UFC XVI: Maximum Violence
March 13th, 1998
Madison Square Garden
New York, NY
They say that seeing is believing, and what you are about to see is the ultimate force in reality combat, the ULTIMATE FIGHTING CHAMPIONSHIP... part 16!!! We are live from the mecca of combat sports, the historic Madison Square Garden in New York City! The battle to legalize the UFC in New York was a long, grueling, and expensive war, but through the support of all of the martial arts fans that fought for their rights, TONIGHT the Octagon has finally hit the BIG APPLE!!
A sell out crowd of over 19,000 fans are on hand to witness the return of Ken Shamrock as he is set to take on "The Phenom" Vitor Belfort in tonight's main event! The Fight Professor Stephen Quadros and Olympic Gold medalist Jeff Blatnick open up tonight's historic event on commentary. Joe Rogan is onhand reporting from the backstage area talking about the unbelievable buzz and hype for tonight's event, briefly welcoming all of the new pay per view viewers from Cablevision, which just cleared the UFC starting with tonight's event. The rules of the Octagon are covered. Each fight is contested in one single 15 minute round, title fights will get a 3 minute overtime. If the fight goes the distance 3 judges will score the fight. All fighters will be wearing 4 oz. fingerless gloves. Headbutts, groin strikes, biting, eye gouging, holding the fence, and hair pulling is all illegal. For this specific event, at the request of the New York State Athletic Commission, knees and kicks will not be allowed to a downed fighter. The referee for tonight "Big" John Mccarthy is introduced, along with all 3 judges for tonight's fights, Dave Meltzer, "Judo" Gene Lebell, and action film star and star of the hit TV series Walker Texas Ranger, the legend himself Chuck Norris(huge pop!).
Bruce Buffer goes through his intros for the opening match in the debuting 170 pound(77 kilos) weight class. Mikey Burnett is accompanied by the Lions Den fighters Guy Mezger, Vernon "Tiger" White, and Jerry Bohlander. The commentators talk about his incredible strength for a 170 pound man, a former powerlifting champion out of Tulsa Oklahoma with a 400 pound bench press, 600 pound squat, and 600 pound dead lift who comes out of the Lions Den with a ton of praise from his training partners and Ken Shamrock himself. Burnett's opponent Eugenio Tadeau is accompanied by Brazilian heavyweight fighter Hugo Duarte and his Luta Livre background is hyped up by the commentators, saying that Luta Livre is an offshoot and rival fighting style of Brazilian Jujitsu in Brazil, the term Luta Livre is Portugese for "Free Fighting". The Fight Professor talks about Tadeau's infamous fight against Renzo Gracie in Brazil that ended when the crowd broke out into a riot. Tadeau also fought Royler Gracie to a draw in a private dojo challenge match. Big John takes the center of the Octagon and gets the fight under way with his trademark "LETS GET IT ON!"...
Mikey Burnett vs Eugenio Tadeau
Tadeau shoots in and manages to trip Burnett to the ground but Burnett immediately makes his way back up to his feet in the clinch. Burnett breaks the clinch and throws HEAVY leather but Tadeau manages to scramble and tie up with him. Mikey works his way into a standing guillotine and overpowers Tadeau to the canvas but Tadeau escapes and works his way into a full guard. Tadeau works the full guard to keep Mikey Burnett at bay and forcing a stall in the action. Finally the ref stops the fight and stands both men up for a restart. Both men go to their corners and get a quick drink of water from their coaches as the referee tries to get the fight going again. Tadeau clinches up but Mikey breaks his hands loose and connects with BOMBS. Tadeau is rocked! Tadeau desperately staggers into a clinch and ties Mikey up. Mikey breaks free and destroys Tadeau with heavy heavy hands. Tadeau is out on his feet! The ref steps in and calls it off to save Tadeau from any further damage. Mikey Burnett wins via TKO after 9:46!
Burnett celebrates the win with the Lions Den fight team as Eugenio Tadeau is escorted out of the Octagon still wobbled as EMT's help him make his exit. Dan "The Bull" Bobish makes his way out for the next fight in the heavyweight division. The commentators briefly talk about his run in the 16 man heavyweight tournament back in September 97 at UFC XV, where the former Cleveland Browns football player defeated Moti Horenstein and Houston Dorr before losing to Vitor Belfort in the semi-finals. Bobish's opponent Tsuyoshi "TK" Kohsaka will be making his debut tonight coming from the Fighting Network Rings promotion in Japan, a training partner at the new "Alliance" fight team along with current UFC Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock, kickboxing great Maurice Smith, and boxing trainer Javier Mendez.
