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Changing The Game

In three decades UFC has grown from a phenomenon to an unrivaled force, creating some of the most memorable moments and recognizable stars in sports history and leaving others in our wake.

30 years in and our commitment to innovation has never been stronger.


Georges St. Pierre
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Logo for UFC 30th anniversary: changing the game

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For 30 years UFC has innovated the world of mixed martial arts. Join us as we celebrate the past, present, and future.

30 years And Not Stopping

For 30 years, UFC has been the innovator in mixed martial arts. Where we lead, others follow. Experience the major moments in our sport. 

  • The Beginning

  • First Event In Puerto Rico

  • Rules Are Law

  • UFC 12

  • First Event In Japan

  • First Event in Brazil and South America

  • Zuffa Buys UFC

  • Canada's First Champion

  • UFC 33

  • Brazil's First Champion

  • UFC 38

  • The Ice Age Begins

  • The Ultimate Fighter Premieres

  • UFC Goes Global

  • UFC Goes North

  • Big League Organization Gets Blue Chip Sponsors

  • UFC 100

  • UFC Goes to Australia

  • A Feud For The Ages

  • Athletes Get Accident Insurance Coverage

  • UFC on Fox

  • The Ultimate Fighter Goes Global

  • A Mighty Division

  • More Than A Sport: A Lifestyle

  • Women Make History

  • UFC Launches UFC Fight Pass

  • It's in the game

  • Reebok Enters The Octagon

  • A Strawweight Champion is Crowned

  • Poland’s First Champion

  • UFC Launches Anti-Doping Policy

  • UFC Goes Big Down Under

  • UFC breaks ground on a new corporate campus

  • Records Broken

  • Committing to Athlete Safety

  • Start Spreading the News

  • UFC 199

  • UFC 200

  • A New Era Begins

  • UFC Shines Inside the World’s Most Famous Arena

  • The UFC Performance Institute Opens

  • UFC's first Australian Champion

  • Dana White’s Contender Series Premieres

  • The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History

  • A Legacy is Created

  • UFC Turns 25

  • Valentina’s Reign

  • First Women's Double Champ

  • UFC Joins The Worldwide Leader in Sports

  • Africa's First UFC Champion

  • UFC APEX Officially Opens

  • China’s First Champion

  • UFC and DCT Announce Five-Year Partnership

  • Combating COVID-19

  • First UFC Event Inside The APEX

  • Fight Island Arrives

  • UFC on ABC

  • VENUM Returns

  • First Sport Back With Fans

  • First Mexican-Born Champion

  • Laura Sanko Becomes First Female Color Commentator

  • Road To UFC

  • Czech Republic's First Champion

  • UFC Fight Pass Launches in Brazil

  • First Jamaican-Born Champion

  • UFC x Project Rock

  • UFC Heads To France

  • UFC's First Tetralogy

  • First Mexican-Born Women's Champion

  • DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 12: Royce Gracie in action during the Ultimate Fighter Championships UFC 1 on November 12, 1993 at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Holly Stein/Getty Images)

    UFC 1

    On November 12, 1993, the first UFC event was held at McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado. The inaugural event featured featured an eight-man tournament with no weight classes, no judges and no timeouts. Royce Gracie won the tournament by submitting Gerard Gordeau by rear naked choke.
  • UFC 8: David vs Goliath

    UFC hosts its first event in Puerto Rico
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    More Rules Introduced

    Gradually, gloves, more rules and weight classes are introduced.
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    World Championship Weight Classes

    As its first event to feature weight classes, UFC 12 also crowned UFC's first heavyweight champion when Mark Coleman defeated Dan Severn by a neck crank.
  • Kazushi Sakuraba celebrates a victory over Marcus Silveira at UFC Japan on December 21, 1997

    UFC Japan

    UFC hosts its first event in Asia with UFC Japan: Ultimate Japan in Yokohama.
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    UFC Ultimate Brazil

    UFC Brazil was the company’s first event in South America, taking place in Ginásio da Portuguesa. The card featured bouts for the UFC lightweight and middleweight championships.
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    UFC 30

