OH HI EVERYONE! Look, it's been a long time since I've done one of these, so bear with me. I no longer operate my blog and it's been quite some time since I've written anything of substance. I figure why not try and get one of these recaps done like old times? I woke up today and have been working on this, despite the power outage that briefly left me in the dark. But anyway - so many people have had so many nice things to say about my previous entries in this series and I figure why not give this another shot.
I forget how these things start, what do I do? Do I just talk about how much I like it when people punch and kick and choke each other? Uggggggh, this is haaaaaard. I have to make soooo manyyyy wordsssss. Alright, STOP COMPLAINING. Let's make this shit happen.
When we last left of at UFC 18: Evan Tanner and Bas Rutten made their UFC debuts, the latter of whom came one step closer to competing for the UFC's vacant Heavyweight Title. Vitor Belfort made it known that he wants to make an impact at middleweight, challenging Frank Shamrock during the pay-per-view broadcast. Mark Coleman continued his slide from relevance after a tough split decision loss to Pedro Rizzo. And of course, Pat Miletich zzzzzzzzzzzzzz
What will we see at UFC 19? Well, no Pat Miletich thank goodness. Kevin Randleman, a wrestler and all-around terrifying human, will be making his long awaited UFC debut. A couple of familiar names from UFC events will be squaring off as Chuck Liddell and Jeremy Horn will go head to head. We'll also see Tito Ortiz compete against Guy Mezger in a rematch from their bout at UFC 13 - hey, I wonder if anything interesting will happen in this fight? No, probably not.
Seems like I've chosen a nice UFC event to return to, let's dig in and see how this goes!
UFC 19: Ultimate Young Guns - March 5, 1999
Ultimate Ultimate 1995
Ultimate Ultimate 1996
Time for a super awkward video montage of the fighters during the UFC 19 weigh-ins (and physicals). We get to see Chuck Liddell try and cut weight and John McCarthy addresses the fighters during this event. It's actually pretty interesting hearing a bit of dialogue between McCarthy and Kevin Randleman discussing how McCarthy intends to officiate a fight. It's good to have that communication between officials and the fighters, it's one of the first times I've seen that. Then again, I haven't written one of these things in nine months, so maybe I have seen it?
We're welcomed to Casino Magic in (probably not) lovely Bay St. Louis, Mississippi by noted buffoon Mike Goldberg. Since we last left off, I've had a chance to meet Mike Goldberg and...well, he's a nice guy. I feel bad saying anything about him because he was nice, but then again, he was EXTREMELY drunk and kept telling me how Michael Jordan loved him when he worked in Chicago. Then Chandella Powell had to help him to his room. So you know what, I'll still say dumb things about Mike Goldberg, but remember that I don't HATE him. I just hate when he makes words for fighting.
The UFC was previously at Casino Magic at UFC 15 and this will be the last time they make an appearance here. However, seven months from now, Casino Magic will be host to a fake (or scripted) combat sports event known as Heroes of Wrestling. This event is notorious for Jake Roberts getting drunk and being embarrassing and for Yokozuna weighing a billion pounds. Oh, and the whole event was a nightmare. If any of you feel like taking your own life, maybe track the event down and enjoy!
Okay, tangent over and now back to fighting! Mike Goldberg is joined once again by Jeff Blatnick and I'm glad to see and hear him once again. We learn that Maurice Smith will take on Kevin Randleman in one of the featured bouts tonight. We've heard the name Kevin Randleman thrown around on previous events as a potential UFC competitor and I'm glad to see that come to fruition. Randleman has apparently had some success fighting in Brazil, so it will be interesting to see how he looks in the octagon. Randleman and Smith both give their thoughts about the fight and neither man says anything particularly stupid or embarrassing. OH COME ON HOW FUN IS THAT??
OH SHIT MMA TRIPLE THREAT MATCH!!! No, I wish that was the case. But actually, it looks like the winner of Smith vs. Randleman will square off against Bas Rutten for the vacant UFC Heavyweight Title. Smith vs. Rutten would be an absolutely ridiculous fight. I'm sure Randleman would be great competition for El Guapo, but man do I want to see Bas take on Maurice Smith.
Here's something interesting - Goldberg lists the judges for this event and the second one he mentions is "Dan Miragliotti". Surely Goldie is just fucking up the name of current MMA referee Dan Miragliotta, right? Holy shit, Miragliotta judged UFC fights? We've had some really odd judges between Miragliotta and Dave Meltzer, though I really see no reason why either wouldn't be competent.
Before moving onto the main card, there was a single preliminary fight which was Sione Latu vs. Joey Roberts. It doesn't appear that this fight will be broadcast, but Latu won the contest by TKO due to Roberts being cut open.
