UFC Timeline: Going Mainstream


So far, we have relived the UFC’s story from the very beginning in 1993 before it was bought by Zuffa to the highest live gate revenue that was UFC 66. We continue on and begin the countdown to UFC 100 with UFC 67.

February 3, 2007 – UFC 67 takes place and Travis Lutter fights Anderson Silva. The fight was supposed to be for the middleweight title but Lutter failed to make weight. It didn’t make much of a difference in the end, since he was submitted in the second round. Lyoto Machida, Mirko Cro Cop and Quinton Jackson all had a succesful UFC debut on the same night.

March 3, 2007 – Randy Couture makes his big return to the UFC at UFC 68 with a dominating victory over UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia to become the new champion. This also marks Couture’s first heavyweight fight since UFC 39.

April 5, 2007 – The debut of The Ultimate Fighter 5 with BJ Penn and Jens Pulver as the coaches.

April 7, 2007 – This date will be remembered for ever as the day that Matt Serra shocked the whole world and TKO’ed Georges St. Pierre in the first round to become the new UFC Welterweight champion at UFC 69. It was also officially announced that Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira had signed a contract with the UFC.

April 21, 2007 – Less then two weeks after the shocking win of Matt Serra, another upset takes place at UFC 70. This time, Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Gabriel Gonzaga KO’d Mirko Cro Cop in the first round with a head kick. The event was also supposed to feature a fight between Forrest Griffin and Lyoto Machida, but it ended up being scrapped.

May 26, 2007 – UFC 71 features a rematch between Chuck Liddell and Quinton Jackson this time for the UFC Light-Heavyweight championship. It’s announced that the winner would have to defend the title against Dan Henderson in the near future. Rampage wins against Chuck by first round TKO and captures the gold.

June 16, 2007 – Yushin Okami and Rich Franklin headline UFC 72. At first, the fight was Rich Franklin vs Martin Kampmann, but Kampmann was unable to fight and was replaced by Okami.

June 23, 2007 – Nate Diaz becomes the winner of the fifth season of The Ultimate Fighter.

July 7, 2007 – UFC 73 was named Stacked and for good reasons. “Minautoro” Nogueira made his UFC debut with a win over PRIDE rival Heath Herring. Sean Sherk retained his Lightweight title against Hermes Franca and Tito Ortiz fought Rashad Evans to a draw. In the main event, Anderson Silva made an example out of Nate Marquardt and retained his Middleweight title.

August 25, 2007 – Randy Couture retains his heavyweight title after beating top contender Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 74. Renato “Babalu” Sobral makes his last appearance inside the octagon after keeping a submission hold for too long on David Heath.

September 8, 2007 – The UFC travels overseas for UFC 75. England’s own Michael Bisping wins a very controversial decision against Matt Hamill, one that is still questioned to this day. Rampage Jackson and Dan Henderson unify the UFC and PRIDE Light-Heavyweight titles and Quinton wins a decision in the end.

September 19, 2007 – The debut of the sixth season of The Ultimate Fighter.

September 22, 2007 – Keith Jardine gets a shot at glory when he fights Chuck Liddell at UFC 76. Jardine edges out Liddell by a little, winning a split decision. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua makes his UFC debut, but his welcoming party gets crushed as Forrest Griffin chokes him out in the third round.

October 11, 2007 – Randy “The Natural” Couture severs all ties with the UFC leading to a contract dispute that will last for one year.

October 20, 2007 – After a win over Yushin Okami, Rich Franklin gets his rematch against Anderson Silva for the Middleweight title at UFC 77.  Anderson Silva is dominant yet again and retains his title. It is also announced that former WWE champion Brock Lesnar has signed with the UFC.

November 17, 2007 – Two winners of The Ultimate Fighter collide as Rashad Evans wins a split decision against Michael Bisping at UFC 78 and sends Bisping packing to the Middleweight division.

December 8, 2007 – Mac Danzig becomes the winner of The Ultimate Fighter 6.

December 29, 2007 – UFC 79 features the long awaited showdown between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva. Chuck pulls out a unanimoudecision win. Matt Serra was supposed to defend the Welterweight belt against Matt Hughes but was injured and could not compete. Instead, Georges St-Pierre stepped in for Serra and had a rubber match against Hughes. GSP dominated Matt and became the interim UFC Welterweight champion.

January 19, 2008 – At UFC 80, history is made once again as BJ Penn puts a vicious beating on Joe Stevenson and wins the lightweight title. He becomes the second man in UFC history to become a champion in two different weight divisions.

February 2, 2008 – Brock Lesnar makes his official UFC debut at UFC 81 only to get submitted by Frank Mir in the first round. Tim Sylvia fights for the last time in the UFC losing to Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira after Randy Couture refused to defend the title against Nogueira.

March 1, 2008 – Mark Coleman gets inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame at UFC 82, but that gets overshadowed by Anderson Silva’s dominating performance against Dan Henderson, despite Henderson being the first man in the UFC to win a round against “The Spider”.

April 2, 2008 – Debut of The Ultimate Fighter season 7

April 19, 2008 – The UFC travels to Quebec for the first time and hosts UFC 83. Georges St-Pierre has a rematch for the Welterweight title against Matt Serra and becomes the new champion.

May 24, 2008 – After testing positive in his fight against Hermes Franca, Sean Sherk returned and lost to BJ Penn in the main event. UFC 84 also marked the last fight of Tito Ortiz in the UFC, losing to Lyoto Machida.

