Of testicles and teeth, having them and losing them. This is one way to look at classic MMA fights. We take a look back at some old bouts, before corner cams got sponsored by snacks companies and losing fighters got paid even if they lost. Here are 5 reminders why early MMA was truly as real as it gets and why it’s enjoyable even to this day.
1.Groin shots were totally legal
Keith Hackney vs. Joe Son (UFC 4, 1994)
Back in 1994, Kenpo artist Keith Hackney did the world a favour by cock punching Joe Son in the ‘nads (as was permitted back then). Unfortunately, this came 4 years after Scumbag Son brutally tortured and sexual assaulted a female victim. The one-time Austin Powers villain never won a fight but racked up a whole list of sexual assault charges and now rots in prison, serving a life sentence for his crimes. It’s always awesome to see him get emasculated.
UFC 4 Legal Groin Shots! (via dre9516)
2. There were only 2 weight classes: "Screw" and "It"
Igor Vovchanchyn vs. Paul Varelans (IFC, 1996)
Everybody loves a great David vs. Goliath story and the very loose definitions for light and heavy weight in early tournaments gave us plenty of that. Igor Vovchanchyn isn’t exactly a small guy. But when he went up against ‘The Polar Bear’ in Kiev in 1996 the size and weight difference was obvious. Good thing Igor’s got a good pair of hand cannons, which he fired away at the head of Varelans who was a good foot taller, all the way to victory.
igor vovchanchyn vs paul varelans (via GULUROD)
3. No gloves, No mouth guard, No Problem
Gerard Gordeau vs. Teila Tuli (UFC 1, 1996)
Speaking of weight differences, when Dutch Savate fighter Gerard Gordeau entered the cage at UFC 1, he faced Sumo Wrestler, Teila Tuli, who was almost 200lb heavier. Not that it mattered since Gordeau promptly kicked him in the face and socked him with a bare fist, winning the fight via referee stoppage. The story goes that Tuli’s tooth landed in front of a potential UFC sponsor right after it was knocked out by Gordeau’s roundhouse to the face. I guess it wouldn’t have happened if the 420lb Sumo Wrestler from Hawaii wore a mouth guard. Too bad the strongest part of his body is his ‘heart’ and not his teeth (watch the pre-fight interview)
Teila Tuli Vs Gerard Gordeau (via MrDracieu)
4. Fighters were really inhumanly tough sons-of-bitches
Yuki Nakai vs. Human Weakness (Vale Tudo Japan, 1995)
Talk about heart. These days when a fighter gets poked in the eye, he gets a timeout. Not Yuki Nakai, who got his eye gouged (allegedly) by Savate stylist Gerard Gordeau at Vale Tudo Japan in 1995, and then went on to fight 2 more opponents, including Rickson Gracie, all on the same night. Nakai never fought professionally again with his last recorded fight being a submission loss to Rickson Gracie. It seems he is now permanently blind in one eye as well. But that did not stop him from going on to form Paraestra Tokyo (which has produced gogoplata phenom Shinya Aoki) or going down in history as a true badass.
Yuki Nakai Fights - Vale Tudo Japan. From the Rickson Gracie Documentary - CHOKE(1999). (via SkemeKOS)
5. Tank Abbott. Period.
Tank Abbott vs. Anybody
He seemed unstoppable, until he lost, to cardio. But I count him as one of the most exciting fighters to watch. This guy didn’t care if he won or lost, he just needed an excuse to beat down on somebody. No circling, no tentative jabs, no inner leg kicks (damn, no kicks period), just a forward charge with haymakers swinging. Unfortunately, this Tank runs out of gas real quick. But if you wanted a street fight, you could bet on Abbott to deliver it.
Tank Highlight (via ninjamasterseagal)
There’s a lot more crazy stuff that went on in the old days. Kimo Leopoldo getting his hair pulled, Genki Sudo showboating around Butterbean, Scott Morris getting mauled by Patrick Smith etc. The list goes on so add to it if you got any.