Onto the first televised contest of the night, pitting heavyweights Pete Williams and Jason Godsey. You guys might remember Pete Williams from his highlight reel knockout win over Mark Coleman in a tremendous upset. Meanwhile, none of you remember Jason Godsey from anything.
We get prefight interviews with both fighters throwing out cliches and general complements at their opponents. However, midway through Godsey's interview, judge Dan Miragliotta has seen fit to stand both fighters up. I...umm...I don't think that's how this is supposed to work. Jason Godsey looks as unintimidating as possible on his way to the cage, if only because he's rocking the grandpa waistband on his vale tudo style shorts. Pete Williams is accompanied to the ring by fellow Lion's Den competitor Mikey Burnett.
Bruce Buffer opens up strong enough with a "WE ARE LIVE!" but then immediately pronounces Mississippi with eight or nine M's. Seriously, Bruce? "Mmmmmmmississippi"?? Bruce's opening grows exceedingly ridiculous and he carries on about HOLY SHIT GET EXCITED PEOPLE THE FUCKING UFC IS HERE. Soon, Bruce Buffer will learn to tone things down and put on a more composed performance, developing the "less is more" style we all know Bruce for.
Kidding, Buffer is a loud idiot.
I am terrified by referee Tony Mullinax. Maybe it's that dead creepy smile, maybe it's rubbing his gloved hands together as if he's going to dig his hands into a fresh corpse, maybe it's the "thank you" he offers to Bruce Buffer after being introduced. In reality, it's definitely all of those things.
This opening contest kicks off and the fighters briefly clinch before breaking. Godsey is extremely aggressive right away, but it's misguided aggression. His idea of striking is to run straight ahead at his opponent, swinging weak and wild shots. Pete Williams recognizes that he might be fighting an invalid and scores an easy takedown. After landing the takedown, I think I can hear Ken Shamrock shouting advice out for Pete Williams.
Williams is in full guard and landing some body shots and Godsey looks way uncomfortable on his back. He's throwing useless short punches and is ineffectively trying to control Williams' hands. Referee Mullinax makes a quick comment about the fighters being inactive and Williams makes his move to side control. Godsey adjusts and moves back into the half guard, where Williams stands and cinches in a knee bar! It doesn't take long for Williams to lock in the hold and score the submission victory in under two minutes. The replay shows that Godsey may have been also attempting some kind of leg lock, but he never had a chance.
Godsey had nothing for Pete Williams. He never looked comfortable in any aspect of this fight, and I feel comfortable making this statement after only having seen him fight for 114 seconds. Williams is a capable heavyweight fighter and has one of the better camps of the time in the Lion's Den. With the heavyweight picture in flux, Williams could potentially become an interesting name. Jason Godsey will go on to work at a Baskin Robbins.
I should stop being so mean - Godsey is actually a far better fighter than I give him credit for. He has wins over Jeremy Horn and Yuki Kondo and in just a couple of months, he'll go on to defeat everyone's least favorite fighter ever Bobby Southworth. Godsey will end his career in 2006 losing to Roy Nelson, but we still haven't seen the last of him in the UFC...
These people are shown in the crowd. Caption: "HEY LOOK, I'LL BE ON TV WITH THIS PROSTITUTE I PAID TO WATCH THE UFC WITH ME!" Do you guys think that the disposable camera he's holding will be used as evidence in the ensuing hooker murder?
Goldie interviews Pete Williams post fight and Williams said he planned to stand and strike until Godsey came out with his braindead flurry of punches. Williams says he felt very comfortable with his submissions and had no problem going to the mat. Williams is working hard to get in better shape and is keeping his eyes on the UFC Heavyweight Title picture. He also has very nice things to say about the Lion's Den, which is different from the stories we've all heard about rampant caning and sodomy out of that camp. (I'M KIDDING LOL PROBABLY NOT)
We then get an odd little video package for an upcoming PPV event called Ultimate Ken Shamrock. It looks like it will just be highlights of the current WWF star's previous fights. We then get to see Goldie interview Shamrock cageside. Shamrock makes some odd comments about self-doubt and resiliency, saying that guys like him and Dan Severn have proven to have intestinal fortitude and guys like Royce Gracie and Mike Tyson haven't "bounced back" from their defeats and down moments in life. I'm...not sure what to make of that, except you're the one who went to the WWF? I love wrestling and I love Ken Shamrock, but I hate stupidity and THAT was a dumb as fuck statement. Goldie concludes that we may indeed see Ken Shamrock make a return to the UFC somewhere down the line.
