Art Davie is an American entrepreneur and businessman best known as the co-founder of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), the largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion company in the world. Davie was born on April 23, 1955, in California, and grew up in the Los Angeles area.
After graduating from high school, Davie joined the US Army and served for three years before receiving an honorable discharge. He then attended California State University, Fullerton, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History in 1978.
Davie began his career in the entertainment industry, working as a music promoter and talent manager. He was also a television producer and executive, working for companies like Showtime Networks, ESPN, and Fox Sports.
In 1993, Davie, along with his business partner Rorion Gracie, came up with the idea for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. The UFC was a new concept in combat sports, combining various martial arts disciplines in a tournament-style competition. The first UFC event took place in Denver, Colorado, on November 12, 1993, and was a huge success, attracting over 7,800 spectators and millions of viewers on pay-per-view.
Davie continued to be involved in the UFC for several years, serving as a co-promoter and executive producer for the company. However, he left the UFC in 1998 after a falling out with the other owners.
Despite his success with the UFC, Davie’s personal wealth is not publicly known. However, it is believed that he made a significant amount of money from his involvement with the company and his career in the entertainment industry.
Davie has continued to work in the entertainment industry, producing and promoting events and television shows. He is also an author, having written several books about the history and business of MMA and the UFC.
Overall, Art Davie’s legacy is one of innovation and entrepreneurship. His vision for the UFC helped to revolutionize the world of combat sports, and his contributions to the entertainment industry have been significant.
Here is a timeline of some significant events in the life and career of Art Davie:
- 1955: Art Davie is born on April 23 in California.
- 1978: Davie graduates from California State University, Fullerton with a degree in History.
- 1980s: Davie works as a music promoter and talent manager in the entertainment industry.
- 1993: Davie co-founds the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) with Rorion Gracie.
- 1993: The first UFC event takes place on November 12 in Denver, Colorado.
- 1998: Davie leaves the UFC after a falling out with the other owners.
- 2005: Davie publishes his first book, “Is This Legal? The Inside Story of The First UFC from the Man Who Created It”.
- 2014: Davie is inducted into the Legends of MMA Hall of Fame.
- 2019: Davie publishes his second book, “The Story of the First UFC Tournament: U.S. Senate Subcommittee Study”.
- Present: Davie continues to work in the entertainment industry and is involved in various MMA-related projects.
5 Interesting Facts About Art Davie:
- Before co-founding the UFC, Davie worked as a music promoter and talent manager and also produced a number of television shows, including the popular comedy series “In Living Color.”
- He was inspired to create the UFC after watching a video of Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighter Royce Gracie in action.
- Davie came up with the name “Ultimate Fighting Championship” after considering several other options, including “War of the Worlds” and “Tough Man.”
- He initially approached HBO and Showtime with the idea for the UFC, but both networks passed on it, citing concerns about violence.
- Davie was inducted into the Legends of MMA Hall of Fame in 2014, alongside fighters like Dan Severn and Don Frye.
5 Quotes from Art Davie:
- “I wanted to create a martial arts event that would find the ultimate fighter.”
- “The UFC was designed to answer the question, ‘What is the best martial art?'”
- “I saw the UFC as a sporting event, not as a blood sport.”
- “I always saw mixed martial arts as a legitimate athletic competition.”
- “If you believe in your idea, pursue it relentlessly, because no one else is going to believe in it the way you do.”