I’ve usually had a idea that if Royce Gracie didn’t win the primary UFC event in 1993, the game might have in no way received any traction right here withinside the United States. But it changed into the proper guy on the proper time, the thin youngster withinside the gi beating the giants with this then-mysterious artwork referred to as Gracie Jiu-Jitsu.

Nearly twelve years later, the UFC changed into nonetheless around, however it changed into in trouble. The promotion’s new owners, Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta and Dana White, weren’t new anymore. They had been 5 years into their ownership, and after making an investment hundreds of thousands and hundreds of thousands into the logo that weren’t coming back, it changed into almost time to name it a day.

The last-ditch attempt changed into a fact show, The Ultimate Fighter, and its first season captivated fans old and new via way of means of displaying the personalities and tales of the athletes out of doors of the Octagon. It changed into a success. But whether or not it might keep the UFC changed into every other story, and that burden reputedly fell on the ones competing withinside the show’s season finale, aired live on Spike TV.

“People could relate to us,” Bonnar said. “We were just regular guys and we didn’t take ourselves too seriously and people like that.”

Griffin, often the cut-up to Bonnar’s straight man, still plays that role, comparing the two to the cartoon characters Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog.

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