UFC 10 – The Tournament

July 12 1996, Fairgrounds Arena, Birmingham, Alabama, USA

After trying out single bouts in UFC 9, this event returns to the familiar tournament structure, though there’s not Super Fight. Bruce Beck and Jeff Blatnik return for commentary duties (Don Wilson is away shooting a movie), John McCarthy is the referee, and there’s a notable debut for ‘Voice of the Octagon’ Bruce Buffer.

24We get underway with undefeated defending tournament champion Don Frye taking on Mark Hall, himself being 3-1 from his previous three events. Frye slams Hall to the ground and goes to work trying to punch his way through Hall’s rib cage. A few minutes in and Hall’s body is already starting to look like a well tenderised steak. There’s some head butts mixed in, but the punishment to Hall’s body is relentless. Hall’s corner is screaming at him to get up and he shouts at them to shut up. Then Don Frye starts pleading with him to quit, but he refuses. After a little over ten minutes, John McCarthy saves Hall from himself and stops the fight. He has a seemingly bottomless well of resilience and bravery, but it’s a one sided beating. Frye progresses.

Next up we have two new comers in Scotty Fiedler against Brian Johnston. Fiedler obviously didn’t enjoy the experience much as this was his first, last and only MMA fight. Johnston throws Fiedler a couple of times and after the second, almost secures a knee bar. Fiedler takes Johnston’s back and gets both hooks in but doesn’t seem to know what to do with it. Johnston sneaks out the back door and takes Fiedler’s back, flattens him out and pounds on the back of the head. John McCarthy pulls Johnston off and stops the fight.

3764_esThe third fight is the UFC debut of Mark Coleman, who’s facing Israeli striker Moti Horenstein. Coleman takes the fight to the ground with ease and unleashes the as yet unchristened “Ground N Pound” he’d go on to be credited with inventing. It could be argued Frye and Severn both employed similar tactics in early tournaments, but there’s no argument that Coleman took it to a new level. After a savage couple of minutes, John McCarthy sees that Horenstein has had enough and he stops it.

The last quarter final is New York Beef Cake; John Campetella against Gary ‘Big Daddy’ Gary Goodridge. Campetella has some early success out grappling Goodridge and landing some heavy shots. A minute in, they’re on the ground with Campetella on top. Goodridge reverses positions and lands a few really big punches from the top. John McCarthy stops the fight and there’s some booing from the crowd who think it was a bit early. They may be right, but I doubt things were going to improve for Campetella with Big Daddy fully mounting him, dropping bombs.

The first semi-final is Don Frye against Brian Johnston. Bruce Beck and Jeff Blatik are joined in commentary by a suspended Tank Abbott. He got into a couple of dust ups at UFC 8 with Allan Goes and John McCarthy, but is itching to get back in the Octagon at the next event to show everyone how it should be done. The first couple of minutes are a fairly even ‘dirty boxing’ match, but 3 minutes in, the fight goes to the ground and Frye has a clear edge. When Frye gets side control and drops a couple of elbows, Brian Johnston decides to tap, rather than take any serious damage.

colemanThe second semi-final is Mark Coleman and Gary Goodridge, both of who had short but ferocious first round fights. Coleman has Goodridge on his back early and drops some short punches and head butts. Goodridge is able to scramble to his feet, but Coleman takes his back standing and has some success punching from behind. They’re right in front of Coleman’s corner and he’s receiving some direction, so Goodridge decides to scuttle sideways round the cage wall to his own corner instead. It doesn’t help much and Coleman continues to smash Goodridge up against the cage. They break and Big Daddy does look the fresher fighter, but before long, Coleman has it back to the ground and unloads everything he has on Goodridge. Coleman takes Goodridge’s back and flattens him out, getting a tap before any more punishment is taken.

Screen_shot_2012-10-19_at_11.32.58_PMAs the final starts, Don Frye is able to sprawl to Mark Coleman’s takedown attempt and gets an arm round his neck. He hangs out there too long though and Coleman easily clears the headlock and takes Frye’s back. Coleman starts smashing Frye’s skull in until around 4 minutes in when they’re briefly back to their feet. Both men are exhausted, particularly Coleman, who has his hands on his knees, sucking air in through every available hole. After another spell on the ground with Coleman dominating, McCarthy separates them to have the doctor take a look at Frye’s cuts. As they re-engage, Frye still has a bit of a spring in his step when they’re striking. As soon as they clinch up though, Coleman’s just too big and strong. After one more Ground N Pound session, John McCarthy has seen enough and calls it for Coleman. It’s not pretty, but Frye loses for the first time and Coleman wins the tournament at the first attempt.

