UFC®, the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization, today announced it will release its Emmy-nominated short film series, UFC 25 Years in Short, on YouTube . The docuseries, which had been exclusive to UFC FIGHT PASS®, will now be featured on YouTube, with films premiering every weekday through June 21.
The compilation of short films, which were created in celebration of UFC’s silver anniversary in 2018, present 25 captivating UFC stories, one for each year of the promotion’s existence. Many of the films were helmed by award-winning directors and producers, including several alums of ESPN’s landmark 30 for 30 film series.
Last month, the docuseries received a Sports Emmy Award nomination in the “Outstanding Edited Sports Special or Series” category, competing against nominees from HBO, NFL Network, and Showtime.
“UFC 25 Years in Short” premiered on UFC Fight Pass in fall of 2018, so the time is right to showcase it to a new audience,” said Chris Kartzmark, UFC Senior Vice President of Production and Programming. “YouTube, which has a massive reach, offers the perfect platform for current fans and new fans to binge-watch these short films and catch up on UFC history in fun and unique way.”
UFC 25 Years in Short – YouTube Premiere Dates and Summaries
Film #1 – OCTO: The Disputed Origin Story of the UFC Octagon In 1993, the UFC was born in an 8-sided cradle of combat, and promoters, TV producers, and Hollywood set designers still dispute who is the Octagon’s true creator. Premiere Date: Available Now
Film #2 – THE LION’S DEN: The Story of the First Mixed Martial Arts Team In 1994, Ken Shamrock assembled the first ever MMA team, the Lion’s Den, and showed that success in the ultimate individual sport was a team effort. Premiere Date: Tuesday, May 21
Film #3 – ULTIMATE ACCESSORY: The Story of the UFC Championship Belt Since 1995, UFC belts have become the ultimate accessory prized by all MMA fighters, but their history is a little known, and often surprising, story. Premiere Date: Wednesday, May 22
Film #4 – BLACKOUT: The Story of the Political Crusade to Ban UFC from TV In 1996, a political crusade to ban ultimate fighting successfully pressured the cable TV industry to stop airing UFC events, nearly extinguishing the new sport. Premiere Date: Thursday, May 23
Film #5 – JUDGEMENT DAY: The Story of the UFC Getting Run Out of Town When UFC 12 was set to take place in Buffalo in 1997, New York changed its laws to effectively ban MMA in the state for the next 20 years, leading the event to find a new home in Dothan, Alabama. Premiere Date: Friday, May 24
Film #6 – THE ICE AGE: The Story of Chuck Liddell, The First Mainstream UFC Superstar Chuck Liddell, who connected with knockout punches and with fans around the world like no UFC fighter before him, became UFC’s first true crossover superstar. Premiere Date: Monday, May 27
Film #7 – COUNTRY BOY CAN SURVIVE: The Story of Matt Hughes’ Fight for Survival Matt Hughes was a dominant UFC champion, but after his hall of fame career came to a close, he faced his toughest fight ever, this time, for his very survival. Premiere Date: Tuesday, May 28
Film #8 – COMBATANT IN CHIEF: The Story of Donald Trump’s History in Combat Sports When Donald Trump opened his Atlantic City casino to the struggling UFC, it was that start of an unlikely friendship between the current POTUS and UFC president Dana White. Premiere Date: Wednesday, May 29
Film #9 – THREE GUYS AND THREE LETTERS: The Story of the Fertittas & Dana White In 2001, the Fertitta brothers bought the failing UFC and installed Dana White as its president, setting the stage for the three friends to revolutionize combat sports forever. Premiere Date: Thursday, May 30
Film #10 – BEFORE AND AFTER: The Story of Kevin Lynch’s Iconic UFC Photos In 2007, renowned photographer Kevin Lynch published a book of his iconic UFC photography that would dramatically reframe the image of the sport and its athletes. Premiere Date: Friday, May 31
Film #11 – A MATTER OF PRIDE: The Story of UFC’s Rivalry With Japan’s Pride FC In 1993, UFC President Dana White entered Chuck Liddell into Pride’s 2003 middleweight grand prix tournament, with hopes of winning the larger battle for MMA supremacy. Premiere Date: Monday, June 3
Film #12 – BULLY PROOF: The Story of GSP’S Evolution from Bully Victim to UFC Badass As child, Georges St-Pierre was targeted by bullies until his father put him karate class, starting him on the path to becoming a fighting machine and a UFC champion. Premiere Date: Tuesday, June 4