Dan Bobish vs Tsuyoshi Kohsaka
Bobish comes out cautious at first as TK keeps his distance with jabs and low kicks. Bobish eats a leg kick but shoots in for a takedown. TK scrambles to evade the big man's aggressive shot but he's tripped and mauled on the canvas! Bobish pounces on TK and hammers him in the face from the half guard position! Kohsaka survives and works his way from the open half guard to the full guard, tying Bobish up with wrist and bicep control to contain him. Bobish grinds on Kohsaka with punches and elbows as he gradually works him up against the cage. Kohsaka manages to keep Bobish tied up in his guard until Bobish bounces a huge elbow off of his forehead that opens up a cut. Blood begins to pour as Bobish begins fighting more aggressively. TK survives and uses and active closed guard to avoid any serious blows. TK breaks Bobish's posture down into his guard and wraps him up for a complete stalemate. Bobish lands light strikes to TK's body as he's completely tied up. Big John finally stops the fight for a stand up but he calls the doctor into the cage to check the cut on TK's face! Bobish's corner leans over the Octagon wall to pour water on him and shout advice as the doctor works the cut and clears TK to continue!
Bobish's shoulders move up and down as he gasps heavily for air while circling TK upon the restart. Blood pours from the cut on TK's forehead to cover his face as he circles the big man cautiously. Bobish tries to throw a right hand but TK backs out of range and blasts his leg with a kick! Bobish reacts by shooting in for a takedown but TK evades it by a mile! Bobish gets back up to his feet completely exhausted as TK closes in on him and nails him with a jab-cross that rocks him! Bobish backs away but TK tracks him down and nails his leg with another kick. Bobish swings wild with a looping left hand that misses. TK throws another leg kick but Bobish shoots in on him. TK sprawls and stuffs the takedown, hitting him in the chin with a brutal knee. Bobish is stunned! Bobish scrambles for a takedown but TK pushes him to the canvas and lands punches as he covers up! Big John steps in and calls it off! Kohsaka wins with a TKO after 10:55!
Pat Miletich makes his entrance for the second Welterweight bout of the evening as the commentators talk about his 18-1-1 record in independent Ultimate Fighting, no holds barred style fights around the Midwestern US. Militech also holds Muay Thai kickboxing titles in the Midwest, and trains from time to time with professional boxers and the Iowa State wrestling team. Miletich's opponent Townsend Saunders is an Olympic silver medalist in Freestyle Wrestling at the 1996 Summer games in Atlanta.
Pat Miletich vs Townsend Saunders
Saunders wastes little time in coming out and shooting in for a takedown. Militich fights it off at first but it doesn't take long before he's on his back with Saunders in his guard pressing him towards the fence. Militich works to tie up Saunders and avoid any serious strikes from his back. Saunders keeps Miletich pinned on his back for a long stretch of the fight, with very little happening other than a light shot landed from both men from time to time. Saunders eventually works his way to his feet inside Militech's open guard, keeping cautious to avoid any upkicks. Miletich surprises Saunders by hooking his heels and sweeping him backwards, rolling along with him into the full mount position. Miletich tries to keep his position but Saunders overpowers him and rolls him back over to his back. Miletich works his way to the guard position and keeps Saunders tied up in another stalemate on the ground. Saunders presses Miletich up against the fence but only manages to land light strikes to the body. Finally referee Big John stops the fight for restart in the standing position with just 90 seconds left on the clock. Miletich opens his stance and throws a kick but Saunders immediately shoots in on it and takes him back down to the canvas in the guard position. Saunders postures up and throws a flurry of grazing strikes as the clock expires! Both Saunders and Miletich recover and show their respects towards each other as the judges render the first decision of the evening. Judge Dave Meltzer rules the fight for Saunders. Judge Gene Lebell scores the fight for Miletich. Judge Chuck Norris scores the fight for the winner, by SPLIT Decision, PAT MILETICH!!
Chris Brennan makes his entrance for the next his UFC debut bout in the new Welterweight division. The commentators talk about Brennan's 4-1-1 record coming into his UFC debut tonight, all 4 of his wins are by submission, his loss and draw both came at the hands of Pat Miletich who fought earlier tonight. Jose "Pele" Landi makes his entrance next as the commentary team talks about his vicious striking skills that he displayed at UFC XII and XIV where he made it to the finals of both 8 man Middleweight(under 200 pounds) tournaments, losing to Renzo Gracie in the finals of UFC XII and to Frank Shamrock in the finals of UFC XIV. Now Pele returns in the new Welterweight division at 170 pounds but he's going to be facing a tough challenge tonight in the "Westside Strangler" Chris Brennan from California.