    In January 2001, Zuffa LLC purchases UFC, marking its shift into a premier sports organization.
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    UFC 31

    Carlos Newton becomes Canada’s first UFC champion at UFC 31 after defeating Pat Miletich via submission.
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    UFC 33: Victory

    UFC 33: Victory In Vegas was the first mixed martial arts event sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, under the Unified Rules of MMA. UFC had arrived in the Fight Capital of the World.
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    UFC 35

    Brazil gets their first UFC champion when Murilo Bustamante defeats Dave Menne for the middleweight title at UFC 35.
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    First Event in Europe

    UFC 38: Brawl at the Hall was UFC’s first event in Europe. It took place at Royal Albert Hall in London and was headlined by a UFC welterweight championship bout that saw Matt Hughes defeat Carlos Newton in the fourth round.
  • UFC 47

    Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell is the first UFC fighter to become a mainstream celebrity, breaking out with his highly anticipated first meeting with Tito Ortiz at UFC 47. Liddell won the fight at :38 seconds in the second round by KO.
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    The Ultimate Fighter Season 1

    The historic Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar fight in the finale of the first season drew millions of viewers to the show and launched MMA into the mainstream. The ongoing series has produced many notable winners including Michael Bisping, Nate Diaz, Tony Ferguson, Kelvin Gastelum and many more.
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    UFC 70

    UFC 70 is held in Manchester, England and features fighters from 10 nations.
  • First UFC Event In Canada

    Georges St-Pierre Made His Country Proud At UFC 83, The Company's First Visit To The Great White North
  • An overhead view of the Octagon as referee Mario Yamasaki (black shirt) calls the fight as Travis Browne (gray shorts) defeats Brendan Schaub in their heavyweight bout during the UFC 181 event inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center on December 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

    Anheuser-Busch becomes the first blue chip sponsor to climb inside the Octagon.
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    UFC Reaches Milestone UFC 100 Event

    UFC 100 was the most-bought UFC pay-per-view of all time until UFC 202 broke the record. Stacked with stars like Brock Lesnar, Frank Mir, Georges St-Pierre, Michael Bisping and Jon Jones, the event cemented UFC's arrival and celebrated the rise to global prominence of any sport in history.
  • UFC 110

    UFC’s first trip to Australia did not disappoint, as 17,831 fans watched UFC 110: Nogueira vs Velasquez in a sold-out Acer Arena in Sydney.
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    UFC 117

    For two years, the rivalry between Anderson Silva and Chael Sonnen captivates the world. With their wild verbal sparring unsurpassed only by their fireworks in the Octagon at UFC 117 and then UFC 148, the venom between them is still regarded as one of the all-time great rivalries in the sport.
  • A doctor tends to Jorge Masvidal after he is poked in the eye during the UFC Fight Night event inside the Mandalay Bay Events Center on May 29, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

    Be First

    On May 9, 2011, UFC becomes the first combat-sports promoter to offer accident insurance to all athletes competing inside the Octagon.
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    UFC Arrives On Network TV

    UFC on FOX debuts, confirming UFC’s place among the established television sports properties.
  • Cast members of The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes pose for a group photo inside the Octagon at the UFC gym on July 17, 2012 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

    All Around The World

    The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes and The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil were filmed entirely outside of the United States, with finales in Australia and Brazil, respectively. It opened the door for more similar international seasons in Brazil, China, Canada, Latin America and more.
  • Demetrious Johnson reacts after defeating Joseph Benavidez during their flyweight championship bout at UFC 152 inside Air Canada Centre on September 22, 2012 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC

    UFC 152

    Demetrious Johnson defeats Joseph Benavidez to capture the inaugural UFC flyweight championship. He would go on to defend the title a record 11 consecutive times in his UFC career.
  • UFC gear available for purchase during the UFC Fan Expo at the Las Vegas Convention Center on July 9, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)

    Ultimate Every Day

    UFC GYMs and UFC merchandise spread throughout the world.
  • Ronda Rousey (left) and Liz Carmouche (right) touch gloves in their women's bantamweight title fight during UFC 157 at Honda Center on February 23, 2013 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

