In the early 2000s, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) faced significant challenges, including legal issues and limited mainstream acceptance. However, the organization underwent a remarkable resurgence that would forever change the landscape of mixed martial arts (MMA).
Under new ownership led by Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta, the UFC implemented crucial changes to improve the sport’s image and expand its fan base. They focused on enhancing fighter safety, increasing regulation, and introducing weight classes. The creation of The Ultimate Fighter reality show in 2005 also played a pivotal role in the UFC’s revival.
The combination of these factors, along with strategic marketing and talented fighters, propelled the UFC into the mainstream. The organization began securing lucrative television deals and hosting major pay-per-view events, attracting millions of viewers. The UFC’s resurgence during this period set the stage for its rapid growth and the continued rise of MMA.