Luke Thomas narrates the origins of the sport of MMA, starting with the legendary Gracie family’s involvement in the inaugural Ultimate Fighting Championship.
In 1993 the first ever Ultimate Fighting Championship event was held. Perhaps the most import moment in mixed martial arts history and a fitting focus for the first episode of Bloody Elbow’s ambitious new MMA history series “Pankronicles.”
While many point to this event as the beginning of mixed martial arts, that isn’t correct. The “sport” had existed long before that. Some 2500 years ago Ancient Greece had their own version of mixed martial arts known as pankration, which translates as “all powers” or perhaps more accurately as “anything goes”. Pankration would eventually fade away with the end of the classical world but other sports that could be called MMA, even if they didn’t use that name, would arise from time to time. The most recent manifestation of this came about not at UFC 1 but at the beginning the 20th century when professional wrestling promoters pitted Western catch-as-catch wrestling against Japanese jujitsu. The UFC can trace its lineage directly back to these matches through the two biggest names at that inaugural UFC: Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock.
Building off Kid Nate’s MMA History series and narrated by Luke Thomas, Pankronicles hopes to educate new fans and surprise old ones with the story of not only what led us to that first UFC, but the path MMA and martial arts has taken since that historic event.