Jose Landi vs Chris Brennan
Pele comes out with a really loose stance almost daring Brennan to take a shot at him. Brennan keeps his distance and circles around Pele to feel him out. Pele eventually closes the Octagon off and moves in on Brennan with a jab. Brennan immediately drops and shoots for a takedown, just narrowly avoiding a brutal knee from Pele. Pele sprawls out on Brennan and defends his takedown, pushing his head into the canvas and loading up for a soccer kick! Brennan scrambles back and the kick just barely misses his head! Big John steps in and stops the fight to warn Pele about kicks to the head of a downed opponent. Pele and his corner men protest as John reminds them that kicks to the head of a downed opponent are illegal for this fight. The action gets restarted and Pele comes out with even more intensity, juking his hands around and feinting to make Brennan flinch. Pele backs Brennan up against the fence and unleashes a flying knee that connects! Brennan drops and eats several follow up punches before Big John can step in and call it off! Pele runs and throws his mouthpiece as his cornermen scramble into the ring to mob him in celebration with the Brazilian flag.
EMT's work on Chris Brennan and pull the mouthpiece out of his mouth as he looks up at the lights completely knocked unconscious. The crowd goes nuts as the commentators show the instant replay of Brennan dropping and trying to cover up just as Pele leaped with the flying knee, just perfectly timed to catch Brennan right on the temple, followed by a barrage of hard punches after he went down. Jeff Blatnick on commentary talks about how Pele has certainly positioned himself atop the new Welterweight division with a victory like this.
"Ice Cold" Igor Vovchanchyn makes his way out for tonight's featured heavyweight fight. Quadros and Blatnick talk about Igor's vicious punching power as he makes his way into the Octagon. At 5' 8" and 225 pounds Igor will be giving up a tremendous amount of height, reach, and weight against Morais, a grappler who has trained with the Gracies, standing at nearly 7' tall and weights 270 pounds. Morais makes his way out to the Octagon as the commentary duo talks about his run in the 8 man tournament at UFC Ultimate Japan '97 where he lost in the finals to Kazushi Sakuraba after scoring impressive victories over Akira Shoji and Tra Telligman.
Ricardo Morais vs Igor Vovchanchyn
Igor comes out circling the giant Brazilian monster for several minutes with very little action happening while he paws out kicks and jabs to find his range. Morais steadily plods towards Vovchanchyn but never gets close enough to initiate. The crowd begins to grow restless as neither man throws or connects with anything significant after nearly 3 minutes of circling each other. Igor finally closes the distance and tries to throw a heavy handed overhand right but Morais shoots in and clinches up with him in a frantic attempt to trip him to the canvas. Igor wrestles the big man in the clinch and manages to stay upright but gets his back pinned to the cage. Igor keeps Morais tied up in the clinch as Morais' Brazilian cornermen get up against the cage shouting instructions to him. Morais connects with knees to Igor's body but fails to generate enough leverage to do any damage with them in the clinch. Igor keeps his position and avoids being tripped to the canvas. Finally Big John steps in and separates the two men after another stall in the action. Both men resume circling each other for a moment before Morais tries to close the distance. Morais throws a front push kick that misses. Igor lunges in and unloads with hard looping left and right hands but he fails to connect. Morais scrambles towards Igor during the flurry and manages to tie up with him in the clinch. Morais tries to trip Igor to the canvas but Igor pivots around and frees his hands to unload a vicious right hand to Ricardo's jaw! Morais is stunned! Igor follows up with rights and lefts until Morais goes down! Big John pushes Igor away and waves it off! The crowd goes nuts! Igor Vovchanchyn has knocked out Ricardo Morais!
Vovchanchyn salutes the fans with his celebration before respectfully helping his fallen opponent recover to his feet. Igor shakes hands with Ricardo and his cornermen before having his hand raised in the middle of the ring. The commentators analyze the replay while talking about Igor's standing in the current landscape of the heavyweight division, with some of the best striking we've ever seen in the Octagon Igor has quietly put together an impressive 5-1 record in the UFC, one has to wonder how much more Igor will have to do before getting his shot at the UFC Heavyweight Champion Mark Kerr.