Event Highlights

Incredible show of guts by Mark Hall and solid performances by legends Gary Goodrifdge, Don Frye and Mark Coleman.

TO GET A RUNDOWN OF THE NEXT MAJOR MMA EVENT, AND SOME BETTING SELECTIONS, CLICK HERE!

TO HAVE A BET ON MMA OR ANYTHING ELSE, PLEASE SUPPORT MMA FLASHBACK BY CLICKING THE BANNER BELOW, SETTING UP A PADDY POWER ACCOUNT AND DOING IT THERE.

468x60_AFF_Misc_MultiSport_BN_GBP

Advertisements

UFC 9 – Motor City Madness

17th May 1996, Cobo Arena, Detroit, Michigan, USA

There’s a change of format for tonight’s event. For the first time ever, there is no tournament. It’s seven stand-alone bouts, including Ken Shamrock defending his Super Fight title for the third time in a rematch against Dan Severn. Following pressure from Senator John McCain, the rules have been adapted to ban head butts and closed hand strikes. Although that’s ignored in most of the fights, it certainly de-supers the Super Fight.

calworsham_display_imageWe open up with two returning fighters. Zane Frazier got his head pounded flat by Kevin Rosier all the way back in UFC 1, while Cal Worsham was holding his own Paul Varelans in UFC 6 until a huge elbow to the top of his head stopped him in his tracks. A few kicks are landed early, but the fighters are looking uncertain, pawing with open hands. Worsham drops for a double leg and takes Frazier to the mat. Rules or not, he lands some short head butts. Frazier looks to John McCarthy for some assistance, but he lets Worsham crack on. The punches start going in too, and John McCarthy remembers he’s supposed to be stopping these techniques so starts chastising Worsham, but with no effect. Frazier decides he’d like to stop eating Worsham’s forehead and taps.

The second fight of the night is 6’8” Brazilian Rafael Carino facing Matt Anderson, who’s a training partner of UFC 3 champion, Steve Jennum. Carino has Anderson on his back in short order, maintains control and gradually works his way to mount. There’s a flash of blood on the forehead of Anderson and John McCarthy stops the fight. A methodical but not particularly thrilling win for Carino.

schultzThe next fight should have been a battle of the big Canadians, with Dave Beneteau facing Gary Goodridge, but Beneteau has broken his hand while preparing. His training partner, highly decorated wrestler Mark Schultz is stepping in on a few hours’ notice to face Big Daddy. Schultz looks really uncomfortable on his feet in the opening few seconds, but as soon as he gets his hands on Goodridge, he explodes into action and takes him down with ease. Schultz has complete ground control and if he was working for the UFC at the time, Mike Goldberg would undoubtedly have uttered the phrase “embrace the grind” multiple times. Half way through the 12 minute regulation time, John McCarthy breaks them up and restarts them on their feet, but Schultz shoots in and puts Goodridge on his back again. Some Ground N Pound (not that the phrase has been coined yet) opens up a cut on Goodridge’s eye brow and Big John stops the fight for the doctor to take a look. It’s not a bad one so they are allowed to restart and it’s the same routine, Schultz gets his hands on Goodridge and slams him to the ground. The bleeding from Goodridge’s cut worsens and as regulation time ends, the doctor takes another look and stops the fight, rather than allow overtime.

hall kitaoNext we have UFC 7 & 7.5 veteran Mark Hall facing the Octagon’s third Sumo fighter, Koji Kitao who outweighs Hall by more than double. As they start, Hall throws a low kick and a punch to Kitao’s face before being taken down hard. The punch has broken Kitao’s nose and there’s a delayed reaction before the blood starts gushing from it. John McCarthy and the doctor take a look, and the fight is stopped. Good effort Mr Hall.

