Monday, May 14, 2012

UFC 2: Solving the Royce Gracie Riddle

UFC 2 – Mammoth Event Center - Denver – March 11, 1994

We return to the Mile High City four months after the first UFC, as the one-night tournament has expanded to 16 fighters. Somebody will have to win four fights in one night.

The live crowd has already watched seven of the eight first-round bouts. Now we check in for the last one, featuring the winner of UFC 1, Royce Gracie.

1. Royce Gracie (Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu) vs. Minoki Ichihara (karate)

Ichihara was supposed to be one of the favorites, and he looks bummed that he drew Gracie in the first round. Still, in his pre-match interview, he resolutely states, “I would like to fight this dangerous man.”

His wish is granted as Gracie smothers him and starts nailing him with punches to the ribs and palm strikes to the face. The announcers talk about how Gracie wants to win via rear naked choke, but it’s not happening. Realizing that he has to fight three more times, Gracie switches to a lapel choke and gets the tap out.