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Thread: Community MMA Re-Watch: UFC 1 The Beginning

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    Community MMA Re-Watch: UFC 1 The Beginning



    UFC 1: The Beginning
    November 12, 1993
    McNichols Sports Arena
    Denver, Colorado
    7,800 in Attendance


    Main Card - Tournament Quarter Finals
    Patrick Smith vs Ken Shamrock
    Royce Gracie vs Art Jimmerson
    Zane Frazier vs Kevin Rosier
    Gerard Gordeau vs Teila Tuli

    How to watch? - https://www.ufc.tv/video/the-beginning

    No weightclasses, no time limits, no biting, no eye gouging, fights can only stop via knockout, submission or corner throws in towel. So there were some sort of rules. I think we all know the results to this event, but I won't post them just incase there is a rare unicorn out there that doesn't know. This was the battle of the styles. To see which fighting style was superior. To see if technique can over come raw strength and power. This was essentially a tough man test in the most brutal form.

    Alright, so I've cheated for the first MMA community re-watch. But it is the most important event in MMA history, so it makes sense to start with this one. But because I cheated, I'll post two this week to kick things off. Post whatever event you'd want to re-watch and discuss together as a community. Otherwise I'll just choose a random one that you may not be interested in, doesn't have to be UFC. Figured this would be a good way to increase activity and gives people something to re-watch during the week as there's usually slow MMA news. I'll post the next on Wednesday/Thursday or whatever day this week.

    This one also doesn't take too long to watch if you just skip to the fights, so I feel it's a good starting point due to it being Christmas and not having loads of time.
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    I remember this as the 2nd or 3rd VIDEO released. The very first event...obviously but I do recall UFC 2 and possibly 3 being released on video before #1........and no BJM McCarthy on this event either if I recall correctly
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    I still have UFC I-VII on video cassette, but don't have a VCR to play them on anymore...

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    Maybe I took the wrong thing away from this, but how much of a dick was Royce Gracie? He held onto the submissions for much longer than needed. Even when the ref stepped in, he didn't let go immediately.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hired_Merc View Post
    Maybe I took the wrong thing away from this, but how much of a dick was Royce Gracie? He held onto the submissions for much longer than needed. Even when the ref stepped in, he didn't let go immediately.
    Yeah, I've always thought that about him at UFC 1. If he did that shit now, he'd be cut or at the very least suspended and fined.
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    You guys may be right, haven't watched those fights in a long time, but have to say, it was a different world. No one outside Brazil and a small group of guys in Los Angeles had ever seen BJJ at that time, and Royce was turning the whole martial arts world on its head with those fights... What he was doing back then was a whole other sport than what you know now as MMA, and I think you have to cut him a little slack, as groin strikes were legal, head butts, head kicks, small joint locks, shots to the back of the head and spine, all of it was legal in those fights... Remember too, Royce to my memory didn't fight anyone who weighed less than he did, they all outweighed him, some pretty significantly...

    I watched UFC I and II with a whole group of TaeKwon Do black belts and lower belts, and we were all amazed, shocked, and definitely put on notice that either we learned that shit or we were in big trouble if we ever mixed it up with anyone who knew that stuff. The tournaments we were fighting in back then were point tournaments, and there wasn't even leg kicks let alone grappling, but we all saw it: you go to the ground with someone who knew what to do and you were dead meat. Punching and kicking, no matter how strong you are, how ever many boards you can break, however many opponents you can spar against, once you're on your back, its useless, and we all saw it...

    My TaeKwon Do head instructor saw it too, and brought in a Gracie-trained BJJ black belt from Brazil to do a seminar, circa 1994. I wrote about it years ago here, but the guy took on my whole school, almost all the black belts were there. I was the first one to try and jump him, with no wrestling or ground experience. We agreed not to punch or kick, so we were all fighting on his turf, and he went through all of us, I think there were 14 black belts there, in about ninety minutes, submitting us one after the other. He put me in a north/south type crucifix in about five or ten seconds. Our senior black belt, a guest in our school that day who was a 4th degree in TKD lasted the longest, about fifteen minutes. It was a great fight, easily one of the best fights I've ever been personal witness to, but the BJJ guy, his name was James de la O, eventually sank in a version of a rear naked choke...

    I never heard the term "mixed martial arts" or saw the designation MMA until about 2005, when I came back to watching UFC events after years of not following the sport. What Royce Gracie was doing in early UFC events was not what we know now as MMA, and it's not really fair to judge him by modern standards, even though it might totally be the case that he held those subs longer than he really needed to...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mu_Shin View Post
    You guys may be right, haven't watched those fights in a long time, but have to say, it was a different world. No one outside Brazil and a small group of guys in Los Angeles had ever seen BJJ at that time, and Royce was turning the whole martial arts world on its head with those fights... What he was doing back then was a whole other sport than what you know now as MMA, and I think you have to cut him a little slack, as groin strikes were legal, head butts, head kicks, small joint locks, shots to the back of the head and spine, all of it was legal in those fights... Remember too, Royce to my memory didn't fight anyone who weighed less than he did, they all outweighed him, some pretty significantly...

