Ajax loader

Completed Event

UFC 1: The Beginning

  • Friday 11.12.1993 at 10:00 PM ET
  • U.S. Broadcast: Pay Per View
  • Promotion: Ultimate Fighting Championship
  • Ownership: Semaphore Entertainment Group (SEG)
  • Venue: McNichols Sports Arena
  • Location: Denver, Colorado, United States
  • Enclosure: Octagon
  • TV Announcers: Bill Wallace, Jim Brown, Kathy Long
  • Ring Announcer: Rich Goins
  • Post-Fight Interviews: Rod Machado
  • Attendance: 7,800
  • PPV Buys / Buyrate: 86,000 | TV Ratings:
  • Number of MMA Bouts: 8
  • Event Pages: Sherdog | Wikipedia | The UG

Fight Card


  • Helio Vigio
    Gracie vs. Gordeau (8)Gracie vs. Shamrock I (6)Shamrock vs. Smith (4)Rosier vs. Frazier (2)
  • Joao Alberto Barreto
    Gordeau vs. Rosier (5)Gracie vs. Jimmerson (3)Tuli vs. Gordeau (1)

Tapology Consensus Rankings For UFC 1 Rankings FAQ

UFC 1 Wiki Update Wiki

UFC 1: The Beginning was North America’s first mixed martial arts event broadcast on Pay Per View. Held on November 12, 1993 from the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado, the event featured an open weight, “no-rules” tournament where fighters from around the world could pit their martial arts techniques against one another in a single-elimination eight-man tournament, with the winner awarded $50,000. Although the event was panned by critics and politicians, who saw the UFC as a barbaric blood sport no different from the time of the Roman Gladiators, it was a financial success, drawing a live crowd of 7,800 spectators (far more than an often-reported 2,800) and recording about 86,000 buys on Pay Per View.


Two famous fighters of that day who wanted to enter the tournament but did not were K-1 Legend Ernesto Hoost and judoka Gokor Chivichyan.  it has been debated as to why they were not let in but one theory is that both were seen as having a shot at beating Gracie when this show was meant for him to win.

The Event was originally going to be titled "The War of the Worlds" and was going to be in October on the same day anniversary as the famous Orson Welles 1938 broadcast.

The tournament marked the United States debut of future UFC superstar Ken Shamrock, as well as fellow UFC Hall of Famer and international martial arts sensation Royce Gracie, who swept all three rounds of the tournament, submitting Art Jimmerson, Ken Shamrock, and Gerard Gordeau with flying colors and introducing the world to the dominance of the Gracie family’s Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighting system.

Last updated 04.15.2015, 11:06 AM ET
Wiki Contributors:

  • MMA Weekly : Miesha Tate on a Fight with Cris Cyborg: ‘I Wouldn’t Be Against It’
  • MMAFighting.com : How Bellator champ Andrey Koreshkov ‘helped’ Douglas Lima pay his coaches for rematch
  • MMAFighting.com : Morning Report: Jon Jones' attorney says USADA has independently confirmed product Jones used was contaminated
  • MMAFighting.com : The MMA Hour with Randy Couture, Fabricio Werdum, Urijah Faber, Matt Brown, Michelle Waterson, Marlon Moraes, Kimbo Slice Jr.
  • MMAFighting.com : Rafael dos Anjos vs. Nate Diaz full fight video
  • MMA Weekly : Knockout Radio Podcast: Tito Ortiz and Mickey Gall
  • MMAFighting.com : Michael Bisping calls UFC 204 a ‘clear victory,' says it's hard for hardcore fans to be ‘objective'
  • MMA Weekly : Tim Kennedy: Rashad Evans Doesn’t Want to be on the Ground with Me
  • MMAFighting.com : Miesha Tate still open to Cris Cyborg fight: ‘I just feel like I have nothing to lose in that'
  • MMAFighting.com : Kayla Harrison expects ‘big things’ for Ronda Rousey in comeback
  • MMA Weekly : Bobby Lashley, Alexander Shlemenko Ignite Bellator 162 (Fight Highlights)
  • MMAFighting.com : Holly Holm won’t blame broken thumb for loss to Valentina Shevchenko, says ‘I just didn’t perform well’
  • MMAFighting.com : The Weekly Grind: Tyron Woodley dances Juju On That Beat, Rampage's lamborghini gets totaled
  • MMA Weekly : Jon Jones’ Attorney Claims Tests Prove Supplement was Tainted
  • MMA Weekly : Tony Ferguson Submits Edson Barboza: UFC Fight Night Mexico City Free Fight
  • MMAFighting.com : Joanna Jedrzejczyk vs. Karolina Kowalkiewicz timeline
  • MMAFighting.com : Free agent Lorenz Larkin seeking more than just a worthy contract — he wants a proper marketing push
  • MMAFighting.com : Click Debate: What is going on with the scandal-ridden New York State Athletic Commission?
  • MMA Weekly : Rafael dos Anjos Doesn’t Want Conor McGregor, He Wants His Belt Back
  • MMAFighting.com : Ilima MacFarlane, Chidi Njokuani added to Bellator doubleheader event