The Ultimate Fighting Championship is the premiere organization dedicated to mixed martial arts, or MMA. The UFC routinely draws in millions of dollars in pay-per-view buys and receives even more TV viewers during their many Fight Nights on cable.
In short, the UFC is currently the leading company in the world of combat sports. Boxing simply cannot compete. Thus, UFC star Conor McGregor's upcoming fight with undefeated boxing champion Floyd Mayweather will be beneficial only to boxing, which struggles to receive even an iota of the UFC's attention.
Prior to becoming the biggest thing in fighting, the UFC was a very underground, no-holds-barred spectacle that often pitted one martial art against another. Many in the boxing establishment considered it nothing more than an official street fight. Many mainstream politicians agreed. Therefore, for decades, very few people paid attention to the UFC, its title belts, or its fighters.
Are you a long-time UFC fan? If so, then this quiz should be easy. If not, then you may be surprised by the UFC's past, its records, and its more obscure moments.
Which UFC fighter holds the longest title reign in company history?
The fighter is arguably the greatest MMA fighter of all time. A tall, lanky Brazilian, this man, nicknamed "The Spider," had a habit of making his opponents look like amateurs. A gifted striker who became famous for escaping damage during his fights, he captured the UFC Middleweight Championship when he knocked out Rich Franklin. He would then go on to defend his title ten times over a seven-year period. All told, he held the belt for an impressive 2,457 days.
Which UFC legend was the first to hold a championship belt in two different weight classes?
This fighter is now a major star in Hollywood, but back in the early 2000s he was known as a Greco-Roman specialist who utilized the clinch game in order to defeat his opponents. He won his first title in 1997 when he became the UFC Heavyweight champion. He would later win the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship in 2003. All told, this fighter has won three UFC Heavyweight titles and one UFC Light Heavyweight title. He is currently in the UFC Hall of Fame
Who did Sean Sherk defeat to become the second ever UFC Lightweight Champion?
After the belt was vacated for three years, Sean Sherk became the second ever UFC Lightweight Champion when he defeated this fighter in 2006. His opponent was known for his lethal elbow strikes and his top-tier Brazilian jiu-jitsu game. Unfortunately, this fighter never managed to capture any UFC gold even though he was always a top contender. This fighter now runs a gym in Boston with his brother and also does commentary for various MMA programs, most notably "MMA Live."
True or False: the UFC has had a Japanese champion
While PRIDE Fighting Championship was based in Japan, and thus came close to having a monopoly on Japanese fighters, the UFC has always had a Japanese contingent. Many great Japanese grapplers and strikers appeared during the early days of the UFC, and during the late 1990s, two Japanese superstars won UFC tournaments. One Japanese fighter was also a contender for the vacated UFC Lightweight Championship in the early 2000s. Another challenged for the UFC Middleweight Championship when the defending champion was Anderson Silva.
Who did Brock Lesnar defeat in order to win his UFC match?
Many MMA purists did not like it when Brock Lesnar left the WWE and decided to take up mixed martial arts. After only one MMA victory, Lesnar was put in the cage against Frank Mir, a former UFC Heavyweight champion and a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Unsurprisingly, Mir caught Lesnar in a heel hook during the first round. In his next fight, a clearly improved Lesnar easily defeated his opponent, whose greatest claim to fame is that he once knocked out an opponent for kissing him during a staredown.
Who was the first ever UFC Welterweight Champion?
During the early days of the UFC, this fighter was part of a Midwestern cartel of excellent amateur wrestlers and grapplers. Alongside men like Matt Hughes (who is from Illinois) and Robbie Lawler, this fighter helped to make Iowa an epicenter of MMA. Nicknamed the "Croatian Sensation," this fighter still trains and teaches. He has been spotted in Lawler's corner during his more recent fights. This fighter is also active on Twitter and is a member of the UFC Hall of Fame.
Which US Senator famously called the UFC "human cockfighting?"
Many MMA fans still know this infamous quote well. Back in the mid-1990s, when many UFC fighters fought bare-handed, it was socially permissible to say all kinds of nasty things about the sport. This Republican Senator was just the most outspoken critic of UFC. These days, this politician, who is best known for his time spent in a North Vietnamese prison camp, is frequently criticized for championing US military interventions abroad and for asking bizarre and random questions at Congressional hearings.
