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On This Day in MMA History: Zuffa Promotes First UFC Event, Pulver Becomes a UFC Champ and Tito Gets the Only KO of His Career


(Damn, graphic design has come a long way in 11 years.)

On this day in MMA history 11 years ago, Zuffa LLC, the Las Vegas-based owners of the UFC took its newly-purchased traveling spectacle on the road for the first time to Atlantic City for UFC 30: Battle on the Boardwalk. The card featured five of the promotion’s present and future titleholders and was one of the better events in recent UFC history (at the time).

The main event of the night featured a middleweight (which would be later named the light-heavyweight division) championship bout between then-champ Tito Ortiz and the late Evan Tanner. Unfortunately for fans who were expecting a drag-out war between the pair, the fighter formerly known as “The Huntington Beach Badboy” had other plans. After a brief feeling out process, Ortiz scooped Tanner up, slamming the Team Quest fighter on his back and knocking him unconscious, adding a couple of stiff punches on the ground for good measure. The knockout would stand as the only one of Ortiz’s career.


(Video courtesy of YouTube/NeilJunz)

This video also featured the only known footage of Frank Shamrock being humble and complimenting Tito.

The co-main event saw Jens Pulver in a five-round fight for the first time in his career. Pulver, who had needed just 15 seconds to dispose of John Lewis in his first UFC bout at UFC 28 three months prior, went the distance with highly-ranked Japanese fighter Caol Uno and came out on top with a majority decision and the UFC bantamweight (145-pound) strap after 25 minutes.


(Video courtesy of VK/Andrey Slavin)

Also on the card, Sean Sherk defeated future Mr. Arianny Celeste, Tiki Ghosn, Phil Baroni decisioned Curtis Stout, Pedro Rizzo knocked out Josh Barnett and Elvis Sinosic tapped Jeremy Horn.

———-

UFC 130
February, 23, 2001
Trump Taj Mahal
Atlantic City, New Jersey

UFC Middleweight Championship Bout
Tito Ortiz def. Evan Tanner — KO, 0:30 – R1

UFC Bantamweight Championship Bout
Jens Pulver def. Caol Uno — majority decision

Fabiano Iha def. Phil Jones — submission (armbar), 1:47 – R1

Elvis Sinosic def. Jeremy Horn — submission (armbar), 2:59 – R1

Pedro Rizzo def. Josh Barnett — KO, 4:21 – R2

Bobby Hoffman def. Mark Robinson — KO, 3:27 – R1

Phil Baroni def. Curtis Stout — unanimous decision

Sean Sherk def. Tiki Ghosn — verbal submission, 4:47 – R2

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The12ozCurls- February 24, 2012 at 8:11 am
Weird seeing Jeremy Horn - LOSE - by submission.
Clyde- February 24, 2012 at 5:09 am
No vid of the Rizzo KO? I still remember that one. You could see Barnett was out on his feet, and Rizzo was just stood to the side, paused for a brief second, and then cracked him again to put him down for good.

I'm going to find that right now.
Todd M- February 24, 2012 at 1:28 am
@ jimbonics, Yeah but he beat Shamrock into a "Living Death".
jimbonics- February 23, 2012 at 9:10 pm
I'm with Bill, this is a badass poster. But um... Tito has NEVER KO'd someone with his fist? Maybe I knew that at one point, but god damn man. I know he's GnP'd plenty of people to a pulp.. but fuck, man.. not one KO?
Anhonestmoose- February 23, 2012 at 8:45 pm
I thought the bantamweight at the time was 155, and lightweight was 170. Could be wrong, I'll check my DVDs.
Todd M- February 23, 2012 at 8:01 pm
Sean Sherk def. Tiki Ghosn — verbal submission, 4:47 – R2. Who has quit in the octagon more than Tiki?
Bill C.- February 23, 2012 at 7:08 pm
I actually think this is still one of the best event posters UFC ever produced.
Gladheateher- February 23, 2012 at 6:24 pm
That Cheeeeky Ghosn, why he not in the UF-SEA.
bootystar- February 23, 2012 at 5:56 pm
his head was so small back then
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