Obscure MMA Facts

Here’s a list of every absurd, pointless, and downright retarded MMA fact you’ve ever wanted to know:

– Art Jimmerson has fought four known MMA fighters/kickboxers in his career: Don “The Dragon” Wilson, Royce Gracie, William Knorr, and Arthur Williams. Out of the group, he only managed to defeat Knorr.

– Not counting Oleg Taktarov’s worked nine second guillotine choke victory over Anthony Macias at UFC 6, the record for the fastest UFC submission is tied between Joe Charles (Armbar over Kevin Rosier at UFC 4) and Justin Martin (Ankle lock over Eric Martin at UFC 12) at fourteen seconds.

– At least two future sexual offenders were involved with UFC 1: Pat Smith (Sexual assault on a child in 1999) and John Nimock (Listed as the “Wrestling Consultant” in the credits. Apparently was a high school wrestling coach who was arrested in 2000 after exposing children to pornography and wrestling with them in their underwear).

– Jonathan Wiezorek entered his UFC 47 bout against Wade Shipp with a broken back and won. Because he had refused to tell the promoters of his situation in order to prevent the fight from being scrapped, however, he ended up not being invited back to fight again because they thought his performance was awful.

– Marcus Marriott Lee was a Pagua stylist and 2-2-0 boxer who was once slated to fight in the main draw of UFC 6. Had he competed that night, he would’ve been the first fighter in UFC history to come out of the UK. While bouncing at a nightclub in 2005, he killed an unruly patron with a single punch and was jailed for three years after being convicted of manslaughter.

– Ring announcer Rich Goins was forced to part ways with the UFC after contracting scabies from Dan Severn following sexual intercourse.

– Although pure boxers Art Jimmerson, Melton Bowen, and Sam Adkins went down relatively quickly in their UFC forays, 13-3-0 Latvian cruiser/heavyweight Yuri Vaulin managed to last the full fifteen minute round against 6th degree BJJ blackbelt and Marco Ruas student Joe Moreira. In boxing, Vaulin was most famous for giving Tommy Morrison a tough fight before succumbing to the future WBO champion’s body blows. At UFC 14, Moereira rested in the mount position for the entire duration of the fight and initiated zero offense.

The Brazilian won the decision but was somehow diagnosed with a concussion before his tournament finale with Olympic gold medalist wrestler Kevin Jackson. It’s unclear if Moreira had lied about his injury to avoid the next fight, if he had entered the tournament with a concussion in the first place, or if Vaulin had used telekinesis to pop a vein inside the Brazilian’s head. Either way, the intriguing clash between a world-class wrestler and BJJ player was scrapped and Jackson fought Tony Fryklund instead.

– Joel Sutton, a Praying Mantis kung-fu fighter, earned a 2-0-0 UFC record after defeating Aikidoka Jack McLaughlin in UFC 6 and pro-wrestler/Dan Severn sparring partner Geza Kalman in UFC 7. He was perhaps the last big hope for the traditional martial arts community to win an event, but never ended up fighting in the main draw of a tournament. In his next four fights outside of the UFC, he lost every time in less than two minutes. He finished his career with a draw in 1999.

– Geza Kalman was a Canadian professional wrestler who had initially contacted Dan Severn to learn some shootfighting holds to incorporate into his performance style. After becoming his sparring partner, however, he ended up taking an offer to fight as a UFC tournament alternate and accumulated a 1-1-0 record in the promotion. His last professional MMA fight was in 2008.

– Pressure point stylist Ryan Parker was perhaps the first MMA fighter to actively participate in internet discussions regarding himself. Prior to his UFC 7 loss to Remco Pardoel, he spent months and months discussing the intricacies of his style and how he could use Chi to win a fight. The application video he sent to the UFC promoters featured him enduring strikes to his groin and throat without exhibiting pain, much like the Combat Kiai people we see nowadays. Against the Dutchman, he put up very little fight and was choked out easily.

