UFC II Press Conference
March 10th, 1994
Denver Colorado YMCA
The big news for tomorrow night's tournament is that we will be expanding to a 16 man tournament with the best martial artists from every corner of the globe. All 16 men will compete in a single elimination tournament, one night, no weight classes, no rules, no gloves, no rounds or time limits, only one man can be the Ultimate Fighting Champion!
The major news was broken two weeks ago that the reigning Ultimate Fighting Champion Ken Shamrock is out of the second tournament with an injured hand. The finalist Alexandre Karelin decided not to compete again, opting to prepare for the upcoming 1996 Olympic games instead. The legendary Rickson Gracie vowed to return and restore the honor to his family's name. Hidehiko Yoshida and Pat Smith were also invited back to compete in a field with 13 other newcomers.
Ladies and gentleman, introducing the fighters...
Masakatsu Funaki(6', 209)
Funaki is a master of submissions and is currently 4-1 in UFC style matches in Japan, with is only loss coming to the current Ultimate Fighting Champion, Ken Shamrock. Funaki has come to the US to avenge his loss to Shamrock, but with Shamrock backing out of the tournament due to an injury, he'll have to wait for another day.
Hidehiko Yoshida(5'11", 225)
Yoshida is the Gold Medalist in Judo from the 1992 Olympic Games and a semi-finalist in the first UFC tournament. Yoshida lost a thrilling fight against fellow Olympian Alexandre Kerelin. Yoshida has already made it clear that this tournament will be do or die for him. If Yoshida does not win this tournament, he has vowed to retired from UFC competition and focus on preparing for the 96 Olympic games.
Minoru Suzuki(5'10", 220)
Suzuki has been brought to the United States because he is the only man to hold a victory over Ken Shamrock in UFC style competition. Suzuki defeated Shamrock in the Japanese Pancrase promotion in January of this year. Suzuki is a heavy favorite in tonight's tournament due to his submission victory earlier this year.
Ray Stevens(6', 200)
Stevens is a Silver Medalist in Judo in the 1992 Summer games.
Pat Smith(6'2", 225)
Pat Smith was defeated in the first round of UFC 1 by the eventual tournament winner Ken Shamrock. Tonight Pat gets a second chance.
Ramon Dekkers(5'8", 165)
Dekkers is a Dutch Thai Boxer that traveled to the infamous Lumpinee Stadium in Thailand, where he earned the respect of Thai fighters and fans throughout the country with his gutsy performances. Dekkers is a seasoned kickboxer that has fallen on hard times and hopes to rejuvenate his career with this new form of combat.
Jean-Yves Thériault(5'11", 190)
Theriault is a world class Canadian kickboxer with a record of 68-5-1, including multiple victories over Ernesto Hoost, and a draw with Don Wilson.
Rickson Gracie(5'10", 185)
Rickson Gracie returns tonight to restore the honor to his family's name after losing to Ken Shamrock in the semi-finals of UFC 1.
Jorge Páez(5'6", 155)
Paez is a journeyman boxer that grew up in the circus in Mexico. Paez has acrobatic athleticism and dangerous speed, and has chosen to fight in the tournament without any gloves on his hands.
Remco Pardoel(6'4", 260)
Remco is a Belgium, French, and German Jiu Jitsu tournament champion.
Volk Han(6'3", 235)Han is a master of the Russian martial art of Sambo.
Jason Delucia(5'11", 170)
Delucia is a black belt in Five Animals Kung Fu.
Kim Je-Kyoung(6', 200)
Tae kwon do.
Kim is a master strategist and world renowned Tae Kwon Do master. Kim won the Gold Medal in the 92 games, and the 1993 World Championships in New York. Tonight Kim tests his nation's martial art against the best of the best.
Sam Greco(6'2", 250)
Greco is a massive, powerful Karate master from the land down under. Greco is the Commonwealth Karate Champion from 1989 to 1991, and is a 6 time Australia Full Contact Karate Champion.
Bas Rutten(6'1", 205)
Rutten is a dangerous striker with a 2-1 record in UFC style fighting in Japan.
Don Wilson(6'1", 180)
The kickboxing legend will come out of retirement to take the place of the injured Ken Shamrock, and will be fighting for the first time since 1991. Don is one of the greatest kickboxers of all time.
These are your 16 martial artists. Tomorrow night, they will fight it out until only 1 man is left standing as the Ultimate Fighting Champion!