Who was the first non-American fighter to win the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship?
Once upon a time, this fighter was considered the future of the sport. A truly well-rounded fighter, this combatant mixed his natural skills as a lightning-fast striker with his background in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Throughout his career, this fighter has fought in three different weight categories--Heavyweight, Light Heavyweight, and Middleweight. He won the UFC Light Heavyweight title in 2004 after defeating Randy Couture. Much of his legacy has been tainted however by the fact that he used TRT for many years.
Which UFC Heavyweight Champion was also the first ever PRIDE Heavyweight Champion?
Until it closed its doors for good, Japan's PRIDE Fighting Championship was the UFC's greatest competitor. With a more international roster and more money, PRIDE very easily could have put the UFC out of business. This fighter is one of the few MMA legends who managed to find success in both the UFC and PRIDE. After becoming the first ever PRIDE Heavyweight champion, this fighter managed to defeat Tim Sylvia for the Interim Heavyweight title in 2008. He eventually lost the belt to former champion Frank Mir.
How did Frank Mir defeat Tim Sylvia in order to become the UFC Heavyweight champion?
This has to be one of the more infamous endings in UFC history. At the time, both Mir and Sylvia were considered some of the best heavyweight fighters in the world. That being said, their styles differed significantly. The tall and lean Sylvia used his natural reach advantage to jab his opponents into oblivion. The shorter and stockier Mir relied exclusively on his jiu-jitsu skills to win fights, for his stand-up game was notoriously rotten. This match is frequently included in UFC DVDs due to its shock ending.
Who was the first ever UFC Heavyweight champion?
This former Ohio State wrestler dominated the early days of the UFC. A muscular and bulky grappler who relied on his amateur wrestling pedigree in order to grind out wins, this fighter managed to have a second career in PRIDE. He also came back for a brief time in order to fight Randy Couture in the UFC. Like many early MMA fighters, this grappler was not known for being particularly well-rounded. Specifically, this fighter might have had some of the worst striking skills of the early UFC.
Who was the second UFC Heavyweight champion?
This forgotten champion entered MMA from the world of kickboxing. A champion striker with a world class pedigree, he managed to shock many analysts of early MMA with success inside of the cage. This success would prove fleeting, however. After winning and then losing the title, this fighter's career descended into mediocrity. While he is currently in the UFC Hall of Fame, his actual MMA record is 14-14, thus making him one of the few former UFC champions without an overall winning record.
Who was the first ever Superfight Champion?
This fighter's name was synonymous with combat sports in the early 1990s. A successful amateur wrestler who also had a strong striking game, this warrior was best known for his epoch-making fight against Royce Gracie. Many years later, his feud with Tito Ortiz provided the main plotline during a season of "The Ultimate Fighter." Non-MMA fans may remember this fighter from his days in Attitude Era WWE, where he won the Intercontinental Championship and was part of the Corporate Ministry.
True or False: Both UFC Superfight champions also became NWA World Heavyweight champions in pro wrestling.
Despite what MMA purists may tell you, there has always been an overlap between MMA and pro wrestling. Even before Brock Lesnar, many MMA fighters found more remunerative work inside of the squared circle. One notoriously stoic fighter had a brief run in the WWE as part of an NWA invasion storyline. While he never won gold there, he did win title belts with other promotions. Another early UFC champion went on to become the WWE Intercontinental Champion and a champion in early TNA.
Who won the first two UFC tournaments?
This is the fighter who proved that Brazilian jiu-jitsu is the most applicable martial art in a real-life fight. A member of one of the most legendary families in the history of combat sports, this fighter was known for wearing a gi and for holding his submissions for a long time. During the earliest days of the UFC, he went undefeated and made his unprepared opponents look ridiculous. Later, when he returned to face Matt Hughes, he was the one who was embarrassed.
True or false: No Brazilian has ever won the UFC Welterweight Championship
After America, Brazil has produced the most UFC champions. Because of his "vale tudo" culture and the prevalence of Brazilian jiu-jitsu gyms in its urban centers, Brazil has given the MMA world some of its greatest talents. Brazilian UFC champions include the likes of Anderson Silva, Mauricio Rua, Antonio Nogueira, Vitor Belfort, and Amanda Nunes. Brazilian fighters have a well-earned reputation for being well-rounded when it comes to strikes and submissions. However, has a Brazilian ever stood on top of the 170-pound division?