fryeOur final ‘regular’ fight before moving on to the ironically named Super Fight is reigning tournament champion Don Frye returning to fight Amaury Bitetti who’s stepping in to replace Marco Ruas (what a fight that would have been). They clinch up early and Bitetti is initially hanging with Frye, but after a minute or so of dirty boxing, they break and Frye lands a couple of big punches that turn the tide firmly his way. Frye hands Bitetti one of the most savage one sided beat downs you’ll ever see. John McCarthy stops it a couple of times for the doctor to take a look at the cuts, but Bitetti wants to fight on each time. In the end McCarthy saves Bitetti from himself and stops the fight. Amongst his post-fight shout outs, Frye thanks his big brother for “beating him like a red-headed step child” and teaching him how to take a punch. A bit stomach turning in places, but a dominant performance by the Predator.

Which brings us onto the Super Fight. Instructions to not use the head or closed fist were largely ignored for the rest of the card, Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock fully took on board the rules. This has been described as one of the worst MMA fights in history, but in truth, using the word ‘fight’ at all is a bit of a stretch. The majority of the bout is both men circling barely making contact. The fans are booing and chanting “BULL SHIT” and “BORING”, the commentary team are struggling to find anything to talk about, and even John McCarthy is getting annoyed and screaming at them to engage. In the last 10 minutes Dan takes Ken to the ground but he isn’t able to hold him down. A second grappling exchange ends with Dan on his back, mounted by Ken. In the final minute there’s a flurry of action that sees Ken briefly take Dan’s back, but get reversed. In the last 2 minutes of regulation time, Dan finally unleashes the Beast and gives Ken a bit of a mauling. There’s no improvement in the two overtime periods, and Dan Severn picks up a split decision win. Horrible fight.

Dan-Severn

Event Highlights

Even putting the terrible Super Fight to one side, this was not a great event. A couple of the referee/doctor’s stoppages were a bit early, but the Frye / Betetti fight should probably have been stopped much earlier. I personally prefer the stand-alone bouts, but the tournament format was brought back in the next event due to popular demand. The only real highlight was Don Frye being a complete savage.

TO GET A RUNDOWN OF THE NEXT MAJOR MMA EVENT, AND SOME BETTING SELECTIONS, CLICK HERE!

TO HAVE A BET ON MMA OR ANYTHING ELSE, PLEASE SUPPORT MMA FLASHBACK BY CLICKING THE BANNER BELOW, SETTING UP A PADDY POWER ACCOUNT AND DOING IT THERE.

468x60_AFF_Misc_MultiSport_BN_GBP

UFC 8 – David vs Goliath

16th February 1996, Ruben Rodriguez Coliseum, Bayamon, Puerto Rico

This event has the familiar format of a ‘Super Fight,’ plus an eight-man tournament, but tonight, there’s a twist. All of the first round fights purposely pit a smaller guy against a bigger guy, hence the title of David vs Goliath.

The now familiar commentary team of Bruce Beck, Don Wilson and Jeff Blatnik make the UFC’s first and only trip to Puerto Rico to call the event.

Frye SevernFirst up, we have 206lb Dan Severn protégé Don ‘The Predator’ Frye facing local fighter Thomas Ramirez, who tips the scales at 410lbs. Blink and you’ll miss it. Don Frye throws a lead right hand that knocks Ramirez back, a couple more that glance off, then one more that gets through and Ramirez is out cold, eyes open, but completely glazed over. Welcome to the Octagon Don Frye.

varelans moreiraThe Goliath in the second quarter final is UFC 6, 7 & 7.5 veteran Paul Varelans, facing BJJ legend, Joe Moreira. In contrast to the opening 8 second fight, this one goes the full 10 minutes and isn’t what you’d call a thriller. Moreira is landing the cleaner punches at boxing range, and although he’s unable to get Varelans to the ground from the clinch, he’s landing the better shots on the break. Varelans is relentlessly plodding forward and constantly raising his lead leg, perhaps still sore from the battering it took from Marco Ruas five months earlier. In the end, all three judges give the fight to Varelans, most likely due to the constant forward motion, but it could have easily gone the other way.

