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.