Published at Sunday, 15 December 2019. Male. By Abby Marshall.
In addition to the UFC, there are numerous other professional MMA organizations. Among the most prominent of these are the Newport Beach, California-based Bellator MMA, founded in 2008, and the Singapore-based ONE Championship, which promotes many of the top MMA fighters in Asia. Invicta Fighting Championships, a promotion dedicated to female MMA fighters, was launched in the United States in 2012.
MMA first came to the attention of many in North America after the Gracie family decided to showcase its trademark Brazilian jujitsu in the United States in the 1990s. Hélios son Royce Gracie represented the family in a 1993 tournament in Denver, Colorado, that came to be called UFC 1. The name referred to the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), an organization that became the leading promoter of MMA events. The earliest aim of the UFC events was to pit fighters of different styles against each other—such as wrestler against boxer and kickboxer against judoka. Initially, the only rules decreed no biting and no eye gouging. Bouts ended when one of the fighters submitted or one corner threw in the towel. Royce Gracie emerged as the champion of UFC 1, which was held in a caged ring at Denvers McNichols Arena. As the UFCs first cable television pay-per-view event, the tournament attracted 86,000 viewers. That number increased to 300,000 by the third event.
In April 2000, the California State Athletic Commission voted unanimously in favor of regulations that later became the foundation for the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. However, when the legislation was sent to the California capital in Sacramento for review, it was determined that the sport fell outside the jurisdiction of the CSAC, rendering the vote meaningless.
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