The third opener is a double debut of Lion’s Den product Jerry Bohlander, giving away 130lbs to the original Pit Bull, Scott Ferrozzo. In the clinch Ferrozzo is tossing Bohlander around like a ragdoll. Standing and on the ground, Bohlander has to withstand a mauling for the majority of the fight. Bohlander tries to apply a choke using the shoulder strap of Ferrozzo’s wrestling singlet, but it’s not as effective as a gi lapel choke. With just over a minute left, Ferrozzo attempts a throw, but it goes wrong and he’s briefly on the bottom. There’s a scramble and they are back to the feet, against the cage. Bohlander has managed to reach round Ferrozzo’s thick neck for a standing guillotine and gets the tap. Good effort Jerry.

crucifixThe last quarter final is Gary ‘Big Daddy’ Goodridge against Tank Abbott’s buddy, Paul Herrarra. Goodridge is announced as representing the Korean art of Kook Sool Won, although he was allegedly awarded the status of 4th degree black belt after two lessons in the art. Straight out of the traps, Herrera shoots for a double leg and Goodridge sprawls. They roll and come to rest with Herrera trapped in a crucifix. Goodridge slams eight sickening elbows to Herrera’s temple, and he’s out cold after the first two. Absolutely savage finish.

frye-adkinsPaul Varelans is not able to come out for his semi-final, due to a broken foot so alternate Sam Adkins is brought in to face Don Frye. There’s some feinting by both men, but Frye snatches a quick single leg and puts Adkins on his back. There’s some confusion in the commentary team who think they see Adkins tap, but to me it looks more like a panicked grab at Frye to stop the barrage of shots he’s raining down. There’s a lot of claret which prompts John McCarthy to jump in and stop the fight. Adkins is unhappy with the stoppage, but he was in a bad position and was likely done.

The second semi-final is Jerry Bohlander fighting Gary Goodridge, and for the second time tonight, he’s being tossed around by the bigger man. Bohlander is on his back in short order, but to everyone’s surprise, perhaps even his own, he reverses and mounts Goodridge. It’s a temporary state of affairs and Big Daddy powers his way out, back to the top position. Bohlander tries to work an ankle lock with Goodridge standing over him, but he eats a couple of huge punches and John McCarthy steps in to save him. Brave effort by Bohlander, but Goodridge moves on to fight Don Frye in the final.

kimo1Before that final, we have our Super Fight, with Kimo Leopoldo facing defending champion, Ken Shamrock. I’m not sure if Kimo has “forgotten his P.E. kit” but he’s literally fighting in his underwear. Kimo charges across the Octagon and opens up with a low kick, which is met with a straight punch and Ken takes the fight straight to the ground. He methodically works his way from side control to half guard and eventually to full mount. shamrockThere’s a lapse in judgement as Kimo is allowed to sit up. He shows Ken his back but it isn’t capitalised on. Kimo spends a little time on top dropping head butts, but he gives Ken too much distance and gets pushed off. At the third time of trying, Ken secures a knee bar and Kimo taps before he’s taking his leg home in a bag. A masterful display on the ground by Ken Shamrock and an excellent defense of his Super Fight belt.

That just leaves the tournament final to take care of. Don Frye has barely broken a sweat yet, clocking up less than a minute of fight time in the previous two bouts. Goodridge treats us to an impressive gun show as he finally ditches the gi. Frye gets the better of the early stand up, but loses position in the clinch and has his back taken. Big Daddy wastes the positional advantage by lifting and throwing Frye away. They clinch against the cage wall and Frye wins the dirty boxing exchange. Again, Goodridge picks Frye up but this time he stays on him as he throws him to the floor. Frye sneaks out the back door, rolls Goodridge onto his back and begins to unload. Goodridge reaches out an arm and taps the mat. Solid night’s work by Don Frye.

frye goodridge

Event Highlights

Excellent debuts from Gary Goodridge, Jerry Bohlander and especially Don Frye. The Super Fight was pretty entertaining too. Very enjoyable event.

TO GET A RUNDOWN OF THE NEXT MAJOR MMA EVENT, AND SOME BETTING SELECTIONS, CLICK HERE!

TO HAVE A BET ON MMA OR ANYTHING ELSE, PLEASE SUPPORT MMA FLASHBACK BY CLICKING THE BANNER BELOW, SETTING UP A PADDY POWER ACCOUNT AND DOING IT THERE.

468x60_AFF_Misc_MultiSport_BN_GBP