Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
If you've felt that the UFC's recent break was longer than usual, you're onto something. In fact, the UFC's version of spring break has been somewhat historic.
The good news is that the promotion's longest vacation, if you will, between fights in almost five years comes to an end Saturday afternoon. That's when the Octagon returns to FUEL TV for UFC Sweden: Gustafsson vs. Silva.
After the jump, we provide some perspective on the uniqueness of the UFC's hiatus:
* By the time UFC Sweden happens on April 14, it will be 43 days since the last UFC event was held (UFC on FX 2 on March 2).
* That will mark the longest stretch of time without a UFC event since the 49-day break between UFC 73 on July 7, 2007, and UFC 74 on August 25, 2007.
* The last UFC pay-per-view was UFC 144 on Feb. 25, with UFC 145 scheduled for April 21. That 56-day stretch will be the longest between PPVs since the 77-day break between UFC 56 on Nov. 19, 2005, and UFC 57 on Feb. 4, 2006.
* The UFC has been active since their last long vacation. The promotion has held 104 events between UFC 74 and UFC Sweden, which is more than half the total number of events put on by the promotion in its almost 19-year history (200 in total since UFC 1 in 1993).
* During that stretch, the light heavyweight title has changed hands five times, while the heavyweight and lightweight titles have been passed around three times, respectively.
* Nine full seasons of The Ultimate Fighter have aired, with two more currently running (TUF LIVE and TUF: Brazil)
* Since UFC 74, the UFC has debuted in Canada, Ireland, Germany, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. Saturday's event will mark its debut in Sweden.
* The IFL, EliteXC, Affliction, and BodogFight, to name a few, all came and went during this period.
* Speaking of the competition, Zuffa purchased rival Strikeforce in March 2011, right after merging the UFC and WEC in January.
I could also tell you about all the fighters that have come and gone, the fight cancellations, Barack Obama becoming the 44th president of the United States, the price of gas and milk ... but I think you get the point. It's been a while.
Welcome back, UFC.
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