The iconic UFC Octagon was designed by video and film art director Jason Cusson in 1993.
Jason was commissioned to design a suitable fighting surface for the then emerging sport, despite having no prior experience in the world of martial arts.
In retrospect, he was perhaps an unusual choice but he pulled it off magnificently.
Jason’s sole point of reference came from the 1980’s action film, The Octagon.
Here, Chuck Norris stars as a retired Karate champ who trains as a ninja in order to take down a group of terrorists – because, you know, the eighties.
Watch the roundhouse kicking awesomeness of The Octagon below:
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Interestingly however, there is no octagon shaped fighting surface to be found in this cult classic moustache-fest.
There is an octagon shaped building with a small sand covered area where matches take place. However, it was simply the name of the movie which provided the creative inspiration.
Speaking with ESPN in 2013, Jason gave the following explanation:
It was just the name of it.
I don’t even remember if there was an actual octagon in the movie.
I had no martial arts background.
The reason there’s an Octagon is because of Chuck Norris.
So there you have it. We have the early eighties wave of martial arts films to thank for what is perhaps the most instantly recognisable visual in UFC.
Because Chuck Norris.