On this date in 1993, UFC 1: The Beginning took place at the McNichols Sports Arena in Denver, Colorado, the Ultimate Fighting Championship's first true event. Consisting of an eight-man tournament over three rounds, the showcase helped determine which MMA fighting styles could best prevail in the Octagon and pave the way for what was to come. Ultimately, Brazilian legend Royce Gracie -- decked out in a karate gi, no less -- went on to defeat Dutchman Gerard Gordeau in the finals within 60 seconds via a devastating rear naked choke (shown at the 1:20:20 mark of the following video).
UFC 1 Full Highlights
It's apparent how far the competition has come since 1993, and it's downright absurd that fighters were allowed to partake in more than one fight in a single night considering the sheer beatings that transpire inside the Octagon and the medical implications that come with them.
Apart from Gracie's triumph in the final, other highlights include his chokeout of the World's Most Dangerous Man, Ken Shamrock, in the semifinal round.
UCF 1 Fight Card
Final: Royce Gracie def. Gerard Gordeauby submission (rear naked choke)
Semifinal: Royce Gracie def. Ken Shamrock by submission (sleeve choke)
Semifinal: Gerard Gordeau def. Kevin Rosier by TKO (corner stoppage)
Quarterfinal: Ken Shamrock def. Patrick Smith by Submission (heel hook)
Quarterfinal: Royce Gracie def. Art Jimmerson by submission (mount)
Quarterfinal: Kevin Rosier def. Zane Frazier by TKO (corner stoppage)
Quarterfinal: Gerard Gordeau def. Teila Tuli by TKO (head kick)
Alternate fight: Jason DeLucia def. Trent Jenkins by submission (rear naked choke)
The fighting styles and event rules certainly feel archaic all these years later, but the UFC and mixed martial arts at large wouldn't be anywhere close to the dazzling spectacles they are today if not for the fateful night of Nov. 12, 1993 in the Rockies.