(RIP Evan Tanner.)
Well, it wasn’t the most MMA history-steeped day, but there were a few noteworthy events that took place on this day in MMA.
The Ultimate Fighter 7 Finale went down 3 years ago.
Evan Tanner Post Fight Interview
Tags: Evan Tanner Post Fight Interview
Why it Matters:
The event marked the final fight of former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner before his untimely death in the Paolo Verde, California desert. In spite of a close split-decision loss to Kendall Grove on the card, Tanner would give perhaps his last and most harrowing interview that provided an eerie foreboding soundbite that fans will forever make wonder if it was in reference to his career or his troubled life. “I’m feeling off, flat, can’t move. Maybe it’s…you know…Maybe my day is done.”
The event also saw the first TUF winner with no professional fighting experience crowned. Amir Sadollah, who has since racked up a respectable 5-2 record in the Octagon defeated the more seasoned former Arizona State wrestling standout CB Dollaway by first round submission.
One of the night’s winners, Diego Sanchez, would make an ill-fated decision he may now regret in retrospective. Following his win over Luigi Florvanti, Diego announced that he would be dropping to light weight to take a run at a title in the lighter class. After racking up a pair of wins over Joe Stevenson and CLay Guida, “The Nightmare,” as he was known back then, lost via decisive fifth-round TKO stoppage to then-lightweight champion BJ Penn at UFC 107. After a one-year stint as a lightweight, the TUF 1 middleweight winner decided to move back up to welterweight where he has since compiled a 2-1 record with a loss to John Hathaway and a pair of wins over Martin Kampmann and Paulo Thiago.
Iroquois MMA Championships went down 3 years ago.
Why it Matters:
The event, which took place just outside Hamilton, Ontario, Canada on native land saw Gary Goodridge fight at home in Ontario, Canada for the first and last time in his career before he retired. Although the bout didn’t go as planned for ”Big Daddy,” as he lost by unanimous decision, the fact that fans in his home province got to watch the Barrie, Ontario native compete live before he called it a career more than made up for it.
Ring of Fire 5: Predators went down 9 years ago.
Why it matters:
(Back before Diego proved he was more than just a pretty face.)
The otherwise un-newsworthy event saw a 20-year old fighter take the first step in an impressive career. Diego Sanchez defeated fellow MMA newcomer Michael Johnson (no, not the TUF 12 runner-up) at the event that took place at the Radisson North Graystone Castle hotel in Denver, Colorado. Thanks to his appearance on TUF 1 and his ferocious fighting Style, Sanchez (23-4) has grown to become a favorite of UFC fans.
Pancrase: Advance 8 went down 13 years ago.
Why it matters:
UFC 13 tournament winner Guy Mezger faced off with kickboxing juggernaut Semmy Schilt in a moneyweight bout. Although Mezger would lose via TKO at the 13:15 mark of the first round, the fight would go down as one of his most memorable (for those who have seen it) of Mezgar’s storied career.