The Classic UFC Thread

So I got Fightpass exclusively for the old shows, the "human cockfighting" era pre-Zuffa. Going through them from the beginning is a blast. After not seeing these for years I remembered why I got into MMA in the first place, even the shitty stuff. They're much easier watches to me than a lot of the current shows, but that could be just my fatigue from the overexposure. That or not enough Paul Vareleans.


RIP Pat Smith
 
Watching the sumo guy charge forward and get his teeth knocked in on the first show is a harrowing experience. Really set the tone going forward.
Ken Shamrock had a really good story about how all the fighters were screaming and hitting the pads in the back as the show was starting. basically trying to act like how a tough guy would in the movies. Then the first fight started and was being aired on a TV in the back and as soon as they heard the thud and saw the tooth flying they all just stood in silent shock. It was the moment when they realized what they signed up for, and that it was AS REAL AS IT GETS
 
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Brocklock

Integral Poster
Yeah even as a kid who thought UFC was like wrestling and was way too young to be watching, I saw moments like Tank mocking Matua and the tooth flying and knew that it was completely different and real. As a 7 year old kid, Tank vs Oleg felt like this unbelievable event and epic struggle. I remember being nervous when they had to give Oleg oxygen after the fight.

Also, I remember my grandma buying me a VHS of UFC 1 for my 10th or 11th Birthday so yeah.

edit: One more memory just came back as I think I had UFC 10 taped on the same VHS that had a bunch of episodes of the USA hit cartoon Mortal Kombat: Defenders Of The Realm.
 
My brother showed me UFC 2 a couple months after it happened and it was insane. Royce going through guys blew me away, and Smith destroying Morris is always going to be my favorite moment. Tracking them all down back in the Limewire days right when the boom started was crazy. Going from how big the first TUF finale was to Ruas chopping Vareleans down like a tree? Perfect.

Tank vs Oleg was a perfect ending. That whole tournament was some really lucky storytelling.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster
Yeah even as a kid who thought UFC was like wrestling and was way too young to be watching, I saw moments like Tank mocking Matua and the tooth flying and knew that it was completely different and real. As a 7 year old kid, Tank vs Oleg felt like this unbelievable event and epic struggle. I remember being nervous when they had to give Oleg oxygen after the fight.

Also, I remember my grandma buying me a VHS of UFC 1 for my 10th or 11th Birthday so yeah.

edit: One more memory just came back as I think I had UFC 10 taped on the same VHS that had a bunch of episodes of the USA hit cartoon Mortal Kombat: Defenders Of The Realm.
That was my experience at well when I finally got the tapes in the late 90s. Anything past 3 mins seemed epic and stuff like Oleg laying on Tank for 18 mins was mind blowing for the struggle.

Trying to rewatch the long fights now.....yeah....

*Dan Severn back suplex gif*
 
Severn is the shit. Striking is hilarious, but I like seeing everyone trying to adapt and add things. But him alternately looking scary and like a gay pornstar is what combat sports are about. Even Don The Dragon knows.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster
Tank got hosed in that tourney too as Oleg's rd 2 opponent was his training partner or something and their manager had him fly right into a choke to save Oleg's energy. It was even mentioned as being fishy by the announcers in real time.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster
Bruce Beck should come back.
Jim Brown being an BJJ mark for some reason made the Gracie/Severn fight awesome as Jeff Blatnick (former Olympic wrestler IIRC) was creaming over Severn being in the mount and dominating position for minutes on end, going as far to say that Severn was in no danger from this position. Suddenly Royce chokes him from the bottom and Brown gleefully says "Brazilian Ju Jitsu!" (IIRC) and Blatnick is flabbergasted.
 
Jim Brown got it by the end of his run.

I'm convinced the Oleg second round was to make sure he could finish the tournament and not have any Jennum bullshit happen again.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
Yeah even as a kid who thought UFC was like wrestling and was way too young to be watching
I feel like that's where UFC got into trouble. If they had presented themselves like boxing from the beginning, I think the uproar over how wild and out of control the sport was would have been more muted. Obviously, they needed weight classes and whatnot but I think a lot of why people were upset was it was presented kind of like WWF & WCW when they were still in their kiddie era.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster
I feel like that's where UFC got into trouble. If they had presented themselves like boxing from the beginning, I think the uproar over how wild and out of control the sport was would have been more muted. Obviously, they needed weight classes and whatnot but I think a lot of why people were upset was it was presented kind of like WWF & WCW when they were still in their kiddie era.
I do sort of wish the idea with the sharks and moat that was proposed for UFC 1 had been done in Japan or something. Maybe a Karate Kid 2 style arena.

