Rare Footage Of UFC 1 Shows How Savage The Sport Started Out

by : Francesca Donovan on : 09 Dec 2016 16:44

UFC is a sport with a long list of athletes who have turned the Octagon into a place of high octane athleticism and the world of the UFC into a glamorous, money-making, televised spectacle.


But it wasn’t always like that, back in the early nineties, things were a little different…

The first ever fight in UFC history, according to FOX Sports, was a battle of polarities between Teila Tuli, a Sumo wrestler and French foot fighting champion, Gerard Gordeau.


It was televised live on November 12, 1993 and it was the first time fighters of two different disciplines had entered the ring together, in a clash of mixed martial arts.


No one – including the fighters – knew what to expect, besides the fact that only one man would leave victorious.

Commentators were stunned by the violence of that battle, and amazed when underdog Gordeau defeated the much larger Tuli with a brutal kick to the face leaving the baffled sumo wrestler with a bloodied eye and missing his front teeth.


From then on, people flocked to see boxers face off against Jui-Jitsu warriors and wrestlers fight their seemingly aesthetic inferiors.

UFC 1 was dominated by the smallest man in the contest; Royce Gracie, who used the Brazilian Jui-Jitsu to destroy his opponents.

Crowds were shocked again and again to see the underdog reign victorious, and thus the basis of modern UFC – in which any man or woman can win with athletic flair, technical fighting tactics and sheer force of confidence – was born.


The sport has evolved, of course, to develop a set of rules, regulations and restrictions, keeping the stars of UFC safe as far as possible.

But the roots of UFC – these savage first forays into mixed fighting – are the reason UFC is the most exciting, unpredictable and untameable sport in modern athletics.

Francesca Donovan

A former emo kid who talks too much about 8Chan meme culture, the Kardashian Klan, and how her smartphone is probably killing her. Francesca is a Cardiff University Journalism Masters grad who has done words for BBC, ELLE, The Debrief, DAZED, an art magazine you've never heard of and a feminist zine which never went to print.

Topics: Health, Fitness


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    Brutal beginnings of the UFC