Next up is a middleweight contest featuring the great Evan Tanner and Valeri Ignatov from Bulgaria. Tanner has a ridiculous MMA record at this point in career at 17-1 with wins over Paul Buentello, Heath Herrig, and MINOWA (!!!!) and he defeated Darrel Gholar by submission at UFC 18. Valeri Ignatov is apparently a member of Shamrock 2000, Bob Shamrock's new MMA fight team. Ignatov is one of the centerpieces of this new team, but with no fights in his MMA career at this point, it will be interesting to see how Ignatov fares. Evan Tanner gets a nice hand from the crowd and I'll give you one guess why. Here's a hint - people from Mississippi only love America!
Tanner opens up with a big punch and backs Ignatov against the fence. Tanner is way aggressive to start and has landed some nice punches, but Ignatov is trying to answer back with strikes of his own. Tanner scores a knockdown/trip of Ignatov and moves into guard and quickly works to pass. He manages to get a hold of Ignatov's left leg and tries to hold onto it so he can move into side mount, but Ignatov is staying active and is being wiley (he's flailing).
Ignatov is controlling Tanner's right arm, but Tanner frees himself and lands a series of really big punches from guard. He starts to work the body and lands some disgusting sounding punches that are uncontested. Tanner drops back for a leg lock and Ignatov works to lock in a submission of his own. Tanner breaks the hold and gets the better of a scramble, ending up in side control and quickly mounting Ignatov. Tanner lands some absolutely brutal elbows from mount and Big John stops this fight. Sweet god, Evan Tanner just did his best to turn that Bulgarian man into skull soup. That was RIDICULOUS. Evan Tanner was about to kill Valeri Ignatov and Big John deserves major kudes for stopping the fight then. But man, those elbows.
That was a great performance and now I want to see Evan Tanner fight everyone. Or at least more shitty Bulgarian fighters that he can elbow really hard in the head.
In the post fight interview with Goldie, you can see that Evan Tanner is just in outstanding shape. He's a really big middleweight, which translates to a modern light heavyweight. Tanner says he wants to go for the UFC Title, but humbly acknowledges that he's got a lot of work to do before he gets there. Could you imagine a Frank Shamrock vs. Evan Tanner fight in 1999? Christ, I need a new pair of underpants. As the interview ends and the camera cuts away, you can hear Evan Tanner ask "do I have time to say something?" and Goldie replies with a dismissive "no". WELL NOW EVAN TANNER IS DEAD SO I HOPE YOU CAN LIVE WITH YOURSELF MIKE GOLDBERG.
In all seriousness, watching this fight makes me sad that Evan Tanner isn't around. He was just so good at this and he seemed like such a nice guy. I know Evan struggled with a lot of issues, but he very clearly had a good heart and wanted to help others and we need more people like that. It's quite sad that addiction hampered Evan's life and career for a number of years. In the end, a fighter as good and a man as decent as Evan Tanner should never, ever have to lose a fight to Kendall Grove. That makes me want to throw up.
HOLY SHIT, Bas has joined Goldie and Blatnick! Bas talks about how great things have been since his UFC debut and he implores everyone to check out his television debut on Martial Law as NITROMAN. I can't find video of his appearance, so instead, here's a video of him dancing on set of Martial Law. Bas reveals that he was injured prior to his UFC 18 bout with Tsuyoshi Kohsaka and could barely train in grappling and almost couldn't train in striking, so it's a wonder he was able to beat such a game opponent. Bas says he's never fought a wrestler before, so he's curious about how he'd fare against Kevin Randleman, but he's also confident in his chances if he needs to fight Maurice Smith. Bas beams at the prospect of becoming the UFC Heavyweight Champion and I'll be anxious to see that title fight when it takes place.
Oddly enough, the third fight on this card is Kevin Randleman against Maurice Smith. Given the title implications here, I'm stunned that this fight is third on a six fight card. But hey, time for a great fight! At least it should be a great fight - most of the heavyweight battles we've had in the UFC have been very dramatic and interesting. Mark Coleman's fights with Pete Williams and Maurice Smith both come to mind.
Interestingly, the UFC has been short on graphics tonight. No time clock, no tales of the tape, only the fighters' names in blue letters against the chicken wire background. When asked for comment about this, SEG's owner Bob Meyrowitz said, "When I close my eyes, I see this thing...a sign. I see this name in bright blue neon lights with a purple outline. And this name is so bright and so sharp that the sign - it just blows up because the name is so powerful..." He then pulled out his dick and got the shit beat out of him by a half dozen guys.
Kevin Randleman supposes that he's the man to beat in this fight and that he won't underestimate Maurice Smith like his teammate Mark Coleman did. Then Randleman tells us that he only watched footage of Maurice Smith's fights one time. Umm...okay?
