The UFC produces events worldwide that showcase twelve weight divisions and abide by the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts. As of 2018, the UFC has held over 400 events. Dana White serves as the president of the UFC. White has held that position since 2001; while under his stewardship, the UFC has grown into a globally popular multi-billion-dollar enterprise.
The first event was held in 1993 at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado. The purpose of the early Ultimate Fighting Championship competitions was to identify the most effective martial art in a contest with minimal rules and no weight classes between competitors of different fighting disciplines like boxing, Brazilian jiu-jitsu, sambo, wrestling, Muay Thai, karate, and judo. In subsequent events, fighters began adopting effective techniques from more than one discipline, which indirectly helped create an entirely separate style of fighting known as present-day mixed martial arts. In 2016, UFC's parent company, Zuffa, was sold to a group led by William Morris Endeavor (WME–IMG) for $4.025 billion.
With a TV deal and expansion in Australia, Asia, Europe, and new markets within the United States, the UFC has increased in popularity, and has achieved greater mainstream media coverage; the promotion brought in a total revenue of US$609 million in 2015, and its next domestic media rights agreement with ESPN was valued at $1.5 billion over a five-year term.