11th March 1994, Mammoth Gardens, Denver, Colorado, USA.
UFC 2 grew to sixteen fighters from the eight involved in UFC 1. Bill Wallace has been evicted from the anchor spot by Brian Kilmeade. NFL hall of famer Jim Brown returns and they are joined by Hollwood stuntman (and I think Royce Gracie student) Ben Perry. Sadly, seven of the extra fights took place before the PPV started, so we just get a summary of the results.
The first fight shown is defending champion Royce Gracie’s prelim against Karateka Minoki Ichihara. Royce is the larger man for a change, but the biggest man in the cage is Big John McCarthy, making his first appearance. Royce gets Ichihara to the ground in seconds and mounts. Ichihara manages to hold on to Royce for a while and certainly doesn’t hand the submission over, but after almost five minutes of Royce softening him up, Ichihara thinks he sees and opening to explode out. Royce takes the opportunity to grab a lapel of Ichihara’s gi and choke him with it (although the commentary team are convinced it’s an arm bar).
Before the quarter finals begin, there’s some announcements of a drop out and an alternate, some brief but brutal highlights from a couple of prelims, and a short summary for the uninitiated about the various martial arts represented in the competition, which are catagorised as Karate, Kung Fu, Kickboxing, Grappling and “Exotics”.
The first quarter final sees Ninja Scott Morris face Kickboxer Pat Smith. Both men had won their prelims in under a minute by guillotine choke. Morris charges out and when they clinch up, he attempts some sort of suplex throw. That ends badly with him on his back, mounted by Smith. Some heavy elbows and punches are dropped and Morris goes limp. A bloody and concussed Morris tries to stand but his legs are rubber. Good job Pat stopped himself from killing Morris because John McCarthy wasn’t looking like dragging him off.
The next fight is an all Karate affair between Johnny Rhodes who’d won a gruelling 12 minute prelim, and alternate Fred Ettish who’d stepped into this round without fighting. Ettish gives away 30lbs to Rhodes and the first time the bigger man connects, it shows. Rhodes batters Ettish then finishes off with sort of a schoolyard choke.
The third quarter final is between French Kickboxer Orlando Weit and Dutch grappler (and team mate of UFC 1 runner up Gerard Gordeau) Remco Pardoel and it’s a bit of a nasty one. Even though Weit is 5’10” 170lb, and Pardoel is 6’4” 260lb, because Pardoel’s prelim was a lot longer, commentator Ben Perry doesn’t give him a chance here. Pardoel throws Weit to the ground but ends up on top but with his back to him. Pardoel adjusts position and an opening appears for him to drop some really heavy elbows on Weit’s skull, who goes limp after the second one. Five more come down and Weit’s legs twitch with each one. Fortunately, Pardoel notices Weit is out and stops the beating, again Big John is not getting involved.
The final quarter final bout is Royce Gracie against Jason DeLucia who has apparently previously tested his Five Animals Chinese Kung Fu against Royce in a private challenge match and come up short. The fight goes straight to the ground and Royce completely dominates, finishing with a belly down arm bar which he holds onto for a LONG time after the tap. Not cool Royce. DeLucia is quick to congratulate him though, which was classy in the circumstances.
The first semi-final matches Johnny Rhodes against Pat Smith. This one starts as a straight kickboxing match with both fighters landing some decent shots until a minute in they clinch up. Smith reaches over to grab a standing guillotine and leans back, almost lifting Rhodes clean off the floor. Rhodes tries to tap but he’s having to relieve the pressure on his throat by pushing on Smith’s waist with both hands. Instead he manages to tap by stamping his foot and fortunately, Big John’s getting the hang of this now and jumps in to save Rhodes.
The second semi-final is Royce Gracie against Remco Pardoel. Royce is back to giving up a lot of weight, but despite that, he gets his hands on Pardoel quickly, takes his back standing and drags him to the ground. Royce reaches round and for the second time tonight, chokes his opponent using their own gi. Brilliant.
Before the final, we check in a cage-side, broken-handed Ken Shamrock who’s chomping at the bit to get back in there, and also spend some time with the clueless commentary team. Ben Perry really is talking some nonsense.
The final starts and right out of the gate, Pat Smith lunges in with a kick and misses, allowing Royce to get his hands round his waist. Pat attempts a hip toss, but it goes wrong and they land with Royce on top, initially in half guard and quickly transitioning to mount. Royce lets some short punches go, but before he can follow up with a submission, Pat submits and the towel also come in for good measure. Royce makes beating a very tough guy look really easy again.
So, Royce Gracie is champion again, and this time he’s going skiing with the money.
Royce’s takedowns, control and finishes were excellent in this event, and they were counter-balanced by a couple of brutal KO finishes by Pat Smith and Remco Pardoel.