What the early UFCs proved

Discussion in 'MMA Forum' started by cross_trainer, Oct 10, 2021.

  1. cross_trainer

    cross_trainer Bergeron Avatar Club Full Member

    Jun 30, 2005
    People complain that the early UFCs didn't include top wrestlers and grapplers (along with top boxers). This seems to be true; they didn't indisputably crown the "baddest man on the planet" in 1993.

    What they *did* do, in my opinion, is crown the best guys in the English-speaking "martial arts" community, as it existed at that time. The major combat sports like boxing and wrestling were parallel to this community, but didn't really belong to it. Martial arts were their own thing, with a lot of the market catering to middle class people who weren't primarily professional athletes. Lots of the best were amateurs or hobbyists by our lights today; you didn't earn much money even in kickboxing.

    Re-watching the early UFCS, the first competitions really did clean out most of that talent pool. It's almost a last hurrah for the Anglosphere, Boomer-created martial arts culture that reached its peak in the 90s, with all kinds of exotic styles competing for brand recognition. Plus some foreign kickboxers like Gordeau, and bar fighters of the ex-wrestler-who-boxes-a-bit-and-powerlifts variety, like Tank Abbott or Scott Ferrozzo.

    Sure, you might argue that the best Russian samboists, American wrestlers, Brazilian luta livre guys, and the like roll over these folks. But in the context of the community that actually fought the first UFCs, I can't think of too many guys who would have done better. Pat Smith, Gordeau, Tuli, Wiet, Leininger, et al really were among the best people you could draw for a no rules event from that group.

    Eventually, the 2000s UFCs did crown the baddest men on the planet, who would presumably beat up anybody from more limited sports. But the UFCs in the early days took the critical first step of crowning the best fighter from the martial arts world. Which is still something.

    Anyway, just my $0.02.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
  2. Brixton Bomber

    Brixton Bomber Obsessed with Boxing Full Member

    Sep 21, 2013
    It just put the myth of many TMA's to bed, that's all.
    cross_trainer likes this.