Randleman sprints to the ring and looks like an absolute monster. He enters the cage looking like some kind of insane science experiment with muscles upon muscles upon muscles. He stands in place and leaps in the air about a hundred feet and then dropkicks a hole in Bruce Buffer's chest. I am terrified for Maurice Smith, who looks to be in good shape but is decidedly less frightening. My nipples are hard, does this mean I'm in love with Kevin Randleman? Goodness, I hope not.
Randleman proceeds to shout and run in place while he's announced by Bruce Buffer while Maurice Smith looks across the cage at the object of his destruction. Because at a certain point, someone as freaky athletic and strong as Kevin Randleman ceases being a human and just turns into some borderline inanimate wrecking machine meant to pulverize and destroy. Such musculature can only serve a handful of purposes - you can crush automobiles between your bare hands, wrangle disobedient elephants either in zoos or in the wild, propel NASA equipment into space like you're throwing a javelin, or you can punish people until they start to cry spinal fluid. Kevin Randleman has chosen the latter and I just hope Maurice Smith has a generous life insurance policy.
The fight begins and the fighters seem to be feeling each other out, surprising since I expected Kevin Randleman to lunge at Maurice Smith and rip his arms off like Jax from Mortal Kombat. Goldberg reveals that Randleman will be content to stand and strike with Maurice Smith to open the fight and I'll be curious to see how this works for both men. One minute in, the crowd is already throwing out boos for inactivity. Seriously, it's hard to shit on today's crowds when you look at the mouth breathers who comprised UFC fandom in the late 90s.
Bas is apparently still with Goldie and Blatnick, which I wasn't aware of, and he feels like Randleman will go for the takedown once Smith starts to seriously engage with the strikes. Randleman lands the first punches of the fight, but Maurice Smith is backing away and the strikes aren't super clean. Smith is measuring distance and lands a really nice leg kick on Randleman. Smith feints a bit, but doesn't do anything to follow up. Both fighters are approaching this quite deliberately thus far. Smith throws another couple of leg kicks, but each time, Randleman answers back with some nice punches and backs Smith against the cage.
This is not the place Maurice Smith wants to be given Randleman's size. Smith desperately wants to escape and is only successful when Randleman relents. As they break, Smith lands a really sharp straight right hand, his best in the fight so far. Randleman looks really twitchy and is ready to react to basically anything Smith does. Randleman's corner is now calling for the takedown, which would likely be wise. And when Smith throws his first body kick, Randleman catches it and scores the first takedown of the fight.
Randleman seems perfectly content in Smith's guard and throws some big punches that all seem to be blocked by Smith. Randleman is pushing Smith forward and isn't working much beyond throwing an occasional strike. About six minutes in, Randleman hasn't really sustained any consistent offense, so it's quite clear he's been learning from Mark Coleman. Big John gives some warnings for inactivity, but Kevin does little to adjust. Smith is working to control Randleman's arms, which appears to be hampering the offense of the collegiate wrestler. Big John follows through with his threat to stand both fighters up.
Immediately after the stand up, it looks like Smith dives in to possibly clinch with Kevin Randleman, but is taken down once again. Goldberg says that Randleman is "strong like Mark Coleman", but he doesn't specify if they were sharing needles at the time. Oddly enough, Randleman stands up out of guard and lets Smith back to his feet. Both El Guapo and Jeff Blatnick are quite surprised. Once their back on their feet, Randleman clinches Smith against the cage once more and then lands a third takedown.
With Randleman in half guard, Maurice is working for an arm submission but is unsuccessful. Bas marvels at the size of Randleman's arms as Smith works in vain to lock in a submission. Randleman moves back into full guard with both fighters near the cage wall. Randleman has done so little with his advantageous position, but he's winning this fight by maintaining this control and throwing occasional punches At this time, regulation has ended - I think we're at the 12 minute mark? Again, we haven't seen a single fight clock, so this has been hard to track. It seems we'll have a three minute overtime, after which the fight would end and go to the judges.
Maurice opens the overtime with a really brutal looking leg kick, but once again, Randleman takes Smith down when the kick is thrown. Randleman is a little more active and looks to pass guard, but I must say, Maurice's defense on the ground has been quite solid. He's kept Randleman from landing any shots or advancing to a dangerous position while working for submissions of his own. I don't think Smith has done enough to win this fight, but his performance has not been terrible by any means.
Randleman, once again, stands up from guard and implores Maurice to do the same as Mark Coleman FREAKS THE FUCK OUT in Randleman's corner, wanting his teammate to keep the fight on the ground. Randleman goes back to the clinch and gets his fifth takedown of the fight, at which point the fight concludes. Smith appears to be pretty gassed while Randleman is hopping around the cage like a monster again. Randleman's performance was far less destructive than I had hoped, but he was effective and fought a decent fight. He would have been wise to avoid standing with Maurice Smith, but he didn't really take much damage.
