Meet the original Tough Guys who pioneered Mixed Martial Arts MMA
Here are highlights from 1980 Tough Guy Contest show at the Stanley Theater in Pittsburgh, PA. Promoted by CV (Caliguri and Viola) Productions the first MMA company in America. More info visit www.toughguycontest.com
The Origin of an American Sport: Setting the record straight:
The information provided on this site is collected in an effort to preserve the historical integrity of modern mixed martial arts as a sport in Pennsylvania and throughout The United States. We commend the efforts of many groups and individuals who have paved the way for the sport. The UFC has done a remarkable job marketing MMA to the world, and should be commended for those accomplishments. However some myths and missing parts of history exist, and are open for debate. Below are facts presented in a manner to help educate and fill in the blanks to missing parts of modern MMA history.
CV (Caliguri and Viola) Productions was the first MMA based promotional company in American history, established in 1979.
Bill Viola wrote the first codified set of mixed martial arts rules in 1979; implemented in over 130 bouts. Those standards parallel the unified rules of today.
The World Martial Arts Fighting Association (WMAFA) sanctioned all CV Productions events and was the first regulatory body for mixed martial arts in the United States.
CV Productions introduced open regulated mixed martial arts competitions to the United States March 20, 1980 in Pittsburgh, PA with the inaugural “Battle of the Tough Guys” championship. This was the first commercial MMA success and the beginning of a new sport.
Later in 1980, the “Tough Guys” were rebranded as Super Fighters to accommodate a professional fighting image: The “Super Fighters League” (SFL). This was the first MMA league of its kind and set the tone for mainstream mixed martial arts.
Pennsylvania became the first state in history to set a legal precedent for mixed martial arts, officially banning the sport of MMA with the passage of Senate Bill 632 (Session of 1983 Act 1983-62).
“ANY COMPETITION WHICH INVOLVES ANY PHYSICAL CONTACT BOUT BETWEEN TWO OR MORE INDIVIDUALS, WHO ATTEMPT TO KNOCK OUT THEIR OPPONENT BY EMPLOYING BOXING, WRESTLING, MARTIAL ARTS TACTICS OR ANY COMBINATION THEREOF AND BY USING TECHNIQUES INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PUNCHES, KICKS AND CHOKING.”
Ten years after the passage of Senate Bill 632, the first Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) would debut in 1993.
CV Productions, Inc., is a Pittsburgh, PA based mixed martial arts company, founded in 1979. It is considered the first MMA based company in the United States and responsible for creating the blueprint for modern mixed martial arts competition. The company promoted the first mainstream league of mixed martial arts style competitions beginning in 1980 with the intention of creating a new sport. Regulated Mixed martial arts competitions were first introduced in the United States by CV Productions, Inc. The first competition named Tough Guy Contest was held on March 20, 1980, in New Kensington, PA. Later that year the company renamed the brand to “Super Fighters.”
The World Martial Arts Fighting Association (WMAFA) sanctioned all CV Productions events. This was the first regulatory body for mixed martial arts and oversaw the “Super Fighters League (SLF).