– The Lions Den fighter who had initially sent in an application for UFC 1 was Ken Shamrock’s student Scott Bessac. He eventually got into the UFC two years later after accumulating a 3-4-0 record in Pancrase.

– Nail trimming became standard pre-fight before every UFC event after Trent Jenkins cut Jason DeLucia’s face with his toenail in UFC 1. That’s the grand contribution to the sport from modern MMA’s most mysterious pioneer. Last I heard he was working for the Denver Nuggets. Somebody, please track him down.

Interesting to note that, despite never having won an MMA match, he did dominate KOTC veteran Tyson Johnson to a draw in a cage-boxing match at the Bas Rutten Invitational.

– Heavyweight TUF 2 veteran Brad Imes scored two consecutive Gogoplata victories a month apart back in 2007. His victims were Kimbo sacrifice Bo Cantrell and TUF 10’s Jason Thacker, Zak Jensen.

– Zak Jensen killed a man with his bare hands prior to TUF 10 and ejaculated on the shower floor during the course of the show. Wes Sims stepped in his semen. This is a truthful entry.

– Roger Moore beat up Lee Marvin during the filming of Shout at the Devil.

– Jose Canseco was once slated to fight Rodney King in a Celebrity Boxing match. Before he died, King accumulated a 2-0-0 Celebrity Boxing record, one victory of which came against a disgraced ex-police officer.

I’m talking about the black dude who got beat up, by the way, not the Crazy Monkey guy.

– Royce Gracie’s UFC 1 victory dinner was some Ritz crackers and apple juice he got from a 7-11.

– Relson Gracie was accused of repeatedly exposing himself to Royce’s opponents before walk-ins in order to disrupt their mental games.

– Mike Bernardo was, of course, a K-1 legend who had died in 2012. Another prominent martial artist from the 90’s, however, shared his name and caused quite a bit of confusion back in the day. Stunt man Michael Bernardo starred in Shootfighter: Fight to the Death alongside Bolo Yeung and played Turbo in WMAC Masters. Because their respective careers both took off sometime around 1995, people sometimes expected to see Turbo Bernardo fighting in K-1.

– Andy Anderson and Paul Herrera actually got into a bar fight in Japan, which Anderson won. Herrera was one of Tank Abbott’s cronies, but Abbott let his friend take his lumps without retribution because he had started it.

– Harold Howard almost knocked himself out walking into a piece of lighting equipment prior to his fight with Steve Jennum.

– Steve Jennum was supposed to fight Ken Shamrock in the semi-finals of UFC 3, but Felix Lee Mitchell got put in instead when the promoters couldn’t find Jennum in the crowd. Jennum thought he had fucked up his only opportunity, but the lucky bastard hit the jackpot twice that night.

– Felix Lee Mitchell’s was advertised in the UFC 3 trailers as “America’s Toughest Prison Warden.” His favorite tactic was reaching into his opponent’s cup and banging on his testicles. He did that to Ken Shamrock and also appeared to try it against Judoka Robert Lalonde. All he managed to achieve with Lalonde, however, was exposing his buttocks and prompting catcalls from female members of the IFC audience. This is a truthful entry.

– Muhammad Ali was once seriously slated to fight Wilt Chamberlain.

– Jim Brown once expressed interest in fighting Ali, but was deterred after the champion privately schooled him in a light sparring match at a park.

– Douglas Dedge, the victim of MMA’s first fatality, seemed to base his entire fighting strategy around strangling his opponents with his handwraps. He tried doing that to Sean Brockmole in his lone amateur fight and Yevegeni Zolotarev in his fateful last match.

– Big John McCarthy never got fight in UFC 1 like he wanted, but he did school Art Jimmerson in an impromptu sparring match before the event.

– One of the earliest fights between a prominent boxer and mixed martial artist occurred in 1987. Former contender and Muhammad Ali opponent Alfredo Evangelista defeated future Pancrase pioneer and Bas Rutten cornerman Andre van den Oetelaar by TKO in five rounds.