Bas supposes that his next opponent will be Kevin Randleman, and indeed, Randleman is announced as the winner of this fight by unanimous decision. That fight was not great by any means, but it about fit the mold of dominating grappler versus dangerous striker. Randleman's strength and his takedowns were certainly the difference here and he got a deserved win for his efforts.
Randleman thanks two men for this victory: God and "the greatest man on this fucking planet" Mark Coleman. I'd be willing to dispute that point about Coleman being the greatest man on the fucking planet, but I don't know that I'd do it to his face. Randleman emphatically expresses that kicks "don't mean shit" to wrestlers like him and that you could kick him "five more time" and not hurt him. So there's the gameplan, kick Kevin Randleman six or seven times and you'll probably be okay.
Randleman says that any future opponents are going to have to train hard for their fight, and Bas Rutten says he'll be doing just that. Randleman gives some love to Bas and calls him the greatest martial artist in the world and he guarantees their fight will be great. He also says "Tyson vs. Holyfield don't have shit on us". Mike Goldberg says Randleman is "boiling over with enthusiasm", and I'm just glad they didn't test these fighters for enthusiasm back then. Kevin Randleman's piss would have melted plastic.
Bas reveals with Jeff Blatnick that he indeed won't be kicking Randleman's legs because the wrestler is "inviting it". Bas suggests he may focus on punching or maybe even some wrestling and that he's a quick learner. I'm very anxious to see how this fight goes, since I think Bas is a much more dynamic fighter than Maurice Smith and probably even Kevin Randleman.
After the fight, Maurice Smith's left eye appears to be swollen and closed shut, but the source of the injury wasn't entirely apparent. He's very gracious in defeat and says he isn't disappointed in his performance and he shouldn't be. He was patient with his strikes, his ground defense was very good, and he hung around for the whole fight. But Kevin Randleman is just another breed of athlete and has power that few can deal with. Randleman's cardio is far superior than his teammate Mark Coleman's, so I feel like Randleman is in a good position to have some success in the UFC.
It's revealed that Randleman vs. Rutten will take place at UFC 20, the next event, on May 7. Bas says he's going to train hard and he'll do double the work that Kevin Randleman could do. We've got two confident and talented guys here and I'm amped to see this fight.
Until then, we have some more fights here at UFC 19. This next one features a couple of familiar middleweights in Jeremy Horn and Chuck Liddell. Chuck Liddell is much more soft spoken then we're accustomed to seeing in his prefight interview. Goldie expertly mispronounces Chuck's last name as LIE-dell. Aw, Goldie, I love it when your incompetence is on display. Horn is cornered in this fight by UFC's reigning Lightweight (170 lbs.) Champion Pat Miletich.
God, it's weird seeing Chuck in those little shorts and wrestling shoes. But anyway - Horn opens the fight with some quick leg kicks and Chuck answers back with some punches. Horn throws a really big headkick and it's unclear if Liddell got his arm up in time to block. Regardless, Chuck seems to be unfazed and the fighters clinch with Horn successfully pressing Liddell against the fence. The fighters jockey for position and Liddell ends up grabbing Horn, bringing him to the mat in a facelock, and landing some knees to the head. Liddell maintains control and Horn tries to roll through, but Chuck maintains position. He throws some punches at the downed Horn, but is admonished for holding onto the fence. Horn leaps to pull guard, but is unsuccessful and falls flat on his back.
Liddell is back in control in Horn's guard and he begins throwing some right elbows to the head. Horn is holding onto Liddell tightly to keep Chuck from landing much, but Chuck tries to stay active with punches to the body. Liddell works to half guard and throws some left punches that don't do very much damage. Horn is trying to sit up and escape position, but Liddell is really pressing forward and putting pressure on Horn. When Liddell stands over Horn, Jeremy tries to lock in a heel hook that Chuck appears to escape, but Horn doesn't lose the grasp on Chuck's right leg. Liddell is locking his legs and trying break the hold, but Horn is really relentless.
Chuck's corner tells him to "key lock [Horn's] foot", which is the most brilliant of advice that is clearly yelled by someone who has no idea what he's saying. Liddell proceeds to fumble with Horn's foot as his corner says "NO, THE OTHER WAY". Am I watching footage from some alternate reality where Chuck Liddell ends up being a really bad fighter never holds the Light Heavyweight Title? This is really sad to see. Lucky for Chuck, he's able to break free from Horn's submission attempt. Horn still has Chuck's leg, but is working to push for a takedown as Chuck answers with punches. Horn does manage to pull Chuck down to his butt and presses him against the cage, but he doesn't do much with it.
