On April 27, 1993, Art Davie was trying to figure out a way to determine the best fighter in the world. He envisioned a no-rules, no-holds-barred tournament, but no one would approve of his “War of the Worlds” project. That is until he got a fax from Campbell McLaren, SEG’s Vice President of Original Programming, who expressed interest in the event.
Now, as reported by MMA Fighting, 25 years to the day of that fax that sparked what would become the UFC, Davie will be inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame. Listed as a contributor, he will join Matt Serra as part of the 2018 class.
Davie’s idea of different styles fighting came as a teen during the 1960s, when he, who studied boxing, had a fight with a friend, who was a ranked high-school wrestler. The wrestler, avoiding one of Davie’s punches, took him down and quickly submitted him.
“I got my ass kicked by a wrestler,” Davie said. “I got educated that there was more than meets the eye to fighting.”
Fast-forward about 20 years later, Davie had been studying the idea of fighters from different combat styles clashing in combat. While reading an edition of Playboy, he came across a piece on Roiron Gracie and the Gracie family, who took their unique jiu-jitsu practices to Vale Tudo tournaments.
After pitching the idea of “War of the Worlds” to Gracie, and getting through to SEG by McLaren, Davie discussed the idea with SEG’s Bob Meyrowitz.
Davie wanted to create a sports franchise, Meyrowitz wanted a pay-per-view property, and Gracie wanted a way to promote his family’s art.
And from all of that, the UFC was born, MMA has grown into one of the biggest-growing sports in the world, and the MMA promotion has gone on to become bigger than many thought it could be.
A modern-era fighter and a fight still need to be determined for this year’s inductees.
Original Story: MMA Fighting