– Before Butterbean and Roy Nelson were the “People’s Champions,” overweight former salesman Claude “Humphrey” McBride found success as a fighter in heavyweight boxing’s golden era. Garbed in polka-dot trunks and sporting a shaved head, McBride accumulated a 36-8-0 record in the 1970’s with victories over former contenders Terry Daniels and Henry Hank.

– The Dog Brothers petitioned the UFC in the 90’s to host stick fights, but were deemed to extreme for the organization.

– Rudy Eugene, the Miami Cannibal, was once knocked out in a street fight by former heavyweight boxing fringe contender and UFC 4 veteran Melton Bowen. Bowen once held the title of World Boxing Federation Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion, a belt later won by former WBC titleist Oliver McCall.

– In addition to having 300+ recorded fights in MMA, Travis Fulton has also fought in over 50 boxing matches and at least 10 kickboxing bouts.

– The Zuffa Myth is the commonly-referenced misconception that Dana White and the Fertitta brothers were responsible for drafting the modern Unified Rules and changing MMA from an unregulated bloodbath into a legitimate sport. In reality, the vast majority of the rules utilized in the UFC were implemented by the franchise’s original owners, SEG. The Unified Rules were implemented during SEG’s tenure. Chuck Liddell actually propagated the myth in his own biography, despite the fact that he should’ve known better due to having fought in the UFC before the promotion was sold.

Before the Zuffa Myth, interestingly, there was the SEG Myth. Semaphore Entertainment Group president Bob Meyrowitz was not the one who came up with the idea for the UFC, but he sure took the credit for it after the event became a groundbreaking PPV smash. Even while Art Davie, the UFC’s real co-founder, was still under his employment, he still insisted on having dreamt up the idea for a style vs. style cage tournament. Funnily enough, this myth was propagated by Ken Shamrock in his biography.

http://www.lacancha.com/images/bobm1.jpg

Articles Black Belt Magazine printed after the first UFC:

– HOW TO DEFEAT A GRACIE JUJUTSU ATTACK: “SPRAWLING” TECHNIQUE WORKS LIKE A CHARM

– SHOTOKAN, TAEKWONDO, AND KUNG-FU CHALLENGE JUJUTSU: HOW WOULD THESE AND OTHER SYSTEMS FARE IN A JUJUTSU ATTACK

– JUST SAY NO TO NO-HOLDS-BARRED TOURNAMENTS

– HAPKIDO GRAPPLING TECHNIQUES: ARE THEY MORE EFFECTIVE THAN GRACIE JUJUTSU?

http://www.elvispresleymusic.com.au/pictures/img/elvis/70s/74/sept_9_74_karate.jpg

Celebrity boxing/MMA fights that almost happened:

Joey Buttafuoco vs. John Wayne Bobbitt

Jose Canseco vs. Rodney King

Wesley Snipes vs. Joe Rogan

Elvis vs. Jerry Lawler

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Underrated Fights Showcase #1

You might want to think about giving these fights a second look.

 

6. Frank Shamrock vs. Tito Ortiz

A while back the UFC broadcast a special of their “100 Greatest Fights” on Spike TV.  In typical fashion of the Zuffa regime, the historical significance of the SEG era fights was downplayed and fighters who had a disfavorable relationship with the promotion were either grossly misrepresented or not included at all.  Case in point: Tito Ortiz, who has the most Light Heavyweight title victories in UFC history, had four of losses featured on the list but no victories.  Frank Shamrock, perhaps the greatest MMA fighter of the 90’s, was not even acknowledged.

