I do however have to take issue with this statement...
Originally Posted by The Elemental Warrio
5. The Fertittas: They rolled the dice and came up big. They have turned this sport from a bloodsport being held in dingy convention centers, into the biggest draw in Vegas.
The International Fighting Championships became the first MMA promotion to enact rules that were recognized by a state athletic commission (Mississippi/1996). These rules have since been adopted by California, New Jersey, Louisiana, and Nevada. In Canada, the country that had once banned these events due to misinformation, the IFC rules are also the official rules for the province of Québec and IFC events have been viewed across Canada. IFC shows on RDS in Canada were the first to be a regularly scheduled MMA weekly network program anywhere in the world.
the International Fighting Championships secured the first U.S. sanctioned mixed martial arts event, which occurred in New Jersey on September 30, 2000.
UFC 28: High Stakes held on November 17, 2000 at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey was the first UFC event to be sanctioned by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board, held under the newly formed "Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts".
(The UFC had already turned itself around and had already held a major sanctioned event at the Trump Taj Mahal [hardly a dingy convention center] prior to the Fertitta's purchasing the company, so they didn't turn anything around. They were able to, thanks to Lorenzo Fertitta ties to the Nevada State Athletic Commission, secure sanctioning in Nevada in 2001 and it was shortly thereafter, at UFC 33, the UFC returned to pay-per-view cable television. What I will give them credit for is the major explosion in popularity of MMA in the United States. This was due to their idea for the Ultimate Fighter reality TV series and their being willing to risk $10 million dollars to get it on the air. At this point the UFC was still losing money, so this was a major risk and you are right, they scored big time).