Big John issues a number of warnings to Horn, who initially does very little. He does manage to get into half guard, but Chuck is against the cage and Horn appears to be working for an arm triangle while using the cage for leverage. He gives up on that hold but doesn't do much else. He throws maybe a punch or two from half guard and he's working to pull his leg out to move into side control. Horn starts to work for the arm triangle again, but Big John channels cageside judge Dan Miragliotta by standing the fighters up. Yes, they were largely inactive, but you could've given Horn maybe 20 more seconds to see what he does. But instead, we get the restart.
Chuck throws some punches and leg kicks, but doesn't seem to have a ton left in the gas tank - there's not much behind the strikes. We're around the ten minute mark and it's been a pretty tight fight, though I'd give the edge to Horn thus far. He's had Liddell in more danger, even though it's the difference between no danger and very little danger. Horn backs Liddell against the cage and scores a takedown, this time in full guard a little further away from the cage. Horn works to get out of guard with just one minute left in regulation and he does advance to half guard. Horn is again working for the arm triangle and is rolled over onto his back by Liddell, but Liddell is still in the submission hold! Horn is cranking and judging by the lack of resistance, Liddell seems to be out! The horn sounds for the end of regulation and...yep, Chuck is OUT. Rather than the end of regulation, it looks like this is the end of the fight!
Big John tells another official that Liddell went out just as the buzzer sounded, but Chuck didn't seem to move for about 10 seconds toward the end of that fight. I agree that it was hard to tell, but McCarthy should have done more to check on Liddell during that process. Either way, Horn pulled off a nice submission win and was working harder to finish that fight. This is Horn's first win in the UFC after taking a couple of tough losses in action thus far, including one to Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock.
Horn says in his postfight interview that he got a little gassed and will have to work on that for the next fight. And he doesn't have much else to say because man is he a boring talker. He makes me want to nap time when his words come out.
Goldie begins to hype the Tito Ortiz vs. Guy Mezger rematch for later in the evening and that stands to be one of the first grudge matches in the UFC. We've had some mean guys fighting in the UFC and probably some guys who don't like each other, but Tito and Mezger are taking it to the next level based on both the first fight between these two and Tito's win over Jerry Bohlander. There haven't been a ton of rematches in the UFC thus far, so it will be interesting to see what kind of adjustments both men will make.
This is perhaps my favorite screen shot in all of the UFC events thus far. Even better than Gary Busey in the crowd with Don Wilson behind him, even better than Rich Goins doing something stupid - Bruce Buffer, three late 90s ring girls, a box full of contest post cards. And this isn't just some contest - it's the ULTIMATE contest. This is apparently some drawing where the winner will be flown out to the next UFC event. Because if there's any kind of contest I want to win, it's the one where I'm flown to do fucking anything in the American south. Congratulations, Travis Mulroy (sp?) of Milwaukee - the good news is you get to see the UFC live, the bad news is you're going to fucking Alabama. Enjoy!
Seriously, how many post cards are in there? Maybe 200 or 300? Why on earth would you make a box containing so few entries transparent?? You didn't even have to go through this quarter-assed production, Goldie could have just said congratulations to whatever his name was and moved on. Instead, we get 45 seconds of the drawing and that awesome picture. Jeff Blatnick does give a nice thank you to all UFC fans for their support, though he does make a mistake and call the contest winner "a friend of his". I'm hoping that's just a euphemism and this guy doesn't really know Jeff Blatnick, but I also don't think anyone would care otherwise.
Fight number five is a heavyweight contest and we'll see the return of Big Daddy!! That's right, Gary Goodridge is back to take on Andre Roberts. Goodridge fought in the very first PRIDE events, going 2-2 while fighting on each of PRIDE's four events including a victory over UFC tournament champion Oleg Taktarov. We get to see the highlight of Goodridge elbowing Paul Herrera to death in what I still consider one of the most brutal knockouts in MMA history. Goodridge hilariously claims in the prefight package that everything he knows about his opponent, he learned in the last five minutes.
Andre Roberts, known as "The Chief", is undefeated in his MMA career including a win over Harry Moskowitz at UFC 17. The Chief is a 370 pound fighter and is one of the few men bigger than Gary Goodridge in the UFC. Something tells me that Big Daddy might be in slightly better shape than the Chief.
Goodridge's earlier comments are clarified, as Roberts is apparently a late replacement for Tank Abbott! Man, now I'm disappointed that I won't get to see and hear Tank. My return to UFC recaps would have been made so much better getting to write about Tank, but noooo, Tank goes and gets sick 13 years ago. HOW INCONSIDERATE.
Bruce Buffer announces Big Daddy as "243 pounds of raw steel and sex appeal". In an ideal world, Bruce took it upon himself to add that little twist, but I have to imagine Goodridge may have made that request. Wow, what an original line! I think I had friends on my middle school wrestling team who said she like that, c'mon Gary.