How did Wes Sims get disqualified in his first match against Frank Mir?
Long before Jon Jones and Brock Lesnar, this MMA fighter was known as a "heel" or a "bad boy" in the sport. With a flair for the dramatic, Wes Sims was a trash-talking guru who came very close to being a contender during his early career. However, despite his many wins inside of the cage, most will remember Sims for his DQ loss to Frank Mir during their first fight. While some DQs are accidents, Sims' actions were flagrant and disgraceful.
Which UFC Heavyweight champion was stripped of the title after testing positive for anabolic steroids?
Still active as a fighter and still considered a Heavyweight contender by many, this fighter also spent a lot of time in Japan as a professional wrestler. A noted lover of heavy metal, this fighter stunned many when he managed to defeat Randy Couture for the UFC Heavyweight Championship in 2002. However, just after 126 days as champion, this fighter was stripped of the title after testing positive for anabolic steroids. Over a decade later, the UFC welcomed him back.
Who was the first ever Interim Heavyweight champion?
This fighter looked like the next big thing during the mid-2000s. After Frank Mir was sidelined after a serious motorcycle accident, this fighter defeated Tim Sylvia in order to become the first ever Interim Heavyweight champion. Thereafter, when it was concluded that Mir would not be able to defend his title in time, this fighter was named the undisputed champion. He would defend the title only once before his lost the belt to Tim Sylvia. This fighter is known for having a very weak chin.
The first ever UFC tournament was held in which city?
These days, UFC events are held all over the world. However, its true home is Las Vegas. "Sin City," with its gambling and its close association with boxing, is the natural home of MMA. Outside of Nevada, early UFC events were held in Japan, Alabama, and Charlotte, North Carolina. The first two UFC tournaments were actually held in the same city. This city is not known for much in terms of sports, although its football team has won three Super Bowls.
Who was the Middleweight winner of the first season of "The Ultimate Fighter"?
"The Ultimate Fighter" television show did much to popularize MMA and the UFC among the general audience. The show was a ratings hit and spawned several sequels. Indeed, the franchise is still going strong today. Most people remember the great finale fight between Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar. However, few remember the fighter who won the Middleweight contract. This New Mexico-based fighter is still in the game, although his star has fallen significantly. He is best known for inspiring Daniel Bryan's "Yes!" chant.
Who defeated Kevin Randleman in order to become the UFC Heavyweight Champion?
The Dutch fighter is a legendary kickboxer and pankration fighter who first made a name for himself in Japan. Although frequently criticized for his subpar ground game, this fighter captured gold wherever he fought. After retiring, this fighter went on to make unintentionally hilarious self-defense videos. More importantly, this fighter is one of the best MMA analysts and commentators in the game. For years he provided commentary for PRIDE's English-language broadcasts, while he now co-hosts an MMA podcast with Mauro Ranallo.
Which two Light Heavyweight champions held the belt for three years apiece?
These two fighters absolutely dominated the early days of the UFC's Light Heavyweight division. One of the fighters was the adopted brother of another UFC and WWE legend. The other was nicknamed the "Huntington Beach Bad Boy." This latter fighter went on to have legendary feuds with Chuck Liddell and Ken Shamrock. He also briefly dated the famous p--n star Jenna Jameson. The other fighter became a journeyman for other MMA promotions until he retired after over a decade of competition.
True or False: Mark Kerr won two UFC tournaments
MarK Kerr is often seen as the biggest cautionary tale in MMA history. During his glory days, Kerr seemed like an unstoppable force. A gifted NCAA Division I wrestler, Kerr was nicknamed "The Smashing Machine" for his propensity to maul his opponents. Unfortunately, all of this fighting took its toll on Kerr's body and his health. In 2003, HBO aired a documentary called "The Smashing Machine" which deals with Kerr's addiction to pain killers as a result of his MMA career.
Who defeated Dave Menne to become the second ever UFC Middleweight champion?
Very few MMA fans today remember the name of Dave Menne. In the early days of the UFC, Menne was considered one of the best Middleweight fighters in the world. Menne was a gifted amateur wrestler from the state of Minnesota, which is known for producing some of the best amateur wrestlers in American history. Menne was also a competent striker with a Muay Thai background. However, his weak chin ultimately cost him his title when he was knocked out in the second round by this fighter.