"(The UFC) Didn't invent the sport" - Jerry Millen

originally posted on Unfilteredmma.com

“(The UFC) didn’t invent the sport. Sure, they helped grow it. They’ve got great fighters. They’ve done a lot to expand the sport, which I think is great. But they didn’t invent MMA.” – Jerry Millen Vice President of M-1 Global.

His statement is true to a point. Yes, the idea of putting two fighters of different styles in the ring against each other was not “invented” by Rorian Gracie and Art Davie (the original founders of the UFC). But lets be honest, without the UFC the sport would have never been as big as it is now. The fact is, if the UFC did not happen mixed martial arts would most likely not be in existence.

But, to back up what Jerry Millen said here is a little history lesson. The idea of organized, minimal-rules fighting can be traced back to the the Olympic games in 648 B.C. At the time is was called Pankration , which was a mix of boxing and wrestling. The idea of mixing styles in organized combat became more and more popular. The Romans later started Roman Pankration, which was a lot more violent then the original Greek style.

Mixed style fighting became very popular in the 1800’s, with different events taking place all over Europe and Japan. There were even styles created behind the idea of mixed martial arts like Bartitsu, which supposedly combined the best elements of a number of fighting styles into one style. With the popularity of mixed style fighting growing many of the U.S. boxers began stepping into the ring with wrestlers, usually ending with them being thrown on the mat and submitted.

In the early 1900’s the Gracie family started the Vale-tudo tournament in Brazil. Originally, Vale-tudo was started as a side show for Brazilian circus’, but was soon forced into the underground subculture. Much later this Vale-tudo format was brought to America, mainly to showcase the dominance of Brazilian jiu-jitsu to the American public. The event was viewed by 86,592 pay-per-viewers at the first Ultimate Fighting Championship. Though already common knowledge, the first UFC tournament was won by the brother of co-founder Rorian Gracie, Royce.

So we’ve come back full circle from where we started. It seems this article totally agrees with everything Jerry Millen was saying. But, it begs to question, can you really say anyone invented the idea of MMA. You put two angry people in a cage, even without training, and you will see fighting with two different styles. Therefore almost every fight, even a school yard brawl, could be considered Mixed Martial Arts in some way.

But that is not the point of the article. The thrust of the idea is that when talking about “modern” mixed martial arts, to say that the UFC simply “helped it grow” is absurd. This article and, even more, this website would not be in existence if not for the UFC. Ask any up and coming fighter what their goal is as a fighter and almost certainly they will say they want to fight in the UFC. When was the last time you heard a fighter say they are going to train as hard as they can so one day, hopefully, they could fight for Dream?

Though the UFC did not invent the idea of MMA, they have without a doubt become MMA. What they did invent was how to correctly and successfully promote MMA. They perfected the format that is widely used by most, if not all, MMA organizations. They, also, figured out how to get the fans to truly follow the sport. Talk to someone who doesn’t follow MMA and you wont hear them refer to it as mixed martial arts. The common term is “Ultimate Fighting”. Why is that? Because the UFC brought the sport to the public.Jerry Millen

So yeah Jerry, sure the UFC didn’t invent MMA. But you, M-1 and Strikeforce will never be able to duplicate what they have done. You will always be recognized as one of the ones who came after the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

i dont understand the point of this

of course everyone knows people have been fighting for thousands of years.. thats what MMA is....