Watch: The UFC’s Brutal Beginning That Stunned The World
It took about four years of trial and error for Art Davie to bring his vision of the Ultimate Fighting Championship to life back from the 80’s through the 90’s. Until 1993, there was no UFC or anything close to it being televised. Of course people had their boxing, but there was nothing that brought together fighters from multiple disciplines in a Mortal Kombat style scene. Naturally, he wasn’t intending for the fighters to kill each other, but he wanted them all to fight.
A chilly November night at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver saw eight fighters from different schools gather together for the first UFC tournament in history. This was the night that people truly began taking notice of what Davie had been trying to offer them, and they liked what they saw! Before that, when the fighters were getting prepared, three of the rules became heated debate. No eye gouging, no groin strikes, and no biting. Those seem like three fairly simple rules to follow, but for whatever reason there were some issues. That’s when a 425 pound sumo wrestler decided to take control.
Teila Tuli stood up from his seat and proclaimed for all to hear, “If anyone else came here to party, I’ll see you tomorrow night at the arena!” With that, he slammed the signed forms needed to fight down onto the table. Some applause erupted after a short silence, and the rest of the fighters let go of their tension to do the same. It was one of the most important moments in the creation of UFC, you could argue. Without the other fighters going along, nothing would have been possible. Sadly, the party ended a little sooner for Tuli than he expected, but he’s still an important figure.
Only eight men can claim they’re the first fighters to have ever been in the UFC, and it’s thanks to them that we have it today. Check out this glorious and monumental piece of history – how the tournament we know today came to be in the video below. It’s always important to know where you came from if you ever want to figure out where you want to go, the UFC is still going to greater heights because they haven’t forgotten that!