Last Saturday night the UFC was not only celebrating its first card in the Madison Square Garden. It was also celebrating the 23rd anniversary of UFC 1, its very first event.
Back on November 12, 1993, The Ultimate Fighting Championship made its debut in Denver, Colorado. The premise was simple. Eight fighters with different background were to meet one opponent at a time inside the cage to prove which martial art style would fare best in a real fight.
The eight men were then distributed into 4 quarter finals. The first fight in the history of the UFC only lasted 26 seconds. Savate specialist Gerard Gordeau knocked out 400-pound Teila Tuli with a soccer kick that cost him a tooth.
The second bout ended in a similarly brutal form. 4:20 into the fight, the corner of Zane Frazier threw in the towel after Kevin Rosier stomped on Frazier’s head twice while he was on the floor.
Then came Royce Gracie’s debut against Art Jimmerson, who after that night was forever known for wearing only one boxing glove in the match. Gracie submitted Jimmerson when he got scared of being in the ground, under Gracie.
The last fight of the opening round marked the debut of wrestler Ken Shamrock. A veteran of Pancrase, Shamrock took just 1:49 to submit Pat Smith with a heel hook and move on to the semi-finals.