These days, the UFC is the biggest and best Mixed Martial Arts company in the fight game. Sure, they may have had their dark days, but there's no doubting the Ultimate Fighting Championship's place at the top of the MMA tree.
To many, of course, UFC only really became a 'thing' in the early 2000s when names like Chuck Liddell, Tito Ortiz, and Randy Couture were just some of those who caught the public attention and took UFC into a golden age of popularity - and, most importantly, began to bring in big buy rates and attendance figures.
Ultimate Fighting Championship was created back in 1993, with the aim being to establish which of the various fighting styles was the most effective. And thus, UFC 1 was born!
Taking place from Denver, Colorado's McNichols Sports Arena on 12 November, 1993, the event was available on PPV and then soon after released on VHS. Laid out in a tournament format, UFC 1 saw eight fighters of various disciplines battle it out to see who was the very best.
Now, while the UFC these days is a global phenomenon and a smoothly oiled machine, the first show was something from the wild west. Let's look at the crazier details.
In his quarter-final win over Teila Tuli, Gerard Gordeau put a brutal beating on his opponent, instantly making a statement that the latter could be one to watch out for. So vicious was Gordeau’s offense, a kick to the face of his fallen sumo opponent saw three of Tuli’s teeth knocked out.
Now, while the initial thought was that these teeth had been sent out of the Octagon due to the force of Gordeau’s kicks, the ewww-inducing truth of the matter was that two of the teeth had actually gotten stuck in the foot of the Dutchman.
Deciding that any extraction of the teeth would leave Gordeau with an open wound with which he’d be unable to fight, doctors decided to tape up the former Savate World Heavyweight Champion's foot with the teeth still lodged in place.
Gordeau would actually make it all the way to the final of UFC 1, although his losing effort to Royce Gracie was marred in controversy after Gerard intentionally bit his opponent. Gracie would still get the submission win in this final contest – although he was in no rush to loosen his winning choke, as Gracie made a point of showcasing his unhappiness with Gordeau's antics.