Wednesday, August 13, 2014

UFC 15: Stopping the Phenom

Randy Couture (left) battles Vitor Belfort
Image: stickgrappler.net

Randy Couture overcame the undefeated Vitor Belfort in the superfight at UFC 15: Collision Course.

The pay-per-view took place on Oct. 17, 1997, at the Hollywood Casino in Bay St. Louis, Miss.

Couture capitalized on the momentum he built by winning the UFC 13 heavyweight tournament, as he scored a TKO win over Belfort in 8:16.

Belfort had won his first four MMA fights and looked untouchable in doing so.

Mark Kerr won the heavyweight tournament at UFC 15. He knocked out Greg Stott with a knee strike in just 19 seconds and polished off Dwayne Cason in 53 seconds.

Maurice Smith was scheduled to defend his UFC heavyweight title against Dan Severn, but Severn was sidelined with a broken hand.

Tank Abbott stepped in to challenge Smith, but he succumbed to exhaustion at the 8:08 mark, and Smith hung onto the title. The loss dropped Abbott's UFC record to 6-6.

The era of “There are no rules” ended at UFC 15, as the promotion banned strikes to the groin and to the back of the head and neck.

UFC also outlawed hair pulls, small joint manipulation and kicks to a grounded opponent.

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