The Eye of the Storm

The Eye of the Storm

by Tyler LarsonStaff Writer

I have attended that last two Midwest Cage Championships at Val Air Ballroom, and the entertainment seems to keep getting better. I used to think mixed martial arts was a dumb sport until I found out all of the different techniques behind it. It doesn’t just take a couple of dumb guys who like to brawl to fight in a match. I, like many other people, have started to really love watching this sport.

The Ultimate Fight Championship is the most popular mixed martial arts organization. Three men established the UFC, which held its first event in 1993. The first UFC event sold 86,000 pay-per-view buys, and by the third event, the buy rate was up to 300,000 views per event.

Today, the UFC’s pay-per-view buy rates are rising quickly, as are ticket sales at their live gates. Fighters now spend five to six years fighting in smaller events, building their resumes to compete in the big show. New shows pop up for these smaller events like the Ultimate Fighter. This show has created such stars such as Michael Bisbing, Junie Browning and Diego Sanchez.

The UFC had a rough start to its showing. The first six UFC fights had very few rules. In fact, there were no weight classes, no time limits or rounds, and no mandatory safety equipment. The format of the event was a one-night tournament. Competitors would fight several bouts in one night in a single-elimination-style tournament until a champion was named. The lack of weight classes became an obvious problem from the beginning.

Then the UFC started to change. They fought in the Octagon, which is an eight-sided cage. The UFC is the only fighting organization to use the Octagon. The new and improved UFC returned with a stricter set of rules, which included rounds, time limits and five weight classes. There is lightweight, welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight and heavy weight.

Also, the UFC fighters were drastically different from those that entered the Octagon in 1993. Current UFC fighters are among the best conditioned athletes in the world. Often, fighters train for more than six hours a day. Also, fighters work on strength and conditioning, in addition to their striking and grappling skills.

There are also many different kinds of fighting styles used in the UFC. There is boxing, kick boxing, karate, free-style wrestling, Greco-Roman Wrestling and jiu jutsu, to name a few. Along with these techniques, there are 31 rules and eight ways to win a fight. The ways you can win are by submission, technical knockout, decision, technical decision, technical draw, disqualification, forfeit and no contest.

The UFC has come up with some big stars in its time. Fighters like Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, Anderson Silva, Brock Lesnar, Rampage Jackson and Forrest Griffin are superstars in their sport.

Fans continue to flock to the sport looking for the excitement and intensity of the purest form of one-on-one competition on the planet today.