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Is This Old UFC Logo Making a Comeback?

Federal trademark applications suggest that the classic Ultimate Fighting Championship emblem could make a return on future merch and apparel.

Remember when the UFC was the Ultimate Fighting Championship?

Remember that series of old-school logos featuring the mean-looking muscly guy raising his fist like he was about to make lightning rain down from the sky? (I think that’s how Matt Serra beat Georges St-Pierre; there’s no other explanation out there.) Over the last several years, the company has increasingly insisted on just being “UFC,” much in the same way that you don’t watch Monday Night Football on the “Entertainment and Sports Programming Network.”

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Well, according to a recent filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office, the world’s biggest MMA promotion may have plans to run it back with one of those legacy logos that harkens back to the bygone era of Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, Randy Couture, and Tito Ortiz.

As noted by attorney Josh Gerben of Gerben Intellectual Property, Zuffa, LLC — the company that operates the UFC under the Endeavor corporate umbrella — filed a trademark application for the logo it used between 2002 and 2004 with an eye toward potentially emblazoning it on merchandise and apparel.

“ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP” Logo
  • DescriptionAs the federal filing reads, “The mark consists of a man with right fist raised standing behind the earth with a banner with the text ‘ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP’ written across it waving across the earth, with three triangles pointing to the man, all in front of an octagon shaped cage.”
  • What it’s for: “Belts; Bottoms as clothing; Coats; Dresses; Footwear; Gloves; Jackets; Loungewear; Scarves; Sleepwear; Socks; Sweaters; Sweatbands; Swimwear; Undergarments; Vests; Warm up suits”
  • Filed by: Zuffa, LLC
  • Attorney: Jennifer Ko Craft, Dickinson Wright PLLC
Black-and-white 2002-04 UFC logo as included in Zuffa, LLC’s federal trademark application

A modest disclaimer here: Legal entities seek trademarks for a variety of reasons, and there’s no way to guarantee that we understand the promotion’s broader intentions here. Yes, one possibility is that this legacy UFC logo makes its way into a future merch collection — another is that they want to lock down their legal ownership of the thing so nobody else dares to use it.

So, while it’s far premature to insist we know what will happen next, the news is an intriguing wrinkle against the backdrop of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s adventures into frontiers like footwear, trading cards, NFTs, and beyond.

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