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Your complete guide to UFC Fight Night

Is there another sport event able to match the razzmatazz and thrills of UFC Fight Night? Such is the popularity of MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) that you might be hard pressed to find a sport fan that would beg to differ. To the uninitiated, however, the whole concept of a UFC event and what it entails might require some explanation.

Since it was launched back in 1993, Ultimate Fight Championship has become the top-line brand for MMA. A big appeal of MMA is the combination of fighting styles. Competitors engage in a style of fighting that combines wrestling and boxing with the likes of Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu. The intensity of the setting – an eight-side cage known as the Octagon – adds to the thrilling nature of the fight for those watching. Since the rollout of events beginning with UFC 1 in November 1993, UFC Fight Night has become a pay-per-view phenomenon. The attendance for UFC 1 at McNichol’s Sports Arena in Denver was 7,800 with a pay-per-view buy rate of 86,000. By contrast, UFC 205 in November 2016 drew an audience of 25,427 to New York City’s Madison Square Gardens with a buy rate of 2,400,000.

A typical Fight Night features a range of bouts, finishing with a headline title fight. Higher profile events are numbered. Hence, UFC 1 and so on.   

Fans will long remember UFC 205 because of the high-profile names on the card. The headline fight was for the Lightweight Championship and perhaps the biggest name in the business stepped up to claim the title. Ireland’s Conor McGregor defeated reigning champion Eddie Alvarez and became the first fighter in UFC history to hold two division titles at the same time, adding the lightweight to his featherweight title.

McGregor, who goes by the nickname The Notorious, is known for a glamorous lifestyle and the gift of the gab and has done much to extend the appeal of MMA beyond its core base of support. McGregor is not alone in being a big name in MMA however. Brazilian fighter José Aldo has also made a name for himself, and his rivalry with McGregor culminated with victory for the Irishman at UFC 194 in December 2015.

Not to be overlooked, women fighters have made their impact on UFC. Ronda Rousey was one of the first female fighters to gain a wider public profile and she won six consecutive fights before defeat in 2015. She has now branched out into movie acting. Cristiane Justino, better known as Cris Cyborg, has knocked out 15 of her 18 opponents and has acquired a reputation as a fearsome fighter in the process.

If you are an MMA fan there are numerous online resources such as 888sport offering analysis and news with 888sport telling you what you need to know about UFC fight night.

So look forward to the next UFC fight night and invite your friends around for a few beers and an enthralling night’s entertainment in front of the TV.

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