With the complete lack of cross styles in UFC 1-5 or so, I'm not sure weight classes wouldn't be a detriment. The little guy winning tournaments his family were helping book was sort of the hook that got the Gracies involved. Unless they recruited better and got Bas, Shamrock, Severn, Frye, etc all in earlier to carry the shows.

I do enjoy the carney gimmicks and records they give the guys in the early shows. Tank had a college degree IIRC and a solid NCAA record IIRC, but none of that was going to sell like the PIIITTTT FIGHTAAAAAAAAAA!!! Shit, in a non tourney format, they could have fed Tank tomato cans to blast for years and get him over as a Butterbean like folk hero. A Kimbo Slice before Kimbo Slice was a thing.
 

King Kamala

Integral Poster
OK. Kimbo DID fight a super washed Tank Abbott in the late '00s. That's one of those things that seems like a Mandela Effect thing but isn't,.
 

alkeiper

Welcoming our new insect overlords
Good memories of old UFC. UFC 11 with Mark Coleman winning without a final hurt my interest though, and UFC Japan with Kazushi Sakuraba is the last event I clearly remember.
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
UFC 11 started the Ferrozzo era at least

ferrozo.jpg


images
 
Best part was everyone essentially starting as tomato cans and the guys who kept going learning how to adapt to other styles. Tank Abbott taking dudes to the ground is fucking weird but it's cool at the same time. Severn pretending to hit people in a shoot. It's great. The one guy I've come to like the least over time is Royce.

Can't stress how just fun these shows are to me. It's like seeing an old friend and then watching them get wrecked by a pitfighter with training in trapfighting over the course of 15 minutes.
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
I still respect what Royce has done and him at UFC 2 is spectacular, but lol watching that Kimo fight with Royce pulling hair for almost the entire time does kill the aura a tad.
 
Royce and his mad gi abuse is great too. There's just something so obnoxious about him I never picked up, though. A big part is how the Gracies period were just so protective and just had to make sure they stacked the deck. I love UFC 2, though. He was a killer no matter what.

He and Kimo had the first really good fight, too. That reminds me: I was expecting Joe Son to get erased but his few major moments are still there. I was happy they didn't as just a completist but I really did not want to see him ever again.
 

Brocklock

Integral Poster
Yeah Royce/Kimo is about as exciting as it gets for early UFC. What they did was way ahead of everything else and hair pulling aside still holds up as a good fight today.

I'm happy they kept Keith Hackney putting on a speed bag session on Joe Son's balls. Still pisses me off that Fight Pass edited out Giant Silva going after Takashi Suguira with a giant club on that one Pride show.
 
For real? Bullshit. I'm going through Pride next, and it's buried so deep in this stupid service that I was afraid it wasn't even there.

On UFC 8 now. Finally the Frye era.
 

BruiserBrody

Integral Poster
What's the consensus on the Lion's Den nowadays?
Frank and Ken were both awesome. Guy Metzger was a warrior. Jerry Bohlander impressed in the UFC from what I recall of his brief(?) run.

Frank ended up leaving and cross training with Maurice Smith. He helped Smith score one of the biggest upsets of the first 20 UFCs when he survived Coleman long enough to burn him out. For years and years I misremembered the ending of that fight as Smith winning via head kick due to Coleman going to sleep soon afterward to another striker whose name escapes me at this moment. I am not going to Wiki it for the sake of spiting myself.

Tank coming in last second to replace Coleman in the rematch, all tubby and not at all ready ended in what I found to be a hilarious manner as Tank tapped due to leg strikes w/o going down. I certainly would feel different about someone quitting in that manner today.
 
Severn is a really interesting guy. Even when he's bullshitting he's extremely consistent about it. He and Frye are starting a podcast.

Mark Coleman Era now with the wrestlers just dominating. Seeing the changes from show to show is so funny because the video quality seems to be getting worse and worse the more into the dark years I go. It has that comforting freshly rented VHS feel to it.
 
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