why the fighters where gloves, apparantly that is kind of sissy! We briefly discussed this but I will now go through the whole scenario as well as I know it. Some of this may not be 100%, just my understanding of what has happened in the UFC.

Late 1993 the 1st UFC began. At the time it was called The Ultimate Fighting Challenge. the format was 8 fighters in a tounrament. In order to win you would need to win 3 fights. These fights were 1 round, no time limit. The rules were simple, no repeated kicks to the groin. (the key word there is repeated, can you say repeated?) I was fortunate to live in Denver, CO at the time where the event was held. Being a travel agent for the cheapest company in the world I bought the $12 ticket in the upper level of McNichols arena. Luckily no one had heard of the UFC, only about 1600 people showed up and I ended up in the 16th row! If you happen to rent this video you can see me standing up in the background as Royce Gracie is presented his check.
The Gracie family, legendary in MMA, created the UFC to bring their sport to the United States. The Gracies maintain that in a 'real' fight, no rules and no holds barred, their family is undefeated! With all organizations now having rounds and a few rules they are able to maintain this fact, although it is highly disputed everywhere they go. I think he's pretty damn good. People have called me crazy. Oh well.

Important notes about the 1st couple of UFC's. They were held in states without an athletic commision and a strong boxing presence.
With the optional shoes and gloves, the stomps to the head and the no holds barred philosophy the athletic commisions would not allow the sport to be held in there state. But the Gracie's were well on their way to brining their art to the US, gyms popping up all over the country.

We now fast forward to 1997 (ish). The UFC comes under new ownership and management. The old goal of Gracie family success - Attained! The new goal - let's make some damn money.

Dana White, current head of the UFC has had a lot to do with the a lot, if not all, the changes in the UFC as of late. In order to make the money they had to get into cities like Vegas and Atlantic City. The went away from the complete no holds barred and made a few minor adjustments to protect the fighters.
#1 Gloves - all fighter wear 4oz gloves. If you've ever boxed (12-18oz gloves) you know that 4oz is like nothing. This is why you get quicker and cleaner KO's in MMA fights.
#2 No kicking a down opponent - Is what it sounds like, if your opponent is down, on a knee or laying down you can't kick or stomp him. (You can still do this in PRIDE, held in Japan).
#3 Rounds - The UFC has gone through several versions of rounds, numbers and length. The current, and more than likely permanent, format is 3 - 5 minute rounds for a normal fight and 5 - 5 minute rounds for a championship fight.
#4 No low blows - hopefully no explaination is needed here!
#5 In addition to the gloves all competitors are required to wear a cup - hopefully no explaination is needed here either! (trust me ladies)

Those are the most noted changes in the format. Since making the changes the UFC's success has been incredible. This year saw a reality show on SPIKE TV and the 1st live MMA fight in US history. A great night of fighting which crowned the 1st 2 "Ultimate Fighters" and 1of the best fights in the history of MMA. Stephan Bonner and Forrest Griffin went toe to toe for 3 solid rounds. If you don't know what this MMA is all about that would be a great fight to find on the web and watch. Talk about a warrior spirit from 2 classy fighters with a ton of respect for each other.

Well Aunt B, hopefully I've started to answer your questions about why all those sissy's wear gloves! Ask all the questions you want.


Blogger Pink Kitty said...

I just have to say: I love the show on Spike. After watching Ultimate Fighter, Stallone/Burnett's "The Contender" just seemed... boring.

11:46 AM  

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