Daijiro Matsui makes his entrance for tonight's special attraction catchweight bout. Matsui, a training partner of Kazushi Sakuraba, will be squaring off against the half brother of Rickson Gracie. Matsui trains with Sakuraba at the Takada Dojo, the same Nobuhiko Takada that was destroyed by Rickson Gracie back at UFC Ultimate Japan '97 this past December. So there is a definite revenge factor on the line here for Matsui and the Takada Dojo. The original agreement for this fight was for no time limit, a fight to the finish, but due to pay per view obligations an agreement was made for a 30 minute time limit, with a major part of that being that if the fight goes the 30 minutes it will automatically be ruled a draw, no judges will score this fight. Royce makes his entrance accompanied by a train of family members, his father Helio Gracie, his half brother Rickson, his cousin Renzo, his brother Royler, Relson, Rorion, and several others. Rickson and Helio take Royce's corner as Sakuraba and Takada stand in Matsui's corner across the cage.
Royce Gracie vs Daijiro Matsui
Royce comes out with his head back and his hands up and out in a traditional Brazilian Jujitsu stance as Matsui hops around trying to feel him out with feints. Royce hits Matsui right in the knee with a front push kick. Matsui backs out of range for a moment before reengaging only to get hit with another low jab kick to the knee, followed immediately by a quick shot! Royce scrambles to tie up with Matsui in a clinch as Matsui grabs his gi and tries to grapple against it. Royce manages to tie up and trip Matsui to the canvas but Matsui overpowers Royce in a quick burst of explosiveness, forcing Royce over to his back and going crazy with strikes. Royce evades Matsui's flurry of strikes and manages to tie him up in his guard. Both men lay in the guard position for several minutes. Matsui stays tucked in and careful, throwing occasional body shots, covering up as Royce smacks him in the side of the head with open palms to get him to open up and move. Royce takes his time and looks up at his father shouting instructions to him in Portugese as Takada and Sakuraba shout out in Japanese to Matsui in a frantic tone. Matsui tries to posture up and throw punches but Royce rocks him off balance and quickly shifts his legs around into an armbar! Matsui fights the armbar off but Royce straitens it out and causes him to drop face down into the canvas tapping out! Royce Gracie wins by submission!
Matsui lays on the canvas clutching his arm as the Gracie family swarm into the Octagon to hoist Royce up and carry him around in celebration. Takada and Sakuraba help Matsui out with his arm tied in a makeshift sling as Royce has his arm raised in victory. The commentary team show the instant replay of Royce making a smooth transition into the armbar, forcing the submission off of his back with incredible patience and technique, Matsui may have suffered an injury to his arm.
During the intermission we get a cageside interview with Joe Rogan standing and talking with former UFC Heavyweight Champion, Mark "The Hammer" Coleman and Bas Rutten, breaking the announcement that Rutten vs Coleman has been signed for UFC 17 at the Nippon Budokan in Japan on June 24th 1998. Coleman talks briefly about how he has been chomping at the bit to get back inside the Octagon after losing his UFC Heavyweight Championship to Tom Erikson, then suffering a knee injury that required surgery that put him out of action for months. Bas Rutten talks about how he's very ready to fight Coleman, saying that he feels like this is the biggest fight of his career and that the winner will be in position to challenge for the heavyweight championship. Rutten and Coleman shake hands and face off with UFC President Robert Meyrowitz standing by. Meyrowitz and Rogan hype up UFC 17 live on pay per view June 24th as the return of The Hammer, Mark Coleman vs Bas Rutten, plus UFC Ultimate Japan '97 tournament winner Kazushi Sakuraba will return to the Octagon, live on pay per view June 24th, call your local cable or satellite provider for more details!
Igor Zinoviev makes his entrance for tonight's co-main event wearing his Extreme Fighting Championship World Middleweight Title. The commentary team talks about Zinoviev's background in Russian Sambo in the Russian Special Forces, as well as his title reign as the final champion in EFC after the promotion closed it's doors late last year. Frank Shamrock makes his way out to a loud ovation as he is accompanied by Maurice Smith and Javier Mendez, his new coaches in "The Alliance" his new team after splintering off from his brother Ken Shamrock's Lions Den late last year. The commentators talk about Frank's falling out with his brother Ken, saying that he still has a good relationship with his former training partners at The Lions Den but his new home is at The Alliance with Mo Smith, Tsuyoshi Kohsaka, and his striking coach Javier Mendez. Zinoviev and Shamrock stand across the Octagon from each other as Bruce Buffer hypes up tonight's co-main event as a World Middleweight Championship Title Unification Bout, the EFC World Middlweight Championship vs the UFC World Middleweight Championship in a clash between the two best Middleweight fighters in the world today! Only 1 man will be left standing as the undisputed Middleweight Champion of the world when this is all said and done. Big John steps into the center of the Octagon and asks each fighter if they are ready before getting it on!
