The Ultimate Fighting Championship was launched in 1993, and is the leading Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) brand. MMA is a unique combination of wrestling, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu and boxing, among other fighting styles. Fighters usually specialise in one specific style, depending on their background, but it is advantageous to have some knowledge of all styles due to the variety of opponents you can face. Fights take place inside the Octagon, a trademarked, eight sided cage, the walls are 6 foot high, and once you’re inside there’s no escape.
Fights are comprised of three 5 minute rounds (five rounds for all title fights or main events) and are finished by knockout, technical knockout (such as referee, doctor or corner stoppage), submission, disqualification or forfeit. In the event that all the time is used up (known as ‘going the distance’) there are three cage-side judges who score the fight to determine the victor.
UFC Pay Per Views
The first ever UFC event was titled UFC 1, and they have used the numbering system for all of their major events ever since. Although they schedule regular televised events, usually titled UFC Fight Night or UFC on Fox, but the number PPV’s still remain the most prestigious events. Certain PPV’s are considered more prestigious than others due to the milestone that a certain number represents, especially if the number finished in a 0 or 5, to date UFC 200 is considered the biggest event in their history (so far) and UFC 205 is set to be an even bigger deal.
Alvarez vs. McGregor
To headline the biggest event in UFC history, you need the biggest name in UFC, and right now the Notorious Conor McGregor fills that role. The Irishman is well known for his outspoken nature, and recently bad mouthed a number of WWE superstars. The southpaw (left-handed striker) is the current UFC Featherweight Champions, which he won by knockout in just 13 seconds, but his title is not on the line this weekend, instead McGregor will be challenging Eddie Alvarez for Lightweight Championship, and should he be successful, (and he is currently the bookies favourite) he’d be the first double UFC Champion in history.
McGregor was initially supposed to challenge for the Lightweight Championship in February, back when Rafael dos Anjos was the Champion, but dos Anjos was forced to pull out due to a foot injury, leading McGregor to have two fights against Nate Diaz.
Woodley vs. Thompson
In the second of three title matches, Tyron Woodley will be defending his recently won Welterweight Championship. Woodley beat Robbie Lawler by TKO in the very first round of their fight at UFC 201 back in July.
Meanwhile, Stephen Thompson has been defeating all of the biggest names in the Welterweight division, including Johnny Hendricks, Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger. Thompson is given the slight edge in this fight, probably because of his experience in five round fights. Woodley has never gone beyond three rounds in UFC, and is more likely to tire out if this fight goes the distance.
Jędrzejczyk vs. Kowalkiewicz
Since launching their Women’s division (first the Bantamweight) in 2012, it has added another gear to UFC programming and was so popular that a second Women’s division (Strawweight) was launched in 2013. Polish born, Jędrzejczyk has been the Strawweight Champion since UFC 185 in 2015 when she defeated Carla Esparza. Kowalkiewicz, known as the Polish Princess) is challenging Jędrzejczyk this weekend, and the fight is sure to be entertaining as both women have an unbeaten MMA record to protect. The bookies narrowly favour Jędrzejczyk to retain her title, but this one really is too close to call.