    UFC 157

    In February 2013, history is made when female fighters compete for the first time in the Octagon. The headlining bantamweight bout at UFC 157 between Ronda Rousey and Liz Carmouche was the first-ever women's fight in UFC history.
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    The World's Largest Combat Sports Library

    Digital streaming service UFC FIGHT PASS debuts.
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    EA Sports UFC Debuts

    EA Sports UFC is released for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, and later releases mobile versions of the game. Royce Gracie and Bruce Lee were available as bonus fighters.
  • Launch Of The Reebok UFC Fight Kit at Skylight Modern on June 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images for Reebok)

    Reebok to become UFC’s exclusive global athlete

    UFC signs a landmark six-year deal for Reebok to become UFC’s exclusive global athlete outfitter and apparel provider.
  • UFC President Dana White presents Carla Esparza with the strawweight championship belt after submitting Rose Namajunas in the third round during The Ultimate Fighter Finale event inside the Pearl concert theater at the Palms Casino Resort on December 12, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

    The Ultimate Fighter Season 20

    The Ultimate Fighter Season 20 is the first to feature only women fighters, and establishes the first women’s strawweight champion: Carla Esparza.
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    UFC 185

    Joanna Jedrzejczyk puts Poland on the map at UFC 185, becoming the first Polish-born champion in UFC history.
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    Leveling the Playing Field

    UFC announces its partnership with USADA to launch its UFC Anti-Doping Policy, the most comprehensive drug-testing program in professional sports.
  • UFC 193

    UFC 193 in Melbourne, Australia becomes the highest-attended event in UFC history (56,214) and first UFC card headlined by two women’s title fights. In the main event, Holly Holm defeated UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey to capture the bantamweight title.
  • UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin, UFC flyweight contender Joseph Benavides, UFC Senior Vice President & COO Lawrence Epstein, UFC Chairman & CEO Lorenzo Fertitta, UFC women's strawweight champion Joanna Jedrzejczyk, UFC President Dana White, UFC Hall of Famer Chuck Liddell and Minautoro Nogueira commence the official groundbreaking ceremony during the UFC Campus Groundbreaking Ceremony on December 1, 2015 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

    A Place to Call Home

    UFC breaks ground on a new corporate campus in Las Vegas, which includes the UFC Performance Institute, a 30,000 square foot facility that offers athletes training and rehabilitation resources.
  • UFC 194

    Conor McGregor defeats José Aldo at UFC 194 to become the undisputed UFC featherweight champion and first Irish-born undisputed champion. Less than a year later, he defeats Eddie Alvarez to become the UFC lightweight champion, and the first UFC athlete to hold multiple championships simultaneously.
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    Athlete Safety is the highest priority

    UFC announces five-year extension of partnership with Cleveland Clinic and its support of the Professional Fighters Brain Health Study.
  • UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta (3rd, L) is joined by UFC fighters Ryan LaFlare, Chris Wade, Ronda Rousey, Gian Villante, Dennis Bermudez, Aljamain Sterling and Chris Weidman prior to a bill signing to legalize Mixed Martial Arts fighting in New York State at Madison Square Garden on April 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Zuffa LLC)

    MMA legalized in New York

    After a lengthy effort, UFC secures legalization of professional MMA in the state of New York and schedules its first event at iconic Madison Square Garden with three title fights.
  • Michael Bisping of England celebrates with his title belt after his first round knockout win against Luke Rockhold during the UFC 199 event at The Forum on June 4, 2016 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC)

    First UK Champion

    Michael Bisping becomes the United Kingdom’s first champion at UFC 199 after defeating Luke Rockhold with a first-round knockout.

