Although UFC started in Las Vegas, it is now enjoyed by international audiences around the world. However, true UFC fans all know that Las Vegas is the true home for the most intense sport in the world. To understand why this is the case, you need to first understand the history of UFC.
The history of the UFC
The UFC we all know today was started in 1993 as a mixed martial arts (MMA) organization. Today, the UFC has arguably revolutionized the fighting industry and regularly racks up record numbers of spectators and pay per view (PPV) events. The history of competitive fighting is extremely long — in ancient Greece a game called Pankration was introduced to the Greek Olympic Games in 648 BC and was a competitive MMA event similar to the MMA we all watch today.
About 80 years ago, a new form of Brazilian MMA called Vale Tudo (which translates to “anything goes”) started to gain attention. The UFC subsequently introduced organized, regulated and legal MMA fighting to the United States. In 2001, the UFC brand was restructured by its owners Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta III into a highly controlled and regulated sport. This new version of the UFC is more familiar to us as it is similar to the sport which we can watch today.
UFC matches are incredibly popular, and the sport has become increasingly popular as digital innovations were introduced, player welfare was targeted as a main concern, and media platforms were revolutionized to better suit MMA matches. In the span of 20 years, the sport has become one of the most popular sports around the world — it is quite the success story!
The bright lights of Las Vegas and UFC
Setting aside the fact that the UFC was started in Las Vegas and it is truly a Vegas-based enterprise, Vegas is undeniably the spiritual home of UFC. For Americans and for people around the world, Vegas is a place where rules are bent — if they exist at all. Life is turned up to 10 in Vegas and bright lights, action and intensity are all inherent in the city. A short walk around the busiest streets in Vegas at any hour of the day will impress upon you the surging intensity, life and energy that this city has.
UFC is a sport that is all about intensity and energy — all you have to do is watch a single match to understand this. The energetic wildness, and sometimes just plain craziness, of Las Vegas perfectly fits the energy and style of UFC, as all fans know.
A new UFC and a new Vegas
The last decade or so has resulted in a huge amount of change for both the UFC and gambling as digital media and platforms have become ubiquitous. In 2013, the UFC introduced UFC Fight Pass, a digital subscription service for fans which provided access to live events, a vast library of on-demand media and new content.
The launch of UFC Fight Pass cemented the UFC’s position as one of the most innovative sports companies, and the platform quickly became one of the most popular over the top (OTT) digital networks. Although there are now many different streaming platforms which are designed for a range of different interests, UFC Fight Pass was revolutionary when it was launched, as it was one of the original streaming platforms dedicated to a specific sport and fan base. The platform has not rested on its laurels however, and it continues to produce innovative content and experiences for its dedicated fan base.
Las Vegas has also experienced a digital revolution as online gambling and sports betting have become incredibly popular. The biggest casinos in Las Vegas all have their own digital platforms to match their brick and mortar establishments, and many of their online casinos are the most popular in America.
The online casino industry has become incredibly popular. There are now hundreds of different online casinos offering competitive registration bonuses, secure platforms and games libraries, which allow gamblers to play slot games online for as long as they like.
Although both UFC and Las Vegas are changing and embracing the digital revolution, they both remain iconic, popular and beloved. This is because both UFC and Las Vegas have kept their edge, excitement and sense of fun which drew fans to them both in the first place. This is reassuring as it shows that no matter how the market changes, UFC and Las Vegas will stay the same.