Big Daddy opens the fight with a left hand and is bullrushed by Roberts, but Goodridge dodges the attack. Gary lands a leg kick and is siwnging with wild punches and is quite busy. Goodridge lands a nice combo of punches that causes Roberts to turn his back and wave his hand to signal that he wants to quit. Well...that was brief. Gary Goodridge came to fight and Andre Roberts is apparently more than glad to collect a pay day. Hey buddy, at least fall down and make it look a little convincing!
Nonetheless, Gary Goodridge is your winner. He was quite active and he looked like a different fighter than from his earlier UFC appearances. He appears to be a bit leaner and was quite aggressive from the start, though I have to wonder how much of that was because Goodridge knew he was facing a big fat pud. I feel like he may have been a bit more tentative had Tank Abbott not pulled out of this fight.
Once the fight is done, instead of a Gary Goodridge postfight interview, we get more discussion between Rutten and Randleman about their upcoming fight. Jeff Blatnick interviews both men and not much of substance is said, though Bas says he wants to put on the best fight in UFC history. Oh, and Kevin Randleman says he loves Mark Coleman with all his heart and would "give his life" for him. Okay, moving on.
...Wait, what? Kevin Randleman would give his life for Mark Coleman? Is that something written in the Hammer House contract he was required to sign? Did Mark Coleman inject Randleman with some kind of poison like in Escape from L.A.? I know you love the guy, but give your LIFE? Your life? For some dude you train with? God damn, the shark testosterone Randleman was taking must have really turned his brain into Jello.
John Perretti, the UFC's match maker comes out and says some really boring and generic stuff about the UFC fighters. Perretti really did do a good job making matches and bringing in good talent, but I don't have a lot of interest in what he has to say. All the while, they're showing Randleman and Coleman signing autographs and interacting with fans.
So Randleman is signing an autograph and is using Coleman's chest as a surface, and we get to see some fan holding up a sign that reads "Ultimate Fo Cheese". Look, I have nothing to say about this. There's an idiot holding up some ridiculous gibberish sign, what CAN I say? Let's just take a moment to digest this and then move on. But seriously, ultimate fo cheese? Ugh, the 90s.
It's now time for the main event of the evening between Guy Mezger and Tito Ortiz. Mezger is an undefeated 4-0 in the UFC to this point, while Ortiz is 2-1 with the sole loss at the hands of Mezger. Mezger emphasizes prefight that this isn't personal, just business, but Tito begs to differ. He says Mezger is a cocky guy and that he's lost respect for his opponent because of that. It certainly doesn't sound like Tito to hold a grudge, go figure!
As the fight starts, Blatnick reveals that Vitor Belfort was originally slated to face Mezger but Belfort was hurt and replaced by Ortiz. Wow, very interesting. So Belfort vs. Mezger seems like a title eliminator kind of fight, I wonder if the same could be said for Mezger vs. Ortiz? After all, Frank Shamrock has to fight somebody...
And here we go! It's Tito Ortiz scoring early, landing a takedown on Guy Mezger after a low kick attempt from Guy. John Perretti has a terribly obnoxious voice and, unlucky me, he's going to just keep talking during this fight. While Perretti makes me mad, Ortiz backs Mezger against the cage on the ground, but Mezger escapes and then backs Ortiz against the fence. Ortiz reverses positions and lands some knees, and the fighters break. Ortiz goes for an ankle pick, but Mezger avoids and stays on his feet.
Ortiz is really persistent with his takedown attempts and works to bring Mezger down, but Guy grabs hold of Ortiz's right arm and goes for the submission. You can hear Ken Shamrock shouting in Guy's corner for him to break Tito's arm, which I'm sure Ortiz isn't particularly pleased with. Ortiz breaks free and in half guard with Mezger pressed against the fence. Ortiz is landing some big punches on Mezger and as Guy tries to escape, Ortiz smothers him and presses him back against the fence.
Ortiz is clearly a very powerful fighter and is resisting Guy's efforts to escape. Guy does manage to free himself and Ortiz immediately goes for an ankle and is able to take Guy's back. Ortiz is landing elbows and punches to Guy's head, but Guy turns over and attempts to lock in a triangle. Ortiz escapes and is back in full guard. Mezger stays very busy from the bottom, working for submission and focuing on Mezger's left arm now. Ortiz is just too strong and is able to avoid a potential submission.
Ortiz is not particularly busy and this allows Guy back to his feet. Mezger sees fit to try a clinch or a takedown or the clinch and Ortiz sprawls and takes Mezger's back. John Perretti calls Tito Ortiz "lazy". Yeah John, good insight. You're such a welcome addition to this broadcasting team and I want to throw hockey pucks at your head. Perretti then goes on to call Ken Shamrock a "terrific" cornerman. Oh goodness, now everything out of Perretti's mouth makes sense - he's basically fellating Ken Shamrock.