    UFC 200: An Unforgettable Milestone

    UFC 200 in Las Vegas, Nevada marks a historic milestone topping off the most impressive International Fight Week to date.
  • UFC Acquired For $4 Billion Dollars

    In July 2016, UFC is acquired by Endeavor, the leading global entertainment, sports and fashion agency, together with strategic investors Silver Lake Partners and KKR.
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    UFC 205

    UFC holds its first-ever event in New York City. UFC 205, the global brand’s first-ever event in New York City, drew a record $17.7 million gate and set an attendance record with a sellout crowd of 20,427.
  • Committing To Athletic Excellence

    In May of 2017, the UFC opened its state-of-the-art facility to deliver elite-level programs that support MMA athletes with all their development, fight preparation, and rehabilitation requirements.
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    UFC 213

    Robert Whittaker wins a five-round split decision over Yoel Romero at UFC 225 to become the first champion from Australia.
  • Sean O'Malley celebrates his knockout victory over Alfred Khashakyan in their bantamweight bout during Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series at the TUF Gym on July 18, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Brandon Magnus/DWTNCS)

    Dana White's Contender Series

    The first episode of Dana White’s Contender Series aired on July 11, 2017. The show serves as a scouting platform for worldwide talent, with Dana White dubbing it “the world’s hardest job interview.”
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    Mayweather vs McGregor

    In August 2017, UFC lightweight champion Conor McGregor faced boxing legend Floyd Mayweather at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV, in a highly anticipated 12-round super welterweight boxing match. The event recorded 6.3 million PPV buys worldwide, exceeding the previous record of 5.1 million.
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    UFC 223

    Khabib Nurmagomedov becomes the first Russian UFC champion after winning the vacant title against Al Iaquinta at UFC 223 in Brooklyn, New York. He went on to defend the title three times and had the longest lightweight champion reign in UFC history (1,077 days).
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    UFC Fight Night: The Korean Zombie vs Rodriguez

    On November 10, 2018, UFC celebrated its 25th anniversary by hosting an event from the Pepsi Center in Denver, Colorado. The main event featured an incredible battle between The Korean Zombie and Yair Rodriguez. The bout's spectacular finish is one of the greatest knockout victories in UFC history.
  • UFC 231

    Valentina Schevenko begins her reign as the UFC flyweight champion and the first UFC champion from Kyrgyzstan after defeating Joanna Jedrzejczyk at UFC 231. She was the first woman to successfully defend the UFC women’s flyweight title.
  • Amanda Nunes of Brazil celebrates after defeating Cris Cyborg of Brazil in their women's featherweight bout during the UFC 232 event inside The Forum on December 29, 2018 in Inglewood, California.(Photo by Brandon Magnus/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

    UFC 232

    Amanda Nuñes defeated Cris Cyborg at UFC 232 to win the women's featherweight title, becoming the first women's to claim double champion status in UFC history. She became the bantamweight champion in 2016 at UFC 200.
  • A general view of the Octagon during the UFC Fight Night event at the Barclays Center on January 19, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

    UFC on ESPN 1

    ESPN becomes the broadcast home to all UFC events in the United States.
  • UFC 235

    Kamaru Usman of Nigeria became the first African-born UFC champion after defeating Tyron Woodley at UFC 235 on March 2, 2019. He had five successful title defenses following his victory over Woodley.
  •  A general view of the Octagon prior to the season three premier of Dana White's Contender Series at the UFC Apex on June 18, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Chris Unger/DWCS LLC)

    The Pinnacle Of Production

    The UFC APEX building was purchased in 2018, with the official opening coming on June 18, 2019. The first event to be held there was the season three premiere of Dana White’s Contender Series.
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    UFC Fight Night: Andrade vs Zhang

    Zhang Weili becomes China’s first UFC champion at UFC Fight Night: Andrade vs Zhang after defeating Jessica Andrade via TKO 42 seconds into the bout.
  • Khabib Nurmagomedov of Russia interacts with fans during the UFC 242 Open Workouts at Yas Mall on September 4, 2019 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

    UFC 242

    UFC and the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi announced a five-year partnership. The first event to take place under this partnership was UFC 242: Khabib vs Poirier where more than 14,000 fans watched Khabib Nurmagomedov defend his belt.
  • Justin Gaethje punches Tony Ferguson in their UFC interim lightweight championship fight during the UFC 249 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on May 09, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

    UFC 249

    UFC became the first major professional sport to return to live events during the COVID-19 pandemic with UFC 249: Ferguson vs Gaethje on May 9, 2020, in Jacksonville, Florida.
  • Opponents Tyron Woodley and Gilbert Burns of Brazil face off prior to their welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on May 30, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

    UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs Burns

    The first UFC event held inside the APEX took place on May 30, 2020, for UFC Fight Night: Woodley vs Burns.
  • A general view of the Flash Forum on UFC Fight Island prior to the UFC 251 event on July 12, 2020 on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

    UFC 251

    On June 9, 2020, UFC announced the first-ever UFC Fight Island which was held on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Island. It was headlined by UFC 251: Usman vs Masvidal, along with three additional fight nights. UFC Fight Night events were held at the du Forum.
  • Max Holloway taunts Calvin Kattar in a featherweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island on January 17, 2021 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)

    UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs Kattar

    The main card of UFC Fight Night: Holloway vs Kattar marked the UFC’s first-time broadcast on ABC. The event took place at Etihad Arena in Abu Dhabi. UFC on ABC returned on April 10, 2021, for Vettori vs Holland and on July 16, 2022, for Ortega vs Rodriguez.
  • Evolution Of Fight Apparel

    A staple in the Octagon in the pre-Reebok years, VENUM returned as the UFC’s exclusive global outfitting and apparel partner in April 2021. UFC and VENUM signed a multi-year renewal in September 2022.
  • Valentina Shevchenko of Kyrgyzstan reacts after defeating Jessica Andrade of Brazil in their UFC women's flyweight championship bout during the UFC 261 event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena on April 24 2021 in Jacksonville Florida (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

    UFC 261

    The first UFC event that was held with fans during the COVID-19 pandemic took place in Jacksonville, Florida on April 24, 2021, for UFC 261: Usman vs Masvidal 2. There were 15,269 people in attendance at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.
  • Brandon Moreno of Mexico reacts after submitting Deiveson Figueiredo of Brazil to win the UFC flyweight championship fight during the UFC 263

    UFC 263

    In his second match with Deiveson Figueiredo at UFC 263 on June 12, 2021, Brandon Moreno won the UFC flyweight championship via third-round submission. With his victory, Moreno became the first Mexican-born UFC champion.
  • Breaking Barriers

    Laura Sanko became the first woman to provide color commentary in the Zuffa Era, doing so on Dana White’s Contender Series and Road to UFC.
  • Emergence of Asia in MMA

    Road to UFC is a win-and-advance tournament that allowed top MMA prospects in Asia to earn a UFC contract. Four weight classes were featured: flyweight, bantamweight, featherweight and lightweight. Participating athletes came from Japan, Korea, Philippines, Thailand, Indonesia, India, and China.
  • UFC 275

    Jiří Procházka becomes the first champion from the Czech Republic after submitting Glover Teixeira in the fifth round at UFC 275 in Singapore.
  • UFC Fight Pass

    UFC announced the launch of UFC Fight Pass Brazil beginning January 1, 2023. It will be the ultimate destination in Brazil for live events, original programming, and the largest combat sports library in the world.
  • UFC 278

    On August 20, 2022, at UFC 278, Leon Edwards won the UFC welterweight title when he knocked out Kamaru Usman at 4:04 of the fifth round. Edwards became the first Jamaican-born UFC champion.
  • UFC launches co-branded footwear with Dwayne Johnson's "Project Rock"

    UFC launches its first ever co-branded footwear with Project Rock, a performance brand created by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
  • UFC Fight Night: Gane vs Tuivasa

    The world-famous Octagon touched down for the first time ever in France on September 3, 2022, for UFC Fight Night: Gane vs Tuivasa. A sold-out Accor Arena (15,405) watched Gane defeated Tuivasa via TKO in the third round.
  • Brandon Moreno of Mexico reacts after his victory over Deiveson Figueiredo of Brazil in the UFC flyweight championship fight during the UFC 283 event at Jeunesse Arena on January 21, 2023 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC

    UFC 283

    Deiveson Figueiredo and Brandon meet for a historic fourth meeting at UFC 283: Teixeira vs Hill in a battle for the undisputed flyweight title. Moreno comes out victorious due to a doctor's stoppage at the end of the third round.
  • UFC 285

    Alexa Grasso became the first Mexican-born women's champion after submitting Valentina Shevchenko in the fourth round at UFC 285.

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