In this 8-sided structure of metal and mat, MMA professionals lay their bodies and careers on the line to win the ultimate prize: A UFC Championship Belt.
The average fan knows two things about the Octagon: It’s where champions are crowned, and it gets bloody. But like anything else, this athletic stage is more than meets the eye.
- The 750 square foot Octagon measures 30 feet across and 6 feet high
- Since boxing is fought in a square ring and wrestling in a circle, the Octagon avoids giving preference to any one martial arts discipline
- While a fight is in progress, only the two fighters and one referee are allowed inside the Octagon
- Between rounds, both gates are opened to allow the cornermen and cutmen to enter the area
- The Octagon made it’s debut in 1993, and has remained relatively unchanged since
- The mat is custom painted for each event and is never used again
- There are two gates that lead into the Octagon
So who’s hand do we shake? Who do we thank for the masterful design of this iconic MMA symbol? Well, it’s complicated.
Many people have claimed responsibility for this MMA stage’s creation and inspiration, and honestly we’re just not sure who really deserves the credit.
From art director, Jason Cusson, and UFC co-founder, Art Davie to associate production designer, Greg Harrison, movie director, John Milius and there just doesn’t seem to be a clear consensus. Source: ESPN
This eight-sided structure’s walls are made of fencing material with padding covering all the edges and corners. The mat is made of canvas which is custom painted (the mat is also surprisingly pliable and ‘bouncy’), which many UFC VIP Experience guests witness first-hand during the Octagon tour.
The UFC has several requirements around the ring and fighting area including:
“Biii. The ring platform must not be more than 4 feet above the floor of the building and must have suitable steps for the use of the unarmed combatants.
Cii. The floor of the fenced area must be padded with ensolite or another similar closed-cell foam, with at least a 1-inch layer of foam padding, with a top covering of canvas, duck or similar material tightly stretched and laced to the platform of the fenced area. Material that tends to gather in lumps or ridges must not be used.
Cvii The fenced area must have two entrances.”
And more (read more about the ring requirements here: UFC.com
For MMA fans, part of the draw of attending a UFC event is the opportunity to see the famed Octagon girls live and in the flesh. These beauties don’t just stand around and look pretty. Between every round they hold up numbered cards in a lap around the Octagon, alerting the crowd as to what round is coming up.
Many of the Octagon girls are famous in their own right for participating in endeavors outside of the Octagon with modeling and other pursuits.
How YOU Can Get Inside the Octagon
So that’s that right? Only fighters, cutmen, cornermen, Joe Rogan, Bruce Buffer and Dana White can get in the Octagon, right?
NOPE! You can get into this arena as well with a UFC VIP Experience Package!
At the 2014 UFC event of your choosing select from the following packages:
What do these all have in common? An incredible one-of-a-kind opportunity to step into the Octagon! Take your shoes off and put your best grappling moves on display, because you will be stepping right into the very same Octagon as the fighters in that night’s event!
Additionally, hold the championship belt inside the Octagon and feel what it’s like to be a UFC champion.
UFC VIP Experience Ticket Packages come with tons of other amenities including reserved seating to the Fighter Q & A and Weigh-in pre-events. Backstage tours, access to an incredible VIP Hospitality Party Venue, fighter meet and greets, gift bags and much more.
Now that you’re an Octagon expert, it’s time to step inside!