UFC Unveils Schedule for ’25 Years in Short’ Documentary Series

(Courtesy of UFC)

UFC on Thursday announced details of a 25-part documentary series that will debut in September to celebrate the company’s silver anniversary. Entitled UFC 25 Years in Short, the compilation of short films will present 25 captivating UFC stories, one for each year of the promotion’s existence, which will examine UFC’s amazing evolution, fascinating characters, and lasting influence.

UFC 25 Years in Short will launch on Monday, September 17 on UFC FIGHT PASS, the promotion’s digital subscription streaming service. Films will premier one at a time, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 3 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. PT. The series will be rolled out in just over an eight-week span, culminating with the final film on Monday, November 12, UFC’s official 25th anniversary.

Many of the shorts will be helmed by award-winning directors and producers, including several alums of ESPN’s landmark 30 for 30 film series, including Nick and Colin Barnicle, Adam Condal, Jason Hehir, Rory Karpf, Dan Marks, and Matt Ogens.

“This project is a fun way to tell the history of UFC,” said UFC President Dana White. “Each one of these films is linked to a pivotal moment in the UFC timeline, and together they represent our complete story. We’re working with some amazingly talented directors and producers on this project, and I think UFC fans will really enjoy these films.”

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UFC 25 Years in Short will have a special, worldwide preview on UFC’s YouTube channel onFriday, September 14, with the episode entitled ‘COUNTRY BOY CAN SURVIVE: The Story of Matt Hughes’ Fight for Survival.’ The film, directed by Emmy Award-winning documentarian and ESPN Films veteran Rory Karpf, recounts the emotional and inspiring story of Hall of Famer and dominant two-time UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes, who had a meteoric rise through the ranks and later fought a critical battle for survival after a near-fatal automobile accident.

UFC 25 Years in Short – September 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.
    Premier Date: Monday, September 17
  • 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: Wednesday, September 19
  • 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: Friday, September 21
  • Film #4 – BLACKOUT: The Story of the Political Crusade to Keep UFC Off 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: Monday, September 24
  • Film #5 – JUDGEMENT DAY: The Story of the UFC Getting Run Out of Town
    In 1997, UFC 12 was set to take place in Buffalo. However, the day prior, New York changed its laws to effectively ban MMA in the state for the next 20 years. The event then found a new home in Dothan, Alabama.
    Premiere Date: Wednesday, September 26
  • Film #6 – THE ICE AGE: The Story of Chuck “The Iceman” Liddell, UFC’s Breakthrough Star
    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: Friday, September 28

*October and November schedules will be announced at a later date