UFCThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is a U.S.-based mixed martial arts organization, recognized as the largest MMA promotion in the world. The UFC is headquartered in Las Vegas, Nevada and is owned and operated by Zuffa, LLC. This promotion is responsible for solidifying the sport's postion in the history-books.
UFC is currently undergoing a remarkable surge in popularity, along with greater mainstream media coverage. UFC programming can now be seen on FOX, FX, and FUEL TV in the United States, as well as in 35 other countries worldwide.
The company was still in its infancy even back then. The photo was taken at UFC 30, the first Zuffa event, held one month after the Fertitas bought the company from Semaphore for $2 million. Still vilified and ignored by most broadcasters, it attracted between 3,000 and 5,000 in attendees and made a modest sum (by todays standards) of $110,000.
Middleweight Championship bout: Tito Ortiz vs Evan Tanner
Bantamweight Championship bout: Jens Pulver vs Caol Uno
Lightweight bout: Fabiano Iha vs. Phil Johns
Middleweight bout: Elvis Sinosic vs. Jeremy Horn
Heavyweight bout: Pedro Rizzo vs. Josh Barnett
Heavyweight bout: Bobby Hoffman vs. Mark Robinson
Middleweight bout: Phil Baroni vs. Curtis Stout
Lightweight bout: Sean Sherk vs. Tiki Ghosn
This was the era in which the UFC finally began to evolve into a legitimate sport. It marked the transition of the sport, allowing it to become a fully fledged and legitimate sport. This event featured stars like Josh Barnett, Pedro Rizzo, Jeremy Horn, Evan Tanner and Tito Ortiz. This event was significant, even without proper hindsight. It marked the debuts of fighters such as Sean Sherk and Phil Baroni, the Lightweight title came to exist after the co-main event was won by Jens Pulver and the Bantamweight belt was renamed the Lightweight Championship under the newly implemented Unified Rules of MMA. However soon after, the belt was vacated for over 3 years when the champion left the UFC and a tournament to decide the next champion was fought to a draw. It was eventually won by Sean Sherk at UFC 64. Here is video of the main event:
Amazing, Frank Shamrock commentating. Didnt take long for him to fall out with Dana though! That was a great shame because frank was one hell of a fighter back then, if he had been a bit cooler he could be in the hall of fame now.