Back to the fight, Ortiz is landing some ground and pound and Mezger is not answering back. Ortiz's shots are powerful and it's starting to look not so great for Guy Mezger. Ortiz keeps throwing shots from Mezger's back and Big John stops this fight! Tito Ortiz has won this fight by TKO as a late replacement and...
Oh. Well then, that's how we're going to play this. The crowd responds very violently, either for or against Ortiz, and John Perretti makes the expert comment that Ortiz "doesn't give a fu...give a damn". Now you can hear Shamrock arguing the decision with Big John, as any world class cornerman would do. Ortiz puts on a T-shirt mocking the Lion's Den as some in the crowd begin to chant his name. Buffer announces Tito as the winner and then we have this!
Hey guys, I don't think these two like each other. Big John immediately pulls Tito away from that corner and wisely so, since I don't know that Ken Shamrock can be trusted to control his emotions here. Jeff Blatnick speculates that this might cause Shamrock to decide to make a return to the UFC, even though his timeline might be off by a few years.
Ortiz is interviewed by Tito after the fight and Tito says he got pretty gassed during the fight. He says that Mezger was very tough, but he wishes the fight kept going so he could "beat the shit" out of Mezger. Ortiz says Shamrock has good reason to be upset since he beat his two fighters, or more appropriately, he beat "their two alley cats and sent them to the litter box". Tito says he wants to fight for a title and names Vitor Belfort and Frank Shamrock specifically. John Perretti is actually important when it comes to match making and he suspects Ortiz vs. Tanner will be the title eliminator, and that should also be a really fun fight.
As the event ends, we get some unremarkable words from Mark Coleman about Kevin Randleman's performance. Coleman does talk about working on his striking skills and he anticipates regaining the UFC Heavyweight Title, though he'd prefer not to fight his teammate Randleman. The highlight package is shown recapping the night and we're done for the night.
UFC 19 was a fun card and we got to see a lot of fighters responsible for building the UFC's upcoming rise. Yeah, spoiler alert, the cable companies pick up the UFC, they have PPVs and eventually get signed by Fox and everything is fine. SORRY FOR SPOILING, but I'm not stuck in 1999 - this is 2012! UFC 20 should be interesting with a Rutten/Randleman title fight, but what of the middleweight (205 lbs.) division. John Perretti has his eyes on a Tanner vs. Ortiz fight and that could be good, but it's way too long since I've seen Frank Shamrock. And what about Pat Miletich's Lightweight (170 lbs.) Title? There seem to be few contenders at that weight, when will we see that title defended again?
So many questions moving forward with the UFC and we'll have to wait and see what the future has in store!
Greatest Fights of UFC 19
- Tito Ortiz vs. Guy Mezger
- Evan Tanner vs. Valeri Ignatov
- Jeremy Horn vs. Chuck Liddell
- Pete Williams vs. Jason Godsey
- Kevin Randleman vs. Maurice Smith
- Gary Goodridge vs. Andre Roberts
Top Ten Fights Through UFC 19
Royce Gracie vs. Kimo Leopoldo - UFC 3
Randy Couture vs. Vitor Belfort - UFC 15
- Don Frye vs. Tank Abbott - UU96
- Maurice Smith vs. Mark Coleman - UFC 14
Dan Henderson vs. Carlos Newton - UFC 17
- Mikey Burnett vs. Eugenio Tadeu - UFC 16
- Royce Gracie vs. Dan Severn - UFC 4
- Frank Shamrock vs. Jeremy Horn - UFC 17
- Royce Gracie vs. Keith Hackney - UFC 4
- Oleg Taktarov vs. Tank Abbott - UFC 6
Greatest Fighters of UFC 19
- Evan Tanner (1-0)
- Kevin Randleman (1-0)
- Tito Ortiz (1-0)
- Pete Williams (1-0)
- Gary Goodridge (1-0)
- Jeremy Horn (1-0)
- Sione Latu (1-0)
- Maurice Smith (0-1)
- Chuck Liddell (0-1)
- Guy Mezger (0-1)
- Joey Roberts (0-1)
- Valeri Ignatov (0-1)
- Jason Godsey (0-1)
- Andre Roberts (0-1)
Top Ten Fighters Through UFC 19
- Royce Gracie (11-1-1)
- Mark Coleman (6-3)
- Dan Severn (9-3)
- Ken Shamrock (6-2-2)
- Don Frye (9-1)
- Randy Couture (4-0)
- Oleg Taktarov (6-2-1)
- Vitor Belfort (5-1)
- Frank Shamrock (4-0)
- Pedro Rizzo (2-0)