Julianna Pena (R) (Rob Tatum/Combat Press)

New To UFC? Here’s A Beginner’s Guide

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has taken the world by storm, rapidly transforming from a niche sport into a mainstream spectacle. If you’re new to this exhilarating world, you might be unsure where to start. Don’t worry; this guide is designed to help you navigate the complexities of UFC with ease.

Understanding UFC

Before delving into specifics, it’s essential to understand what UFC is. Established in 1993, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is a premier organization for mixed martial arts (MMA), boasting a global fanbase. Fighters from various disciplines, including Boxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, and Wrestling, come together to compete inside an eight-sided cage known as the Octagon. These highly skilled athletes must demonstrate proficiency across multiple martial arts to secure victory.

As a viewer, knowing the basic rules and regulations of UFC is crucial. Each match consists of three to five rounds, with each round lasting five minutes. The fighter can win in several ways: Knockout, Technical Knockout, Submission, or by Decision. Understanding these terminologies and rules will help you appreciate the strategic depth of each fight.


The Evolution of UFC

Over the years, UFC has undergone a significant evolution. Initially, it was a spectacle of raw power and combat, often criticized for its brutality. However, it has transformed into a sophisticated sport that demands strategy, technique, and exceptional physical conditioning. 

Today, it’s not uncommon to see fighters proficient in multiple martial arts disciplines, adapting their strategies based on their opponents. This evolution has contributed to UFC’s expanding popularity, making it a fascinating sport to follow, as each match can be drastically different from the last.

Key UFC Figures

No introduction to UFC is complete without mentioning some key figures that have defined the sport. One of the early pioneers, Royce Gracie, brought Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the forefront, winning three of the first four UFC tournaments. 

Fighters like Chuck Liddell and Randy Couture helped popularize the sport in the early 2000s with their fierce rivalries and charismatic personalities. More recent stars include Conor McGregor, whose brash persona and striking ability have made him a global phenomenon, and Amanda Nunes, widely regarded as the greatest female fighter in UFC history. Understanding the impact of these fighters provides a rich historical context to your UFC journey.

UFC Etiquette

Another crucial aspect of being part of the UFC community is understanding and respecting the unwritten rules or ‘etiquette.’ Applauding both fighters, regardless of the outcome, is a common practice that shows respect for their courage and skill. Booing or disrespectful comments are generally frowned upon. As a global sport, UFC promotes inclusivity and respect for all, irrespective of nationality, race, or gender.

As a spectator, it’s also essential to respect other fans’ views and opinions. Debates on match outcomes, fighters’ techniques, and performance are common. However, these discussions should be cordial and respectful. The UFC community is passionate and varied, but it’s this shared respect for the sport and each other that unifies them.

Betting on UFC

While watching UFC matches is an adventure in itself, placing wagers on them can heighten the thrill. Understanding UFC betting odds is simple once you know the different types of bets. The most common is the ‘moneyline’ bet, where you wager on which fighter will win the match. ‘Over/Under’ bets involve wagering on the duration of the fight, while ‘Prop’ bets let you speculate on specific outcomes, like the method of victory.

Like any other form of sports betting, wagering on UFC requires a blend of knowledge, strategy, and intuition. Research the fighters’ backgrounds, their strengths and weaknesses, and recent performance history. Also, keeping up with the latest news about injuries and changes in training can be the difference between a successful wager and an unsuccessful one. 


Embarking on your UFC journey can be an exhilarating experience, filled with thrilling matches and a passionate community. It’s a sport that blends strategy, skill, and raw power, presenting an ever-evolving spectacle for its fans. Whether you’re simply watching the matches or taking part in the wagering action, understanding the sport’s basics, the betting options and the community etiquette will significantly enhance your experience. Welcome to the thrilling world of UFC; let the adventure begin.