It ended up in the last thirty seconds, in a weird situation. He was kinda outta desperation, he rolled to a kneebar and an ankle lock. He had my leg, I’m sitting and have his feet and all I can see is his butt. You know, he was “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” and I can’t really get my leg out, and it just pops into my head, ‘spank him.’
That’s how former two-division UFC champion and UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture described delivering one of the most humiliating beatdowns in MMA History, ten years ago today. The event was UFC 44: Undisputed. Couture’s opponent was then light-heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz, who had successfully defended his title a record five times; a record that would not be broken until last weekend. The date was September 26, 2003 (do you feel old now?).
Believe it or not, there was a time long, long ago when the relationship between the Coutures and the UFC was something other than mutual disdain. It was the early aughts, and after pounding out Chuck Liddell for the interim LHW championship at the previous event, Couture would successfully unify the belts with a five-round drubbing of Ortiz.
While there was no shaming “The
Hunting People’s Champ” for losing to a legend like Couture, there was plenty of shame to be seen in the final thirty seconds of the fight, when “The Natural” proceeded to spank his younger foe like he had just found a bag of grass in his sock drawer. For lack of a better word, it was…hilarious.
At 40 years of age, Couture would become the oldest fighter to ever win a UFC title. And he wasn’t even done yet.
But Couture vs. Ortiz wasn’t the only historic beatdown to happen at UFC 44. Not by a long shot…
- In the evening’s co-main event, Tim Sylvia defeated fellow giant Gan McGee by first round knockout, only to be immediately stripped of the title after testing positive for steroids in his post fight drug test. He would not fight again until nearly a year later at UFC 48. It would not end well.
- Speaking of heavyweights, Andrei Arlovski would score a quick knockout over fellow Belarusian Vladimir Matyushenko one fight prior to the Sylvia/McGee scrap, cementing his place as a top heavyweight and punctuating the UFC’s “Greatest Knockouts” lists forevermore.
- On the preliminary card, a debuting Nick Diaz would score a third round submission via armbar over future TUF 4 contestant and despicable rapist scumbag Jeremy Jackson. The victory brought Diaz’s lifetime record against Jackson — who to this day holds the only (non cut-related) stoppage victory over Nick — to 2-1.