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It Was [14] Years Ago Today, Sgt. [Gracie] Taught the Band to Play…

Today marks the 14th anniversary of UFC 1, and Dave Meltzer has a great tribute to/history of the groundbreaking event at Yahoo! Sports. Some highlights:

— Though it was marketed as “banned in 49 states,” it wasn’t banned anywhere at the time; the banning would come later.

Royce Gracie‘s domination of the event was carefully orchestrated, but his victory was by no means ensured. Even though he was billed as the world light heavyweight champion in jiu-jitsu, he’d actually “never won anything of substance in Brazil.”

— You know how groin strikes were banned beginning with UFC 14? Well, they were also illegal at UFC 1. They were made legal at UFC 2.

— Patrick Smith was not a Tae Kwon Do champion. Gerard Gordeau was not a Savate champion. Zane Frazier was not a kickboxing champion. Teila Tuli was not a sumo wrestling champion, and had never even competed in the Japanese sumo circuit.

To see all of UFC 1 and 2 summarized in less than 10 minutes — with a cheesy techno soundtrack and worse editing — click here.

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FILMAC- November 12, 2007 at 8:45 pm
Great article. A must read for newbies.
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