That was a shame.  Both champions have scored some stellar victories over the years, and in a non-biased list they would’ve been featured multiple times.  Undoubtedly, the best fight between the two was their clash at UFC 22 on September 24, 1999.  A Superfight in every sense of the term, the two warriors battled for the Light Heavyweight (Then Middleweight) crown.  For four rounds, both fighters challenged each other with a wide range of skills and pushed each other to their physical limit.  Ortiz controlled much of the action with his impressive power and wrestling ability, but the champion Shamrock would not let himself be taken out.  Utilizing superior finesse and conditioning, he eventually managed to wear down the challenger and get him to submit via a barrage of strikes.  A truly shining moment during the UFC’s early years. 

http://www.allfreefightvideos.com/2012/01/frank-shamrock-vs-tito-ortiz-fight.html

 

5. Lennox Lewis vs. Frank Bruno

The People’s Champion of Britain did his best to put on a show for his ever-loving fans.  Not exactly one of Lewis’ best performances, but a significant moment in British boxing history.   

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qlhHDt6JDcg

4. Rashad Evans vs. Rampage Jackson

This is kind of considered the Phantom Menace of MMA fights.  There was a profound amount of build up, but in the end a lot of people were left disappointed.  In truth, the fight itself wasn’t bad.  People were just expecting Rock Em’ Sock Em’ Robots because of the heat between the two.  What everyone forgot is that fighters won’t always go out and fight full-retard even if they dislike their opponent. 

The fight had some good moments.  Both Rashad and Rampage landed some hard shots on each other, and Evans worked some decent ground-and-pound in round three.  I’ll admit the fight would’ve been better if Evans approached every round like he did the third, but over all I think both men put on a solid show.    

http://mmahits.com/fight-video/mma-video/quinton-rampage-jackson-vs-rashad-evans-ufc-114/

 

3. Tiki Ghosn vs. Bob Cook

Tiki Ghosn is known for a few things in the MMA world: Being Rampage’s assistant coach on TUF, fucking Arianny Celeste, and never having a win inside the Octagon.  Despite that somewhat dubious resume, his career has produced at least a few awesome moments.  Case in point: His Octagon debut against one Bob Cook in UFC 24.

If this fight occured in the modern era of the UFC, it would possibly be heralded as a classic in a similar vein to Leonard Garcia vs. The Korean Zombie.  Unfortunately, it happened during the “dark ages” of the UFC, the period between events 22 and 30 when events were not available on home video.  Both fighters battled at a lightning pace with Cook eventually finishing his opponent off by RNC in the second round.  The AKA representative Cook promptly called it a career after this fight with an undefeated overall record of 5-0, with all wins coming by knockout or submission. 

 

2. Muhammad Ali vs. Karl Mildenberger

There are many Ali fights which are heralded as legendary.  His 1966 bout with Karl Mildenberger is not one of them.  Still, the south-paw German put on a gutsy enough show with the prime champion for the fight to warrant a watch.  Mildenberger, perhaps the second best heavyweight to ever come out of Germany behind Max Schmeling, used his jab and awkward style (He was the first left hander to ever fight for a world heavyweight title) to win at least a few round against the incomparable Ali. The champ battered the ever-stalking German’s eyes shut over the course of the fight and knocked him down several times, but Mildenberger never ceased to press the action.  Finally, in round twelve, Ali was able to finish off his gritty opponent with a barrage of looping uppercuts and a straight right lead to the head.

“Mildenberger gave me my toughest fight,” stated Ali after the bout.   

Following the fight, many journalists ranked Mildenberger as the second best heavyweight in the world and regarded him as the front-runner to win the vacant title after Ali had been stripped of the belt in 1967.  He ended up losing to Argentinean fight Oscar “Ringo” Bonavena in the first round of the elimination tournament, however, in a bout that was deemed “Upset of the Year” by Ring Magazine.  The German stud retired in 1968 with a record of 53-6-3 after losing his European heavyweight title to Britain’s Henry Cooper.   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8jcQbAimkU

1. Royce Gracie vs. Keith Hackney       

When you think of Royce Gracie’s great early UFC fights, you think of his battles with Kimo, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, and his comedy fight with Art Jimmerson.  If you remember Keith Hackney, the fights that come to mind are his kickass David vs. Goliath match with Emmanuel Yarborough and mind-blowing testicle destruction of Joe Son.  The best fight between the two, however, is the one they had with each other.  Unfortunately, not many people seem to bring it up. 

