This week our resident historian, Phil Devine, was out on an Alaskan expedition. This week’s edition of MMA History was compiled by Heidi Fang instead. Regardless, MMA Fight Corner continues to deliver the weekly segment which can be heard on the show every Tuesday and Friday at 5pm on 920am in Las Vegas.
The Ultimate Fighter Season 3 Finale: Ortiz vs. Shamrock, June 24, 2006, Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
Season 3 featured rivals Ken Shamrock & Tito Ortiz who had a couple of memorable altercations on the show. The season featured both Light Heavyweight & Middleweight fighters.
The main event showcased Kenny Florian making his debut at Lightweight. Florian entered the UFC as a Middleweight on The Ultimate Fighter season one, then dropped to Welterweight where he fought twice before heading to Lightweight.He faced Sam Stout who was appearing in the UFC for just the second time. Stout came into the fight on a 9-fight W streak. Florian snapped Stout’s hopes of extending that streak to 10 when he submitted him with a rear-naked choke in the first round which also earned Florian Submission of the Night.
In the Light Heavyweight finale, Michael Bisping and Josh Haynes (both of Team “Punishment”) faced off. Bisping proceeded to be named the Ultimate Fighter when he TKO’d Haynes in the second round.
In the Middleweight finale, Kendall Grove met Ed Herman and the two delivered the Fight of the Night. Grove took home the victory via unanimous decision. In the end, UFC president Dana White granted both fighters a contract with the organization.
Pride FC 3 – June 24, 1998, Nippon Budokan, Tokyo, Japan
The promotions’ 3rd event featured the debuts of future UFC Welterweight Champion Carlos Newton and Emmanuel Yarborough in his 3rd and last MMA fight.
The main event featured Kazushi Sakuraba opposite Carlos Newton. Sakuraba came out aggressive, working for armbars and toeholds and he even cartwheeled with Newton attached to him at one point.
Newton was defeated after an 18 minute very technical and masterful grappling battle. Sakuraba submitted him with a kneebar in the second round in what some consider one of the best jiu jitsu battles to date.
Yarborough, a 6’8″ amateur sumo wrestler who weighed about 600 pounds at the time, was also unsuccessful in his Pride debut. Tasake was at one point trapped under the body of the very physically imposing Yarborough, but continued to strike his head. Yarborough eventually submitted to punches delivered by Daije Tasake in the second round.
Pride Critical Countdown 2005, June 26, 2005, Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan
This was the second round of 2005’s Middleweight Tournament. The quarterfinals featured Alistair Overeem, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, Sakuraba, Ricardo Arona and Wanderlei Silva.
Overeem advanced submitting Igor Vovachanchyn with a guillotine choke at 1:20 in the first round.
Rua defeated Nogueira via unanimous decision to advance.
Wanderlei TKO’d Kazuhiro Nakamura in the first.
And Arona finished the second round by kneeing Sakuraba several times to the head before the end of the round. A bloodied and battered Sakuraba was unable to continue after the second round and the fight was called a TKO Corner Stoppage.
UFC Live: Kongo vs. Barry, June 26, 2011, Consol Energy Center, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania
This was the UFC’s 4th card that aired on Versus. The main event produced one of the crazier knockouts in UFC history. Cheick Kongo knocked out Barry in dramatic fashion. In the first two minutes of the opening round, Pat appeared to have the upperhand – he had Kongo stunned, wobbled and nearly incapacitated. When Pat rushed in to go in for the kill, Cheick fired back with a straight right and put Pat out stiff. Kongo went home with the Knockout of the Night bonus.
Submission of the Night went to Joe Lauzon for his first round kimura over Curt Warburton.
Fight of the Night went to Nik Lentz versus Charles Oliveria which actually – in the end – had the result overturned. Initially, Lentz lost the fight by way of a second round rear-naked choke. However, an illegal knee, which wasn’t called during the fight, was what led to Oliveira securing the rear-naked choke. The Pennsylvania State Athletic Commission later overturned the result to a No Contest.
Also interesting on this card, Anthony Johnson vs. Nate Marquardt was the original main event. Johnson injured himself and was replaced by Rick Story.
Then, just one day before the scheduled bout, it was announced that Marquardt did not pass medicals and wasn’t cleared to fight. White subsequently released him from the UFC and noted failed medical requirements as the reason. Marquardt later explained when he was tested by PSAC his testosterone to epitestosterone levels weren’t within their allowed range as a result of a TRT injection.
Charlie Brenneman fought Rick Story instead. Brenneman brought home the unanimous decision win.
UFC Fight Night 5, June 28, 2006, Hard Rock Hotel, Las Vegas, NV
This Event took place just a few days after the TUF 3 Finale and featured the promotional debut of Anderson “The Spider” Silva. He was paired up against TUF 1 bad boy Chris Leben in the main event. It took only 49 seconds for Silva to electrify the masses by knocking out Leben and earning his first of 12 post-fight bonuses.
The co-main event featured Rashad Evans and Stephan Bonnar. Rashad took control over Bonnar, utilizing his take downs and controlling Bonnar. Evans earned the majority decision and defeated Bonnar.
Also that night, Jon Fitch TKO’d Thiago Alves and Koscheck defeated Dave Menne.
Fight of the Night went to Johnathan Goulet who took home a decision over Luke Cummo and Submission of the Night went to Rob McDonald for his first round armbar over Kristian Rothaermel.
UFC 32: Showdown at the Meadowlands, June 29, 2001, Continental Airlines Arena, East Rutherford NJ.
The poster for Tito Ortiz’s title fight against Elvis Sinosic featured the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers on it. It was just a few months before 9-11 occurred and the towers were destroyed. It was also the last UFC commentated by the late Jeff Blatnick.
New Jersey went on record for being the largest crowd the UFC had garnered at the time with an audience of 12,500. The previous record was 9,000 at UFC 9.
In the main event, Tito Ortiz defended the light heavyweight title for the 3rd time against Elvis Sinosic. Sinosic, known as the “King of Rock and Rumble”, got the shot after only one UFC win over Jeremy Horn. For Tito, it was the first time he “technically” defended the title as a light heavyweight since the weight classes we know today weren’t instituted until UFC 31. He was previously labeled the middleweight champ.
The fight went “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy’s” way when Elvis pulled guard, Tito grounded and pounded, and TKO’d Elvis in the first round.
It was also the UFC debut of Ricco Rodriguez – a future heavyweight champ – who defeated Andre Arlovski that night via a third round TKO.
Additionally, it would be the last fight Semmy Schilt would have in the UFC. “The Hightower” tapped out to Josh Barnett’s armbar.
Other big winners that night: BJ Penn, Caol Uno, Vladimir Matyushenko, Tony de Souza and Pat Miletich.
WEC 1 Princes of Pain, June 30, 2001,Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino, Lemoore, California
Not many of the fighters on this card for the World Extreme Cagefighting promotion’s first event were well known, but here’s a few standouts.
Leonard Garcia KO’d Victor Estrada with a stunning head kick in round one.
The now retired Seth Petruzelli met Gan McGee and was submitted inside the first round by a heel hook.
In the main event, Dan Severn defeated Travis Fulton via unanimous decision.