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)
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