Hackney represented a fighter rarely witnessed in the juvenile MMA scene: A striker who actually knew how to sprawl.  A state champion wrestler in high school, Hackney had enough grappling experience to repel the notorious “Gracie Tackle” and keep the fight standing longer than any of Royce’s previous opponents were able to.  It wasn’t a cake walk from there on out, though.  Despite smacking Royce with some hard rights, the karateka ended up getting clobbered with a few knee strikes to the head up against the fence.  It was evident that the young Gracie’s preparation, although not quite up to par with modern MMA training, was geared to fighting other styles and not just pure BJJ.

Still unable to take Hackney down, Royce was eventually forced to pull guard.  The zealous Hackney might’ve been able to get away, but he elected to keep the pressure on Royce and strike him several more times with his heavy right hand.  This left him open for Royce to apply an armbar and make him submit at the 5:32 mark.  A TRUE unsung classic that deserves to be recognized amongst Royce’s other old school battles, both for historical significance and action.       

http://www.allfreefightvideos.com/2011/08/royce-gracie-vs-keith-hackney-fight.html

Year-by-Year: The Best MMA Fights of 1993

1993 ushered in the modern era of MMA with the debut of the Ultimate Fighting Championship in Denver, Colorado.  Being that only a single UFC event was held in 1993, you might think a list of the year’s best fights would only come from that first show.  That is not the case, however, as Japan’s Pancrase had also made its smashing debut around the same time (Shooto had been hosting professional events since 1989, but video footage of these fights is rare).  And so, without further ado, here is my list of the top five fights from modern MMA’s birth year:

5. Masakatsu Funaki vs. Ken Shamrock (Pancrase- Yes, We are Hybrid Wrestlers 1)

The headliner for the first Pancrase card was a bout between teacher and student.  It’s fascinating to see Shamrock, who always seemed so cool and confident in the UFC, come across as such a green and zealous fighter in his match with the Pancrase founder.  After a close fought technical battle, the future star Shamrock caught his coach in an arm triangle choke and forced him to submit at the 6:15 mark.  The beginning of two very excellent MMA careers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCABsGMEosU

4. Trent Jenkins vs. Jason DeLucia (UFC 1: The Beginning)

This alternate match, which occurred before the finals of the first Ultimate Fighting Championship, was aired in the initial pay-per-view broadcast but not featured on the subsequent VHS release of the event.  That’s a shame, because judging from the reaction of the show in the martial arts magazines of the time, it was the best received fight of the night.  Although I’ve never seen the full fight, there’s enough footage of the fifty second encounter shown in the second UFC for me to decide that it belongs on this list. 

The two traditional stylists squared off in the cage and exchanged the kind of flashy kicks viewers had expected to see when they purchased the pay-per-view.  According to Big Jon McCarthy, the Kempo disciple Jenkins cut DeLucia with his toe nail when he threw a high kick, an incident which lead to nail trimming being mandatory before fights from there on out.  DeLucia eventually managed to take Jenkins to the ground and used the grappling experience he had gleaned from the Gracie’s to choke his opponent out with an RNC (The first in UFC history).  DeLucia’s jiu-jitsu skills were at a white belt level at the time, but he might as well have been armed with brass knuckles in these early events.  If anybody owns the full fight, please, please, please send it to me!

3. Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie (UFC 1: The Beginning)

The fight that kicked off the UFC’s first major rivalry.  People who dismiss the early UFC events as being overly biased towards the Gracies really should take a second look at this stand-off.  A yoked-up submission grappling expert like Shamrock is not the kind of person you let into a no-holds-barred tournament if you want your fighter to have no chance at losing.  Going into the fight, most American viewers watching for the first time certainly must have expected the diminutive Brazilian to get crushed.  As you know, however, that was not what transpired.

