There are ample dumbed-down narratives of what it was like as the early fights played out, what motivated the people who impacted the sport's fortunes, and what the turning points were for the organization. But bore down on any one of those points, and you'll find a reservoir of stories, lessons, and revelations that, taken as a whole, is a story so rich that it almost can't be told in a concise way.
Sunday on the Sherdog Radio Network "Rewind," host Jack Encarnacao welcomes the UFC's very first programmer, Campbell McLaren, into the "Sitdown" segment for a detailed look at what was in the air the night in 1993 that Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, and a host of others ushered in a cultural and sports phenomenon. For two hours, McLaren paints vivid pictures of the formative days of the UFC, and does not mince words in explaining the challenges along the way.
Perhaps nowhere else will you find a more focused, yet far-reaching oral history of the UFC's beginnings than the Sitdown with Campbell McLaren, available for podcast download here.