If you’re a fan of combat sports, a new ESPN 30 for 30 podcast titled “No rules: The Birth of the UFC” will be a great way to spend some of your free time over the holiday.
The podcast takes a look behind the scenes of the very first UFC event which took place at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado back on Nov. 12, 1993.
“No Rules: The Birth of the UFC” features some never before heard stories and commentary regarding what went in to putting on the promotion’s very first show which was won by the legendary Royce Gracie, who defeated Art Jimmerson, Ken Shamrock and Gerard Gordeau en route to claiming the tournament title.
Now, nearly 25 years later, we get to learn how close UFC 1 was to falling through and how close it was to never happening again.
It depends who you ask. There are a lot of lucky breaks in this story, and there were many moments where it could have fallen apart. Something a lot of people focus on is a fighter meeting, where they were all supposed to sign a waiver. There weren’t many rules at UFC 1 but there were some, and a lot of those were rules the organizers didn’t think would be controversial that ended up being very controversial.
I think the more interesting question is: How close did it come to never happening again? The first fight in the UFC was 26 seconds long. If all the fights had been that long, it wouldn’t have been a full feature-length broadcast and people probably would have hated it. They god lucky the other fights went the way they did.
You can listen to the entire podcast below: