MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) is one of the fastest growing sports in the world. The best-known organization for fighting is the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), which has been attracting the most audiences for a long time and has the biggest stars under contract.
The UFC has come a long and sometimes arduous journey. It was founded in 1993. The first event ever – UFC 1 – was a knockout tournament in which the ultimate fighter was determined. Several martial arts were allowed. At the end of the event, Royce Gracie, who was well equipped for the tournament with a black karate belt, won. He won all three fights after giving up the opponent. In addition to karate, the candidates also went into the ring with skills in boxing , kickboxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and even sumo. Royce Gracie took home $ 50,000 for winning the title. There were practically no rules, just biting and reaching into the eyes was forbidden.
Today’s UFC has little in common with this first tournament and is hardly recognizable. Fighting continues in the famous Octagon, but there are now different weight classes and the fighters are rarely limited to one particular martial art. Clothing has also changed dramatically. Nobody puts on karat robes or gives their opponent other opportunities to hold on to something or to pull on something.
Paychecks have also changed dramatically over the years and have generally increased. This is especially thanks to the UFC superstar Conor McGregor, who was the first MMA fighter to achieve popularity outside of the die-hard MMA scene and to inspire the masses. Not least because of this, the eagerly awaited encounter between ConorMcGregor and the still undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather took place. Fortunately, the crazy Irishman cuts a better figure in the octagon than in the boxing ring and regularly ensures raging halls with massive knockouts and his spectacular fighting style. His fights also featured some of the best and most absurd MMA odds. Not least,
In Austria, too, MMA is slowly but surely picking up speed. In 2009 the MMA Association Austria was founded, which has been raising martial arts professionally in Austria ever since. With success: MMA gyms are springing up like mushrooms, the fights are attracting more and more spectators and in 2017 Aleksandar Rakić became the first Austrian to sign a contract with the UFC.