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Volume 22 No. 35
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Key moments in UFC history

Nov. 12, 1993

WOW Promotions, started by Art Davie, and Semaphore Entertainment Group create and promote UFC 1, an eight-man tournament at Denver’s McNichols Sports Arena. 1,500 are in attendance.

April 1995
Davie and WOW promotions sell their stake in UFC to Semaphore Entertainment Group.

Dec. 21, 1997
The UFC’s first event outside of North America takes place in Yokohama, Japan.

January 2001
Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, operating under the name Zuffa, buy the UFC from Semaphore Entertainment Group for $2 million.

January 2005
“The Ultimate Fighter” reality show debuts on Spike TV. In August, “UFC Fight Night” premieres on Spike.

July 11, 2009
UFC 100 at Mandalay Bay is headlined by Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir and does a then-MMA record 1.6 million buys on pay-per-view and $5.1 million at the gate.

August 2011
Fox announces a seven-year deal with the UFC that will see the broadcast channel air as many as four events per year. In November, the UFC appears on network television for the first time.


Photo by: GETTY IMAGES

November 2012
Ronda Rousey becomes the first female to sign a deal with the UFC.

August 2013
Fox Sports 1 officially launches and averages 1.78 million viewers for its first prime-time telecast, “UFC Fight Night.”

December 2014
Reebok signs a $70 million partnership to become the UFC’s exclusive apparel outfitter, requiring all fighters to wear Reebok gear during fight week and inside the octagon.


July 2015
The UFC’s anti-doping program, administered by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, goes into effect.

March 2016
New York becomes the 50th state to legalize and regulate the sport.

July 10, 2016
One day after UFC 200 takes place, UFC President Dana White confirms that Zuffa has sold the UFC to an investment group led by WME-IMG for approximately $4 billion.

— Compiled by SportsBusiness Journal research