UFC 1 The Beginning
McNichols Sports Arena, Denver, Colorado
November 12th 1993
November 12th 1993
- The first ever UFC was an 8 man tournament over one night.
- There were no weight classes or time limits.
- The event was billed as no rules but biting or eye gouging was not aloud, everything else goes.
Gerard Gordeau v Teila Tuli
Gordeau was a Savate World champion and weighed approximately 215 pounds. Teila Tuli was a 6 foot 2 4oo pounds sumo wrestler. This first match was seen as classic Grappler v striker.
Tuli charged Gordeau from the start, Gordeau threw strikes while backing up, with the strikes and the momentum of Tuli coming forward he fell to the floor against the cage, one punch and head kick to a downed opponent later and the fight was stopped timed at 30 seconds. Tuli's tooth flew out of his mouth from the kick and Gordeau also broke his hand from punching Tuli to his head.
Kevin Rosier v Zane Frazier
Rosier was a kickboxer versus Frazier a Karate practitioner. These two stayed on there feet and traded punches for four minutes. Frazier had the advantage early on and it looked like he would force the stoppage, Rosier shown a lot of heart and weathered the storm. Both fighters were exhausted and Rosier turned the tide and dropped Frazier with punches, Rosier then stomped on Frazier's head and his corner threw in the towel.
Royce Gracie v Art Jimmerson
The fight every one was waiting for, Gracie Jujitsu versus a professional boxer. Jimmerson also wore one glove to the ring on his right hand. This was an easy victory for Gracie as he quickly took Jimmerson down with a double leg takedown. He took full mount almost immediately, Jimmerson tried to shake him off and then realised he was out of his depth and quickly tapped before he could sustain any serious damage.
Ken Shamrock v Patrick Smith
Another anticipated match up, Shamrock the shoot fighter who had been successful in Japan versus an aggressive Kick boxer in Smith. There was also bad blood in the match has Smith had criticised Shamrock before the fight. Shamrock got the takedown straight away and was in Smith's guard. He then hooked his heel and sat back to try and finish with the heel hook. Smith tried to kick his way out and did catch Shamrock giving him a nice black eye. Shamrock stayed calm and sunk in the heel hook forcing Smith to tap.
Gerard Gordeau v Kevin Rosier
Rosier still seemed tired from his first fight and tired very quickly in this semi final bout. Gordeau backed him up with strikes and then dropped him with punches up against the fence. Gordeau then stomped Rosier in the ribs forcing his corner to throw in the towel. The fight lasted just over a minute.
Royce Gracie v Ken Shamrock
Many people saw this as the tournament decider as this was seen as the best two fighters in the tournament. Gracie went in for the take down and was blocked and turned by Shamrock. All of Shamrock submission fighting at this time had come from Japan and in that style of fighting chokes were not allowed. As Shamrock went for a leg/foot hold to force the stoppage he left his neck exposed and Gracie sunk in the choke. Shamrock was forced to tap. Gracie immediately let go of the hold, the referee had not seen the tap and had not called a stop to the fight. Shamrock then acknowledged that he had tapped and the fight was stopped.
FinalRoyce Gracie v Gerard Gordeau
This was another simple fight for Gracie as he took his time and then took Gordeau down. He threw strikes forcing Gordeau to give up his back. Gracie then sunk in the rear naked choke forcing the tap.
In true UFC style I will award the bonuses of the night. They are my opinion and fall under the following categories.
Ko of the night Gerard Gordeau v Teila Tuli
Tapout of the night Royce Gracie v Ken Shamrock
Fight of the night Kevin Rosier v Zane Frazier
Fighter of the night Royce Gracie