MMA Timeline


Mixed Martial Arts Timeline and Lineage

Endeavor Era 2017 4 billion dollar price tag
Mainstream 2005 Ultimate Fighter on Spike saves UFC
UFC-Zuffa Era 2001 Moneitzed it
Pride 1997 Competition to UFC
UFC-SEG Era 1995 Refinded it
UFC- WOW Era 1993 Gracie Jiu-Jitsu explosion
Pancrase 1992 hybrid of pro wrestling and mma
Shooto 1986 shoot wrestling hybrid
Tough Guy Law 1983 PA Sentate Bill 632 Outlaws mixed martial arts
Tough Guys 1979 Birth of American MMA sport/league
Ali vs Inoki 1976 Boxer vs Wrestler reemerge
Bruce Lee Early 1970s Enter The Dragon boom
Gene LeBell vs Milo Savage 1963 First televised mixed-fight
Vale Tudo 1920s mixed-fights sideshows popular around the world
Mitsuyo Maeda 1914 Prize fighting Judoka settles in brazil.  Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Karate & Judo spread turn of century
Pankration 648 BC
Dawn of mankind indigenous forms of hand to hand combat fighting
Roots of MMA

During the early 20th century, various mixed-style contests and challenges took place throughout the Pacific rim, Japan, Taiwan and in the countries of the Four Asian Tigers. In 1980 CV Productions, Inc. created the first regulated MMA league in the United States, named Tough Guy Contest, and later renamed Battle of the Superfighters. CV (Caliguri and Viola) sanctioned ten tournaments in Pennsylvania. However, in 1983 the Pennsylvania State Senate passed a bill prohibiting the sport with the passage of the Tough Guy Law.

Timeline of major MMA Mixed Martial Arts events

2,000+ years ago – Leitai
– Pankration
Late 19th century – Hybrid martial arts
– Catch wrestling
Late 1880s – Early NHB and Mixed Style contests
1899 – Barton-Wright and Bartitsu
Early 1900s – Merikan contests
1920s – Early vale tudo and Gracie Challenge
1951 – Masahiko Kimura vs. Hélio Gracie
1950s–1960s – Hong Kong rooftop street fights
1960s–1970s – Bruce Lee and Jeet Kune Do
1976 – Muhammad Ali vs. Antonio Inoki
1970s – Antonio Inoki and Ishu Kakutōgi Sen
1979 – First Mixed Martial Arts Company in America CV Productions Inc.
1980 – First MMA League in America Tough Guys
1983 – First Bill to Outlaw MMA Tough Guy Law
1985 – Shooto forms
1989 – First professional Shooto event
1991 – First Desafio (BJJ vs. Luta Livre) event
1993 – Pancrase forms
1993 – UFC forms
Mid/Late 1990s – International Vale Tudo
1997–2007 – PRIDE FC and UFC era
1999 – International Sport Combat Federation founded as first sanctioning body of MMA
2000 – New Jersey SACB develops Unified Rules
2001 – Zuffa buys UFC
2005 – The Ultimate Fighter debuts
2005 – US Army begins sanctioning MMA
2006 – UFC dominance and international growth
2006 – Zuffa buys WFA and WEC
2006 – UFC 66 generates over a million PPV buys
2007 – Zuffa buys PRIDE FC
2008 – EliteXC: Primetime gains 6.5 million peak viewers on CBS
2009 – Strikeforce holds 1st major card with female main event
2011 – WEC merged with UFC
2011 – Zuffa buys Strikeforce
2011 – UFC on Fox gains 8.8 million peak viewers on Fox
2012 – International Mixed Martial Arts Federation was founded with support from UFC
2016 – WMG/WME-IMG buys UFC for US$4 billion
2017 – WMG/WME-IMG changed its holding name to Endeavor
2021 – WMG/WME-IMG listed its shares on the New York Stock Exchange under symbol EDR
mixed martial arts timeline