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    Thread: 5 Things You Didn't Know: The UFC

    1. #1
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      Default 5 Things You Didn't Know: The UFC

      Depending on your vantage point, the golden days of the Ultimate Fighting Championship were either during the almost-anything-goes matches of the mid-’90s -- when watching it made you feel like you were getting away with something seedy -- or they are happening right now. Case in point: The upcoming dream match between Anderson “The Spider” Silva and “Hollywood” Dan Henderson, a fight that will unify two belts and decide the sport’s undisputed middleweight king.

      UFC 82: Pride of a Champion has the potential to go down in sports history as either: 1) Everything a great UFC matchup should be, featuring the new science of disparate fighting styles; or 2) Proof that Anderson Silva is the greatest fighter the sport has ever seen, since he has absolutely plowed through every UFC fighter he’s faced, and is the fight’s odds-on favorite. To gear up for this titanic clash, we present five things you didn’t know about the UFC.

      1- It was supposed to involve alligators
      If nothing else, you can’t successfully accuse the original promoters of the UFC of failing to think big. Specifically, in addition to such outrageous ideas as putting electric fences around the ring, one of their many schemes was to include live alligators thrashing around in moats. Fortunately, UFC doctors were a bit more practical in their thinking, advising against such plans because of the potential harm these could do to the fighters.

      2- It won over John McCain
      The UFC’s early days were decidedly underground until 1996, when a tape of one fight reached the desk of Arizona Senator and boxing fan John McCain. The Senator was disgusted by what he saw, famously calling it “human cock fighting.” His campaign against the UFC was both devastating and, ultimately, invigorating to the sport. Among other tactics, McCain sent letters to the governors of all 50 states urging that they ban the sport, and it worked -- the UFC was practically shut down.

      Since then, and chiefly because of a change in ownership, the UFC has done an impressive job cleaning up its image. A transformation so drastic that Senator McCain has been widely quoted as saying: “The sport has grown up. The rules have been adopted to give its athletes better protections and to ensure fairer competition."

      3- It originally had the same standing as the KKK
      While early ideas like alligators and electric fences never came to fruition, promoters did hype fights as being “no holds barred,” ending only with “knockout, submission or death.” When McCain began his anti-UFC campaign in 1996, he succeeded in accomplishing numerous state bans on the sport, and was able to push athletic commissions to refuse the sanctioning of a single bout. Perhaps the most telling example of the backlash came at the hands of a public TV station that refused to run a UFC sponsorship ad -- to that point, the only other organization the station had ever refused was the Ku Klux Klan.

      4- Its owners have agreed to settle disputes with jujitsu
      In one of entertainment’s most lucrative business deals, casino billionaire brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta bought the floundering UFC for $2 million in 2001. Three years later, they were $34 million in the red, despite having the sport sanctioned by athletic commissions in Nevada and New Jersey. Then, they got it onto Spike TV by offering to pay for the production of a reality show, Ultimate Fighter, and their financial numbers began to change. Near the end of 2006, Business 2.0 claimed the UFC brand to be worth in excess of $700 million, thanks in large part to pay-per-view events. In 2006, the UFC’s 10 PPV events are believed to have generated over $200 million in retail revenue.

      Currently, in the spirit of the UFC, the ownership contract features a unique dispute resolution clause: In the case of a deadlock between members of Zuffa, LLC., the Fertitta brothers, “... shall engage in a sport jujitsu match" of three five-minute rounds, which would be referred by the current UFC president (and 10% owner of Zuffa) Dana White.

      5- Its president lured back a fighter by fighting him
      Fittingly, the UFC’s top brass could probably take on the top brass at any organization in the world and come out on top. Not only are the Fertitto brothers themselves trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but Lorenzo has also sparred with a number of UFC fighters, and the brothers’ trainer is former kickboxing instructor, boxer and UFC President Dana White. As a testament to White’s toughness and commitment to the organization, when Tito Ortiz -- one of the UFC’s star fighters -- left the organization, White managed to lure him back to the UFC -- by agreeing to go three rounds against him.

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      Default Re: 5 Things You Didn't Know: The UFC

      that is a great history of how the ufc has evolved

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