UFC World Middleweight Championship
Frank Shamrock(c) vs Igor Zinoviev
Both fighters come out keeping their distance from each other at first until Igor advances and tries to engage. Frank instantly drops levels and rips Igor up from his roots, slamming him with vicious power and knocking him out instantly!..
Frank Shamrock has knocked out Igor Zinoviev with a vicious slam in just 22 SECONDS... OH MY GOD! Shamrock celebrates briefly before going to check on Igor while he's worked on by doctors. Blatnick and Quadros go over the replay of the slam as they talk about how Shamrock stands tall tonight as the 1 true Middlweight Champion of the World, undefeated in the Octagon now at 5-0. Shamrock cuts an interview after the fight saying that he's at the top of his game right now. Joe Rogan asks Shamrock who he would like to fight next, if he would like to go up to the heavyweight division and perhaps challenge for the heavyweight title. Shamrock says that he will fight any man, any weight class, let's do it!
The energy and atmosphere in the Madison Square Garden is thick as Vitor Belfort makes his entrance accompanied by Carlson Gracie and several other various training partners from Carlson's academy in Brazil waving the Brazilian flag. Quadros and Blatnick hype Vitor up talking about his superstar making performance back at UFC XV last September where he made it to the finals of the 16 man heavyweight tournament before withdrawing with a hand injury. The question is whether or not the hand is healed or if this injury will effect his remarkable speed and accuracy that we seen from him last September. Ken Shamrock makes his way out looking bigger than he's ever been, completely jacked and intense, jerking his arm away from a fan that tries to reach out and grab him. Blatnick and Quadros talk about how Shamrock has been out of the sport for 2 years doing pro wrestling, make no mistake about it this is a whole new ball game here tonight, a lot has changed in that 2 year span while he's been away, and one has to wonder how much training he's been doing for no holds barred competition. Vitor shadow boxes and warms up as Shamrock enters the ring ready to go. Bruce Buffer goes through the intros before Big John steps out and asks each fighter, "Are you ready!?... Are you ready!?... WELL LETS GET IT ON!!!"...
Ken Shamrock vs Vitor Belfort
The crowd is electric as Shamrock and Vitor close in on each other slowly in crouched down stances with their hands up. Shamrock bobs and weaves his head before lunging in with a jab that triggers an explosive outburst of punches from Vitor! Shamrock drops down and shoots in in a wild scramble that ends up with Vitor put on his back! Vitor instantly ties Shamrock up in the full guard but Shamrock postures up on a knee and digs in with hard vicious body shots. Shamrock tries to go high with punches but Vitor shifts and moves with the guard to avoid any damage. Carlson Gracie and Alan Goes shout intense instructions out to Vitor from his corner as he fights to keep Shamrock tied up in the guard. Shamrock begins to work Vitor into the cage where he postures up and lands a hard elbow that grazes Vitor's forehead and opens a small cut that trickles a small amount of blood. Vitor holds on and absorbs body shots as Shamrock holds his position and picks his shots. Several minutes go by Shamrock in Vitor's guard landing shots until fatigue sets in and the action stalls out. Referee Big John Mccarthy stops the action to stand both men up and the crowd goes crazy! Shamrock is completely exhausted as he works to adjust his knee pads. Both men show signs of fatigue as they circle each other after the restart as the fight hits the 5 minute mark. Shamrock closes the distance and forces Vitor up against the cage in the clinch. Vitor struggles in the clinch with Shamrock for a moment before ripping his hands free and BLASTING Shamrock with a hard strait left hand to the chin! Shamrock is rocked! Shamrock desperately tries to take Vitor down but Vitor sprawl on him and devastates him with a barrage of elbows downward into the side of his head! Shamrock goes limp! HE'S OUT!!! Big John tackles Vitor off of Shamrock to stop the fight! VITOR BELFORT!!! VITOR BELFORT!!! VITOR BELFORT!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!!
Shamrock recovers wondering what happened and disputing the stoppage all at the same time as Vitor is paraded around the Octagon like a hero in a mad celebration with his team. Shamrock finally recovers and shakes hands with Vitor showing his respect before bowing out. Joe Rogan talks to Vitor about defeating one of the all time greats, moving to 4-0, what is next for the Phenom? Vitor replies completely out of breath saying in broken English that he's just very happy right now, he loves Jesus, he loves his family, and he is very happy. Vitor continues celebrating and taking pictures with his family and friends as the commentators recap the event and bid their farewell, we will see you June 24th in Japan. Goodnight everybody!