Film #13 – RECONNECTING WITH REALITY: The Story of The Ultimate Fighter Reunion In 2005, The Ultimate Fighter reality series saved the UFC from failure, and 13 years later, the inaugural cast reunited for an extraordinary event to break bread and bust b@lls. Premiere Date: Wednesday, June 5
Film #14 – THE O.G.S: The Story of UFC’s Octagon Girls With fashion model looks combined with girl-next-door appeal, Octagon Girls are great ambassadors for the brand and the sport, and they are UFC stars in their own right. Premiere Date: Thursday, June 6
Film #15 – FINDING FORREST: The Story of Forrest Griffin, a True UFC Original In 2007, Forrest Griffin beat Shogun Rua in a major upset, one of the many times the original Ultimate Fighter beat the odds to build a Hall of Fame legacy. Premiere Date: Friday, June 7
Film #16 – BOUND BY VALOR: The Story of the UFC and the Armed Forces Connection In 2008, UFC held the first of many live events that raised millions of dollars to support military causes, part of the deep connection between UFC and the U.S. Armed Forces. Premiere Date: Monday, June 10
Film #17 – WORTH THE WAIT: The Story of Daniel Cormier In 2009, Daniel Cormier transitioned from Olympic Wrestler to MMA rookie, launching a second act in combat sports and a difficult journey to the top of UFC. Premiere Date: Tuesday, June 11
Film #18 – WE ARE LIVE: The Story of UFC Live Experience and Those Who Bring it to Life The UFC production crew has a distinctive broadcast style, unlike any other sports media presentation, creating the electric atmosphere that has shaped the UFC experience. Premiere Date: Wednesday, June 12
Film #19 – NEW YORK STATE OF MIND: The Story of the Fight for Legalization in New York State Misperceptions about MMA led to a ban in the state of New York, but the issue was hijacked by corrupt politicians with ulterior motives. Premiere Date: Thursday, June 13
Film #20 – TAKE ME WITH YOU: The Story of a Little Boy and the UFC Heavyweight Champion In 2012, then-UFC heavyweight champ Junior dos Santos brought a nine-year-old boy from a nearby favela to Las Vegas for an unforgettable adventure. Premiere Date: Friday, June 14
Film #21 – BREAKING BARRIERS: The Story of Ronda Rousey and the Rise of Women’s MMA Ronda Rousey’s run of dominance in the UFC captivated the public far beyond the sports world and blazed a trail for all female fighters to follow. Premiere Date: Monday, June 17
Film #22 – BAD BLOOD, GOOD BUSINESS: The Story of Rivalries Fueling the Biggest Fights In 2014, a brawl between Jon Jones and Daniel Cormier in the MGM Grand lobby led to one of the most successful Pay-Per-Views in company history because “bad blood” sells. Premiere Date: Tuesday, June 18
Film #23 – TESTED: The Story of the UFC Anti-Doping Program with USADA In 2015, UFC launched its anti-doping program with USADA, now heralded as the most comprehensive drug testing program in professional sports. Premiere Date: Wednesday, June 19
Film #24 – AGENTS OF CHANGE: The Story of the Biggest Deal in Sports History In 2016, UFC shocked the world when it sold to a group led by the superpower talent agency WME-IMG, now known as Endeavor, in the largest transaction in sports history. Premiere Date: Thursday, June 20
Film #25 – MacMANIA: The Story of Conor McGregor’s Insane Star Power Conor McGregor’s skills as a fighter are undeniable, but he has emerged as a singular star and true original, without peer and without limits. Premiere Date: Friday, June 21
About UFC® UFC®, is the world’s premier mixed martial arts organization and the largest Pay-Per-View event provider in the world. UFC boasts more than 300 million fans worldwide, including 70 million social media followers across all of its digital platforms, and its programming is broadcast in over 170 countries and territories to one billion TV households worldwide in 40 different languages. UFC produces more than 40 live events annually and consistently sells out some of the world’s most prestigious arenas. Since 2001, UFC has been proudly headquartered in Las Vegas, supported by a network of employees around the world. UFC’s current roster of athletes features more than 570 men and women representing over 55 countries. UFC FIGHT PASS®, the world’s leading digital subscription service for combat sports, delivers exclusive live events, thousands of fights on-demand, and original content to fans around the world. UFC was acquired in 2016 by global sports, entertainment, and fashion leader Endeavor, along with strategic investors Silver Lake Partners and KKR, in what is among the largest transactions in sports history. For more information, visit UFC.com and follow UFC at Facebook.com/UFC, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram: @UFC.
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