UFC is an mixed martial arts promotion company that’s based in Las Vegas, Nevada. It is the best and the biggest MMA promotion company in the world. As such, the highest-level fighters are always part of their roster. So, many will ask what does UFC stand for? It stands for Ultimate Fighting Championship and as the name suggests, it organizes the biggest and most popular fights in the MMA world. For more information about their fights and competitions, check their official website.

UFC Intro
Welcome to UFC

Even though it’s based in Nevada, the UFC produces events all around the world. They have twelve weight divisions and abide by the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. Dana White is the president of the organization. He has been on that position since 2001. So far, they have had more than 400 events. It’s important to note that under the stewardship of Mr. White the UFC became a globally popular enterprise that generates billions of dollars. However, at the beginning, the Ultimate Fighting Championship was formed for different reason. Keep reading to find out what does UFC stand for.


The first competitions began in the early 1990’s. Art Davie proposed to John Milius and Rorion Gracie an eight-man single-elimination tournament called “War of the Worlds”. The idea was that the tournament will have martial artists from different disciplines. They were supposed to fight in no-holds-barred combat to determine which martial art is the best. Milius, a noted film director and screenwriter, as well as a Gracie student, agreed to act as the event’s creative director. The business plan was drafted and 28 investors collected the capital to start WoW Promotions. All of this eventually led to the creation of UFC.

Since they wanted their tournament to become a television franchise WoW promotions looked for a television partner. Several producers were approached; however only pay-per-view pioneers at that time SEG ( Semaphore Entertainment Group) responded and became a partner to WoW promotions. Together, they produced the first UFC event. It was held at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado on November 12, 1993. It was at that point when the question “what does UFC stand for?” was asked for the first time.

The First UFC Tournament

Of course, it wasn’t asked in that way but the show proposed to find an answer for sports fans’ questions such as: “Can a wrestler beat a boxer?” This is what the Ultimate Fighting Championship is all about. At that time, fighters were excellent in one discipline but knew very little about any other discipline. The show was a great success so SEG started promoting one for almost every weekend. However, the no-rules or limited rules way of doing the shows didn’t work on the long-term.

Stricter Rules & Reform

After several years of existence, authorities caught an eye of the UFC events. Senator John McCain believed the sport was too violent and he himself led a campaign to have it banned. Thirty-six states enacted laws that banned “no-hold-barred” fighting, including New York, which enacted the ban on the eve of UFC 12, forcing a relocation of the event to Dothan, Alabama. The UFC continued to air on DirecTV PPV, though its audience remained minuscule compared to the larger cable pay-per-view platforms of the era.

If the sport was to survive, changes had to be made. In the following years, professional judges that have judged major events in boxing, kickboxing, and similar events helped create various rules for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. However, even with that being done, the damage was too much and the sport was rapidly declining. Trying to fight all the sanctions, SEG got close to bankruptcy. That’s when Dana White and Station Casinos executives Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta entered the equation.

They bought the UFC for $2 million and they created Zuffa LLC to be the main entity in control of it. Since, the Fertitta brothers where in the casino business, sanctioning became easier. Frank, a former member of the Nevada State Athletic Commission secured sanctioning in Nevada in 2001. With that, UFC returned to pay-per-view television with their 33rd event. Financial problems continued for couple of years after that; however, eventually the Ultimate Fighting Championship became one of the most popular sporting events in the world.

What does UFC stand for?

Finally, we get to the main point of this article and that’s explaining what UFC is. The Ultimate Fighting Championship is a mixed-martial arts promotion in which a series of fights take place around the world, also known as fight nights. It calls itself the “premier organisation in MMA”. It brings together the best martial artists of the world. They fight each other divided in different weight classes. Usually, there are more than 40 events in a single year. Here are the different weight classes:

  • Straw weight – up to 115 pounds.
  • Flyweight – over 115 pounds to 125.
  • Bantamweight – over 125 to 135 pounds.
  • Women’s Bantamweight – over 125 to 135 pounds.
  • Featherweight – over 135 to 145 pounds.
  • Lightweight – over 145 to 155 pounds.
  • Welterweight – over 155 to 170 pounds.
  • Middleweight – over 170 to 185 pounds.
  • Light Heavyweight – over 185 to 205 pounds.
  • Heavyweight – over 205 to 265 pounds.

The Best Fighters in the UFC

There are a lot of names that are connected to the UFC. Fantastic fighters were and still are part of these events. Anderson Silva is considered as one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the octagon. George St-Pierre is also among the great names. When it comes to popularity we are sure everyone knows Conor McGregor. He is a great fighter and even though he might not be the best he is certainly the most controversial one. There are well known fighters among the females as well. Holly Holm is one of the best but there is also Valentina Shevchenko, Amanda Nunes, Cris Cyborg, etc. Just like with the men, the most popular one is not always the best fighter. Women recognize UFC for Ronda Rousey who is also a great fighter. However, she left these fighting events and joined the WWE network.

UFC Rules

As we mentioned above, the official website is a good place to learn everything about the UFC. Below we are going to list the major rules that every fan should know before watching these fights. These are rules that show what does UFC stand for.

  1. All MMA contests or exhibitions must be held in a ring or a fenced area.
  2. Fighters must wear a mouthguard; the males need a groin protector as well while the females need to wear a chest protector.
  3. The gloves need to be at least 4 ounces and never exceed more than 6 ounces.
  4. The main fight lasts 5 rounds and each round lasts for 5 minutes. There is a 1 minute rest between rounds.
  5. All bouts will be evaluated and scored by 3 judges who shall evaluate the contest from different location around the ring/fighting area. The referee may not be one of the 3 judges.
  6. Judges shall evaluate mixed martial arts techniques, such as effective striking, effective grappling, control of the ring/fighting area, effective aggressiveness and defense. Each round will be scored on a 10-point system.
  7. There are 31 different types of foul – including spitting, hair pulling, kicking the head of a grounded opponent. The referee can DQ a fighter if there are a series of fouls.


Here comes the most interesting part of every fighting event and that’s what you need to do to win a match. In the UFC, there are several different ways of how you can be victorious.

  1. Submission – it can be physical tap out or verbal tap out.
  2. Knockout – there are two TKO’s and of course the well known KO. The TKO’s are the referee’s decision who can stop the match because of an injury to one of the fighters. The KO means the fighter is unconscious and can’t continue the fight.
  3. Scorecards decision – This is a victory given by the judges and it happens if a TKO or KO doesn’t occur after the 5 rounds. Their decision can be unanimous, split, or a majority decision.
  4. Draw – This is also a judge decision and it happens when the judges can’t agree on a winner. It can also be unanimous, split, or a majority decision.
  5. Disqualification
  6. Forfeit
  7. Technical Decision

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article answers the question of What does UFC stand for? At the moment, it’s the most popular fighting championship that generates billions on a yearly level. New, better, stronger fighters emerge every day to challenge the champions and take the belt from them. In the most popular weight class, Khabib Nurmagomedov is the champion at the moment. He has the longest undefeated streak in the history of the sport. Nurmagomedov’s style of grappling has made him one of the most dominant athletes in the history of MMA. However, this sport evolves every day so in the near future a fighter that’s even better is bound to appear.

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