Easily the most technical fight of the night, the minute-long battle saw both men scramble for grappling dominance.  After the shootfighter Shamrock failed with a heel hook, Gracie seized control of the fight and quickly choked out his mammoth opponent with his own gi sleeve.  The limitations of Shamrock’s grappling style had been exposed; although his training in Japan was applicable to real fighting, it was still used mostly in a performance context and left him exposed to chokes.  The loss would ignite a seething lust for revenge in Shamrock that would not be quelled until his second encounter with Gracie in UFC 5.

http://www.allfreefightvideos.com/2011/08/royce-gracie-vs-ken-shamrock-1-fight.html

2. Vernon White vs. Katsuomi Inagaki (Pancrase- Yes, We are Hybrid Wrestlers 3)

Who says you have to be top tier to put on a good show?  These novice fighters went to fucking war!  Ex-bodybuilder Inagaki controlled much of the early action, using the kesa-gatame hold to execute offense and force White to give up several escape points.  Eventually, though, the Shamrock protégée and former Taekwondo instructor White managed to grind down his Japanese foe with merciless barrages of strikes (Many of which were blatantly illegal).  Despite enduring an abusive amount of punishment, the courageous Japanese refused to give up and only lost when the referee stopped the fight standing.  Inagaki never achieved much in his MMA career, but he would ALWAYS display the same level of bravery and determination that he did in this fight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oB4gSip4MqY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXcl9sYeaZ4

1. Ken Shamrock vs. Yoshiki Takahashi (Pancrase- Yes, We are Hybrid Wrestlers II)

Takahashi is a badass motherfucker.  Maybe a little too badass for his own good.  He obviously had talent, as we got to see in this very stellar match, but his refusal to quit even after suffering severe injury probably wore him out for the rest of his career.  Nevertheless, these early fights will still always be around for us to appreciate his heart and ability. 

The ex-amateur wrestler Takahashi scored some huge takedowns in the early goings of the fight, something we seldom witnessed against the seemingly invincible Shamrock back in the day.  The American’s power and skill would eventually enable him to take control of the match and batter his Japanese opponent for twelve minutes straight.  Over the course of the fight, Takahashi suffered a broken jaw from a palm strike and nearly had his leg broken from a heel hook attempt.  He was even choked unconscious at one point, but managed to grab the rope just before passing out (Shamrock was actually given a red card for holding on too long).  Despite this abuse, he continued to press forward and threaten the American with submission holds.  Finally, he was forced to tap when Shamrock applied a brutal heel hook.  The gallant warrior ended up having to be carried out of the ring.

Takahashi’s later fight with Bas Rutten, where he had his shin broken, probably fucked his body for life.  Still, he continued to fight on in a career that lasted seventeen years.  During that time, he would take on a myriad of world class opponents, including Masakatsu Funaki, Bas Rutten, Valentijn Overeem, Igor Vovchanchyn, Vitor Belfort, and Josh Barnett.  He would also achieve such notable feats as defeating jiu-jitsu legend Wallid Ismail in his lone UFC appearance and winning the inaugural Pancrase Heavyweight Championship.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SX_MuUKMIes

Fighter of the year:

Masakatsu Funaki

This choice probably comes as a surprise to most of you.  After all, Ken Shamrock is in three of the five fights on this list and Royce Gracie won the first UFC tournament.  Either fighter would seem like a more logical choice.  In truth, however, the impact of Gracie’s victories could not fully resonate in the martial arts community around the time of the first UFC event as it was not made available on VHS until much later (The UFC II tape was actually released before it, for God knows what reason).  And despite Shamrock’s early achievements, I really can’t help but give this to Funaki.  His founding of Pancrase was both a significant point for Japanese MMA and the history of the sport as a whole.  Without his contribution, the world might’ve never known Ken Shamrock, Frank Shamrock, Bas Rutten, or Josh Barnett.  There might’ve never even been a Pride FC.  For that, I must honor him.