Each week, we present a review of an Ultimate Fighting Championship show in chronological order, assembling a sort of historical record of mixed martial arts in America. This week: UFC 10.
The Ultimate Fighting Championship 10: The Tournament!
– After the experiment of UFC 9, we’re back to the tournament format again, albeit not for long.
– Live from Birmingham, AL.
– Your hosts are Bruce Beck and Jeff Blatnick.
Open Weight tournament quarterfinals:
Mark Hall (Moo Yea Do) v. Don Frye (Awesome-Fu)
OK, I made up Frye’s discipline. Hall’s pre-match promo sounds like that of a hostage being held at gunpoint by Al-Qaeda. Not much for charisma, this one. Frye, meanwhile, lets us know that his dog was killed in an accident and he’s using that for motivation. Yikes. BRUCE BUFFER is now the announcer, looking and sounding very young. Hall comes in with a spinkick, and gets SLAMMED right out of the gate, and Frye pounds on the ribs while Hall struggles to get into the guard. They’re on the ground for a good long while, but Frye just keeps assaulting the ribs so it’s not like there’s nothing going on. The shot of Hall’s bruised and beaten ribs is just crazy. Frye continues destroying the ribs while they stay on the fence, just delivering an unmerciful beating. Hall’s hanging in there, I’ll give him that. Big John finally breaks them up and wants Hall checked over, and they put a stop to it at 10:23. Oh Don Frye, why can’t you travel to the present in a time machine and kill everyone in the heavyweight division today?
Brian Johnston (Kickboxing) v. Scotty Fiedler (Kickboxing)
Fiedler’s hairdo is somewhat reminiscent of old time wrestling heel Killer Khan. That doesn’t really inspire fear or awe in me. Johnston gets a nice judo takedown and goes for the ankle like a madman, but it turns into a wrestling match on the mat and Fiedler gets control from the bottom and tries for a choke. Johnston has a nice reversal out of there and gets top control, then finishes with strikes to the back of the head at 2:25. That would now be illegal.
Mark Coleman (Wrestling) v. Moti Horenstein (Survival)
Does Horenstein kill zombies for a living or something? Coleman makes his UFC debut here, and he’s still around today. He immediately takes Horenstein down and pounds him, then gets the top and throws BOMBS until Big John stops it at 2:43.
John Campetella (Kempo Karate) v. Gary Goodridge (Kook Sul Won)
Big slugfest to start as they throw down against the fence and trade some good shots. Goodridge wraps him up and pulls guard to take it to the mat, then reverses to the top position and wallops him for the stoppage at 1:27. That was pretty quick, I’ve gotta agree with the announcers there. There was a lot of damage, but it’s not like Campetella wasn’t attempting to defend himself.
– Tank Abbott joins us for an interview during the off-time and joins the commentary team, cutting a hilarious promo (“You ever see those shows on the Discovery Channel about animals ripping apart a gazelle?”) and promising to return for the next UFC. His analysis of the last Superfight (“You’ve got Glamrock and Freddie Mercury out there hiding from the clock for 18 minutes…”) is also spot-on.
Open Weight tournament semi-finals:
Don Frye v. Brian Johnston
Hey, no subs this time, sweet. Frye controls Johnston on the fence and they fight out of the clinch, trading knees from there. Johnston gets some good shots in, but Frye takes him down and gets his back. Johnston manages a good reversal, but Frye gets side mount and finishes with elbows at 4:38. Kind of a lame tapout. Tank notes that Johnston “looked like a pussy”. Oh, Tank. Calling it like he sees it.
Mark Coleman v. Gary Goodridge
This should be fun. Coleman takes him down and throws some aggressive headbutts while the announcers talk about past Coleman opponent Mark Kerr potentially coming to the UFC. We’re definitely getting into the golden age of heavyweights now. Goodridge elevates off the ground and gets up on the fence, but Coleman tenaciously hangs on with a waistlock. Goodridge travels the length of the fence, trying to escape, but Coleman throws strikes from behind, just rocking him with uppercuts. Goodridge actually escapes and wants another standup battle, but Coleman takes him down again and throws knees to the head until Goodridge gives up the back. Coleman finishes with the choke at 7:00. What a great series of fights tonight.
– The short length of the matches tonight leaves us with a commercial for “Kings of Pancrase” on PPV, and a lengthy interview with Dan Severn where they admit outright how crappy that Superfight was.
Open Weight tournament finals:
Mark Coleman v. Don Frye
Frye shoots in for the takedown, but Coleman quickly reverses and gets Frye’s back. Frye tries to reverse out, but Coleman throws from the top and does some pretty major damage. Not even the moustache can save him from those shots! Frye can’t get away and Coleman keeps pounding his face. He passes guard and sinks in a side choke, but Frye uses the fence to escape certain doom. Back to the standup and Coleman gets another dominating takedown, then goes to Frye’s back, but Big John gets the doctor to check on Frye’s face. We’re good to go, although John warns Frye “You’ve gotta do something, son.” I’d listen to him. Frye comes out swinging, but Coleman wisely backs off to the fence and sprawls to prevent a takedown. Coleman gets the back again, riding Frye in total control of the fight, then powers Frye down and tries for the choke. Frye still manages to reverse out, but Coleman simply picks him up in a double-leg to get off the mat. Awesome. Frye goes to the guard, one of the few times I’ve seen him fighting from his back, and now Coleman gets side position and smashes Frye’s face up with headbutts, and that’s enough for Big John, as Mark Coleman wins the Ultimate Fighting Championship. What a war!
This is a hell of a show as they return to the tournament format, with every fight being good, although no Superfight this time. Next up: Tank returns as Coleman defends his title at UFC 11!