The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is an American mixed martial arts-focused company, based in Las Vegas, Nevada, owned and operated by parent company William Morris Endeavor. It is the largest MMA promotion in the world and features the top-ranked fighters of the sport. Based in the United States, the UFC produces events worldwide that showcase ten weight divisions and abide by the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. As of 2017, the UFC has held over 300 events. Dana White serves as the president of the UFC. He has held that position since 2001; under White's leadership the UFC has grown into a globally popular multibillion-dollar enterprise.
The first event was held on November 12, 1993 at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado. The purpose of the early Ultimate Fighting Championship competitions was to identify the most effective martial art in a fight, with minimal rules, between competitors of different fighting disciplines, including boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Sambo, wrestling, Muay Thai, karate, judo, and other styles. In subsequent competitions, fighters began adopting effective techniques from more than one discipline, which indirectly helped create an entirely separate style of fighting known as present-day mixed martial arts. In 2016, it was sold to William Morris Endeavor (WME-IMG) for $4 billion.
With a TV deal and expansion in Europe, Australia, the Middle East, Asia, and new markets within the United States, the UFC as of 2017 has gained in popularity, along with greater mainstream media coverage. As of 2017, viewers can access live UFC fights and fight replays on their subscription network UFC Fight Pass at a cost of $7.99–$9.99 USD per month via devices like Apple TV, iPhone, Android, Xbox, Roku, and Google Chromecast as well as on pay-per-view in the U.S., Brazil, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and Italy. On network TV, UFC content is available on Fox, Fox Sports 1, and Fox Sports 2 in the U.S., on ESPN in the Caribbean, on BT Sport in the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as in 150 countries and 22 different languages worldwide.
MMA journalists and fans have criticized the UFC for putting on too many shows and thus diluting the quality of their product.
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