June 7, 2008 – UFC 85 will surely go down in history as the event that underwent the most changes. The card was changed several times because of injuries, Shogun Rua and Chuck Liddell were supposed to headline the event but Rua needed surgery on his knee. Shogun was replaced by Rashad Evans, but this time Liddell got injured forcing him out of the card. James Irvin replaces Chuck and is scheduled to fight Evans, but Irvin injures his foot and both Irvin and Evans are no longer on the card. The main event becomes Matt Hughes vs Thiago Alves and Alves makes a statement with a TKO win over Hughes in round 2. In other action, Paul Kelly was supposed to fight Jonathan Goulet but both guys got injured. Michael Bisping was scheduled to fight Chris Leben but Leben got injured and Bisping battled Jason Day instead.

June 21, 2008 – Amir Sadollah wins the finale of The Ultimate Fighter season 7.

July 5, 2008 – The coaches from The Ultimate Fighter collide as Forrest Griffin wins the UFC light heavyweight title from Quinton Jackson in a controversial decision.

July 19, 2008 – Anderson Silva makes a trip to the light heavyweight division and destroys James Irvin in 1:01.

August 9, 2008 – UFC 87 features one of the best cards of the year. UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman was supposed to fight Brock Lesnar but got injured. Lesnar fought Heath Herring instead and dominated three rounds to a Unanimous Decision victory. Kenny Florian defeated Roger Huerta and sent him packing out of the UFC. In the main event, GSP dominated Jon Fitch on his way to retain his welterweight belt.

September 6, 2008 – Rashad Evans lands a punch on Chuck Liddell at UFC 88 and knocks him out cold. Rich Franklin returns to the 205 division with a win over good friend Matt Hamill and Martin Kampmann loses for the first time in the UFC against Nate Marquardt sending him into the 170 pound division.

September 17, 2008 – Debut of The Ultimate Fighter 8

October 18, 2008 – Thiago Silva vs Lyoto Machida was initially scheduled for UFC 89, but a back injury forced Silva out of the fight. Micheal Bisping beats Chris Leben in the main event and Leben is then suspended for 9 months for testing positive.

October 25, 2008 – Anderson Silva toys around with Patrick Cote until a freak accident occurs and Cote is unable to continue. Josh Koscheck replaces Diego Sanchez and fights Thiago Alves only to get dominated and lose a decision.

November 15, 2008 – History is made at UFC 91, Brock Lesnar beats Randy Couture in his fourth pro fight and becomes UFC Heavyweight champion. This marks Couture’s return fight since the end of the contract disputes with the UFC.

December 13, 2008 – Efrain Escudero and Ryan Bader win The Ultimate Fighter 8.

December 27, 2008 – Another big card is featured at UFC 92, Rampage Jackson finally wins against Wanderlei Silva. Frank Mir surprises everybody by being the only man in MMA history to finish Antonio “Minautoro” Nogueira in a fight. Rashad Evans becomes the new UFC Light-Heavyweight champion when he beats Forrest Griffin in the main event.

January 17, 2009 – The UFC goes to Ireland to present UFC 93 in which Dan Henderson and Rich Franklin battle it out in the main event. The winner becomes the coach of Team US on season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter to coach against Michael Bisping. In a close and controversial decision, Henderson wins the fight. Shogun Rua and Mark Coleman have a long awaited rematch. Neither guy looks impressive but Rua wins.

January 31, 2009 – It’s UFC 94 and it’s time for Georges St-Pierre vs BJ Penn 2. BJ gets dominated by GSP who retains his title. A grease controversy occurs in between rounds as GSP gets rubbed with grease sending Penn in a fit of rage. Lyoto machida makes short work of Thiago Silva with a first round KO.

February 21, 2009 – Diego Sanchez makes his debut at 155 and beats Joe Stevenson at UFC 95.

March 7, 2009 – Shane Carwin silences the critics and beats Gabriel Gonzaga in the first round. Quinton Jackson beats Keith Jardine in the main event.

April 1, 2009 – Debut of The Ultimate Fighter season 9.

April 18, 2009 – The UFC returns to Quebec for UFC 97. Controversy surrounds the event because of sanctioning and rule problems. Anderson Silva beats Thales Leites by Unanimous Decision to retain his title and Shogun Rua beats Chuck Liddell in dominant fashion.

May 23, 2009 – Frank Mir was supposed to fight Brock Lesnar in the main event of UFC 98 but Mir suffered an injury and pulled out of the fight. Quinton Jackson and Rashad Evans were then scheduled for a title fight but Jackson needed surgery in his jaw. Rashad Evans ended up defending his title against undefeated Lyoto Machida. Machida dominated the fight getting touched less then 5 times in the fight and became the new champion and giving Rashad his first loss. Bitter rivals also squarred off as Matt Serra and Matt Hughes went to a decision that favored Hughes.

June 13, 2009 – UFC went to germany for UFC 99 with a main event between two legends in Wanderlei Silva and Rich Franklin. Franklin won by Unanimous Decision after a very exciting fight. Heath Herring was taken off the card due to illness, Cheik Kongo replaced him against Cain Valasquez who went on to win a decision. Mirko Cro Cop also returned to the UFC and won, only to leave the UFC one day later.

June 20, 2009 – James Wilks and Ross Pearson from Team UK win The Ultimate Fighter season 9.

July 11, 2009 – UFC 100