UFC the Early Years: What You May Have Missed Part 4 (UFC 9 and 10)

Monday, January 24th, 2011 by Tony Reid

UFC 9    

*Motor City Madness held in, you guessed it, Detroit, MI.

* No more tournament action.

*6 regular fights.

*Locker room interview for the first time, with Severn and Shamrock.

*Cal Worsham vs. Zane Frasier- The fight goes to the ground early and Frasier is out of his comfort zone as he taps due to very light strikes.

*Rafael Carino vs. Matt Anderson- Well, the 6’8” Carino gets the takedown moves to mount and pounds Anderson out. No one ever said they would all be barn burners.

* Mark Shultz vs. Gary Goodridge- Shultz, a two time Olympian and a 1984 Freestyle Olympic Gold Medalist makes his debut. The classic grappler vs. striker matchup. Shultz had agreed to fight that morning! Shultz lands a huge takedown right out of the gate, into side control. He batters Goodridge a bit but the fight goes back to the feet and Shultz’s standup looks like a cross between Notre Dame’s and a boxer from the 1800’s and his shorts are shorter than John Stockton’s. Ok, enough critiquing, Shultz has cut Goodridge up, the fight has been stood up a few times and every time after Shultz lands a huge takedown to take it back to his world. In the last 30 seconds Shultz gets mount and raises up to land some punches on Goodridge. Shultz wins by decision.

*Mark Hall vs. Koji Kitao-Hall a 6’ 180lb. fighter takes on the UFC’s first Yokozuna in Koji Kitao. Kitao stands 6’7” and weighs in at 390 pounds. Kitao lands an early takedown but the fight is stopped immediately by Big John. As Kitao stands up blood is pouring from his nose. The fight was stopped due to a broken nose. There is much rejoicing as the crowd begins its “USA!” chant.

*Amaury Bitetti vs. Don Frye- That big muscular lady in Frye’s corner is Becky Levy, his strength and conditioning coach. Bitetti is sporting the Bad Boy Vale Tudo shorts, which is the first appearance of a sponsor on fighters in cage attire. Frye uses early clinch work, wrestling and dirty boxing. Frye just bulldogs Bitetti with punches, knees, literally pushing Bitetti around the cage. Frye continues to man handle him on the ground, with forearms all over Bitetti’s face and elbows just grinding away at him. At this point Big John steps in and stops the abuse. Frye picks up the win.

It’s Super Fight Time. Dan Severn vs. Ken Shamrock- Let’s get it on! They circle for a minute to feel each other out. Make that two minutes…make that five minutes. The crowd starts a new chant entitled “Bullshit”. Now we are circling for seven minutes…Good Lord make that 10 minutes of pure circling. Big John breaks them up (it didn’t take much) and send them to their corners and restarts the fight that never started. We are up to 14 minutes of circling. After 16 minutes of no action Severn shoots for a single leg takedown and them its back to circling. Severn shoots again, is reversed by Shamrock and ends up under Shamrock full mounted. Severn is hanging on for dear life for 3 minutes, eventually he rolls to his stomach and Shamrock attempts to take his back but gets reversed with Severn ending up in top position. Severn does more damage from top position in the last 45 seconds of the fight than had been done by both fighters combined in the 24 minutes prior. Overtime and we circle for 3 minutes. The second overtime starts and they circle for three more minutes. Needless to say, the crowd is not entertained. They boo the hell out of both fighters, they start throwing garbage into the Octagon and announcer Don “The Dragon” Wilson even mentions getting hit with a cigarette butt. It goes to the judges: Judge 1: Shamrock, Judge 2: Severn, Judge 3: Severn!

UFC 9 Takeaways: None of the Super Fights have been super…none. We have seen many of the fighters wear gloves similar to those worn today. Did I mention that all of the Super Fights have sucked?

UFC 10    

*Held in Birmingham, AL

*The tournament is back.

*Judge Marc Denny, the Dog Brother.

*There is a new ring announcer, some guy named Bruce Buffer!

*Mark Hall vs. Don Frye-Buffer starts with his now famous “Are you ready?” We are also told that Don Frye uses the motivation of his dead dog in his fights. I couldn’t make this stuff up. To the fight, Hall lands a spinning back kick leading to a takedown by Frye where Frye proceeds to punish Hall from top position until Big John steps in to stop the fight.

*Scott Fiedler vs. Brain Johnston- The biggest story of this fight is Fiedler’s hair, a shaved head with a braided pony/rat tail. Anyhow Johnston gets the takedown flattens him out and pounds him out.

*Mark Coleman vs. Moti Horenstein- Our first look at future UFC Hall of Famer Mark Coleman. Horenstein’s discipline listed as “Survival”. Well, he doesn’t survive the Hammer. Coleman gets a quick takedown, to mount and ladies and gentleman this is the birth of Ground and Pound as we know it. He mauls Moti with lefts and rights and finishes with a few big hands.

*Gary Goodridge vs. John Campetella- Two big, powerful dudes trading a few shots on the feet, the fight hits the floor and Goodridge lands three or four big lefts that force Big John to step in and stop the fight.

*Tank Abbott joins the announcing team and gives us some verbal gifts such as “When I count days, I’m counting days to get out of a cage. Now, I’m counting days to get back into a cage.” Also calling Shamrock “Glamrock” and informing everyone of Dan Severn’s uncanny resemblance to Freddy Mercury.

*Don Frye vs. Brian Johnston- Both of these guys advanced earlier in the night. The crowd begins to chant “USA”, which is confusing considering both men are from the United States of America. Johnston gives Frye a decent fight but Frye eventually gets the submission via strikes.

*Gary Goodridge vs. Mark Coleman- These two behemoths meet in the other semi final fight of the night. Coleman scores a takedown, back to their feet and Goodridge begins to hold the fence with both hands as Coleman is hanging off his back. He literally cage walks hand over hand, attached to the fence, around the cage over to his corner to get instructions. Goodridge is getting smashed repeatedly with upper cuts by Coleman who is still hanging off his back. Goodridge is getting advice from his corner men literally inches away as he is getting smashed in the face by Coleman. Eventually Coleman gets the takedown and takes his back, flattens him out and uses some ground and pound to force Goodridge to tap.

Don Frye vs. Mark Coleman- The finals of the tournament! Frye, who is undefeated in the Octagon, comes in as the guy widely considered as the best all around fighter at that time. Coleman just bursts onto the scene. Coleman gets the fight to the ground lands some big punches and opens Frye up. Frye gets back to his feet…for a second. They stop to check the cut on Frye and the fight is restarted on the feet. Both guys look exhausted, the fight goes back to the ground as Coleman batters Frye. Big John stops the fight due to cuts. Coleman is the new champion!

Takeaways from UFC 10: Drama! Frye’s old corner man Richard Hamilton can be seen in Coleman’s corner. He can be seen yelling at Frye as he takes a beating against Coleman. This is the debut of Coleman and ground and pound as we know it. Now everyone is wearing the smaller gloves. There is more and more of an emphasis on “cross training” and “hybrid” fighters.