    I watched UFC I and II with a whole group of TaeKwon Do black belts and lower belts, and we were all amazed, shocked, and definitely put on notice that either we learned that shit or we were in big trouble if we ever mixed it up with anyone who knew that stuff. The tournaments we were fighting in back then were point tournaments, and there wasn't even leg kicks let alone grappling, but we all saw it: you go to the ground with someone who knew what to do and you were dead meat. Punching and kicking, no matter how strong you are, how ever many boards you can break, however many opponents you can spar against, once you're on your back, its useless, and we all saw it...

    My TaeKwon Do head instructor saw it too, and brought in a Gracie-trained BJJ black belt from Brazil to do a seminar, circa 1994. I wrote about it years ago here, but the guy took on my whole school, almost all the black belts were there. I was the first one to try and jump him, with no wrestling or ground experience. We agreed not to punch or kick, so we were all fighting on his turf, and he went through all of us, I think there were 14 black belts there, in about ninety minutes, submitting us one after the other. He put me in a north/south type crucifix in about five or ten seconds. Our senior black belt, a guest in our school that day who was a 4th degree in TKD lasted the longest, about fifteen minutes. It was a great fight, easily one of the best fights I've ever been personal witness to, but the BJJ guy, his name was James de la O, eventually sank in a version of a rear naked choke...

    I never heard the term "mixed martial arts" or saw the designation MMA until about 2005, when I came back to watching UFC events after years of not following the sport. What Royce Gracie was doing in early UFC events was not what we know now as MMA, and it's not really fair to judge him by modern standards, even though it might totally be the case that he held those subs longer than he really needed to...
    Oh I totally agree. It was 100% a different world. But even that, it's a bad show of sportsmanship when the ref has to literally pull you off of the guy when he's already tapped a hundred times. I feel like he would never have done that to one of his own BJJ guys, just as a sign of mutual respect but these guys from other disciplines had talked so much shit, it's hard to blame him for wanting to break an arm or choke a guy out cold as a "fuck you" to the other disciplines. Either way, not great sportsmanship, but like you said, it's comparing apples and oranges. I was more trying to make the point that the sport was more brutal back then, and that those kinds of actions wouldn't fly today in the "new era" of MMA
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    Agreed Matt. What the UFC started out as had to evolve and become the sport we see today, or it would never have survived.

    In the beginning, it was a gladiatorial combat display pitting various disciplines against one another. When Fred Ettish took 80 stitches to the face at UFC II, when Keith Hackney broke both his hands on Emmanuel Yarborough's head, and yes, when Royce Gracie demonstrated the efficacy of Brazilian Ju Jitsu, a whole generation of martial artists got pragmatic evidence as to what worked, and what didn't. At the same time however, the rest of the populace saw "human cockfighting", saw fighters attacking opponents who were down, saw fighters beaten and bloody in a way they had never seen before, saw fighters choked unconscious in a way they'd never seen before, and the cry went up to protect these crazy fighters from themselves by banning this insane contest. UFC events were banned in state after state here in the US, and as satellite TV gave way to cable, it became virtually impossible for the original format to be broadcast.

    I know for me personally, the most memorable fight in the original format was Marco Ruas versus Paul Varelans. Check that one out on YouTube. For me, that was where mixed martial arts was born. Ruas was a vale tudo (anything goes) fighter, who used killer striking, brutal jujitsu, and beat bigger guys with technique and ferocity. Ruas was listed at 6', 210 lbs, and bested Paul Varelans, who was listed at 6'8" over 300 lbs, with the most vicious leg kicks anyone had seen up to that point, chopping down the giant until Varelans could no longer stand. It was fucking brilliant...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mu_Shin View Post
    Agreed Matt. What the UFC started out as had to evolve and become the sport we see today, or it would never have survived.

    In the beginning, it was a gladiatorial combat display pitting various disciplines against one another. When Fred Ettish took 80 stitches to the face at UFC II, when Keith Hackney broke both his hands on Emmanuel Yarborough's head, and yes, when Royce Gracie demonstrated the efficacy of Brazilian Ju Jitsu, a whole generation of martial artists got pragmatic evidence as to what worked, and what didn't. At the same time however, the rest of the populace saw "human cockfighting", saw fighters attacking opponents who were down, saw fighters beaten and bloody in a way they had never seen before, saw fighters choked unconscious in a way they'd never seen before, and the cry went up to protect these crazy fighters from themselves by banning this insane contest. UFC events were banned in state after state here in the US, and as satellite TV gave way to cable, it became virtually impossible for the original format to be broadcast.

    I know for me personally, the most memorable fight in the original format was Marco Ruas versus Paul Varelans. Check that one out on YouTube. For me, that was where mixed martial arts was born. Ruas was a vale tudo (anything goes) fighter, who used killer striking, brutal jujitsu, and beat bigger guys with technique and ferocity. Ruas was listed at 6', 210 lbs, and bested Paul Varelans, who was listed at 6'8" over 300 lbs, with the most vicious leg kicks anyone had seen up to that point, chopping down the giant until Varelans could no longer stand. It was fucking brilliant...
    Just re-watched that one, and MAN those were some brutal kicks. You could see Varleans trying to block them towards the end, but Ruas was just too quick for him. And Ruas was an animal once he smelled blood. As soon as Varleans looked REALLY unsteady on that leg, he came with 3 REALLY quick leg kicks and that was it for Varleans.
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    Anybody have an event in mind to do next one? Probably put it up Monday, this one didn't get enough attention to have another be posted this week.
    "Hard work pays off, dreams come true, bad times don't last, but BAD GUYS do!" - Scott Hall 2014

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