Tuesday, May 26, 2009

UFC: Ultimate Fighting Championship

The UFC began as a single-event tournament to find the world's best fighters irrespective of their style. Although there were a limited number of rules, promoters marketed fighting in the UFC as no holds barred, and contests were often violent and brutal.

As political pressure mounted, the UFC reformed itself, slowly embracing stricter rules, becoming sanctioned by state athletic commissions, and marketing itself as a legitimate sporting event. Dropping the no holds barred label and carrying the banner of mixed martial arts, the UFC has emerged from its political isolation to become more socially acceptable, regaining its position in pay-per-view television.

Weight divisions

The UFC currently uses five weight classes:

  • lightweight:145 to 155 lb (66 to 70 kg)
  • Welterweight: 156 to 170 lb (71 to 77 kg)
  • Middleweight: 171 to 185 lb (78 to 84 kg)
  • Light Heavyweight: 186 to 205 lb (84 to 93 kg)
  • Heavytweight: 206 to 265 lb (93 to 120 kg)

Match outcome

Matches usually end via:

* Submission: a fighter clearly taps on the mat or his opponent or verbally submits.
* Knockout: a fighter falls from a legal blow and is either unconscious or unable to immediately continue.
* Technical Knockout (TKO): If a fighter cannot continue, the fight is ended as a technical knockout. Technical knockouts can be classified into three categories:
o referee stoppage: (the referee determines a fighter cannot "intelligently defend" himself; if warnings to the fighter to improve his position or defense go unanswered—generally, two warnings are given, about 5 seconds apart)
o doctor stoppage (a ringside doctor due to injury or impending injury, as when blood flows into the eyes and blinds a fighter)
o corner stoppage (a fighter's own cornerman signals defeat for their own fighter)
* Judges' Decision: Depending on scoring, a match may end as:
o unanimous decision (all three judges score a win for fighter A)
o majority decision (two judges score a win for fighter A, one judge scores a draw)
o split decision (two judges score a win for fighter A, one judge scores a win for fighter B)
o unanimous draw (all three judges score a draw)
o majority draw (two judges score a draw, one judge scoring a win)
o split draw (one judge scores a win for fighter A, one judge scores a win for fighter B, and one judge scores a draw)

A fight can also end in a technical decision, disqualification, forfeit, technical draw, or no contest. The latter two outcomes have no winners.