UFC 2: Royce repeats

Noteworthy | Results

The first Ultimate Fighting Championship show opened the eyes of a lot of people of just how important grappling was in a freestyle fight. The second show, billed as “No Way Out,” on March 11, 1994, in Denver, didn’t teach any new lessons but enforced those already established in the first show, as once again virtually every fight went to the ground quickly and ended there in rapid order.

Because the matches were so much shorter than expected on the first show, UFC 2 featured the only one-night 16-man tournament in MMA history, meaning the winner had to beat four people in one night.

With Ken Shamrock out of action with a broken hand, Royce Gracie was the strong favorite. Gracie’s first opponent was Minoki Ichihara, a Japanese karate master who wasn’t nearly as famous in Japan as was purported. Ichihara was smaller than Gracie, and taken down and mounted in 12 seconds, rendering his karate useless.

Ichihara had learned enough to defend against a choke, and it took 5:06 before Gracie maneuvered into an armbar. No other fight on the pay-per-view portion of the show lasted longer than 3:08.

Photo Royce Gracie submits Jason DeLucia in UFC 2 second-round match.
(Getty Images)

Gracie followed beating Jason DeLucia in 1:02 with an armbar. DeLucia was a stand-up Gung Fu fighter who had lost to Gracie previously in a dojo challenge and came back looking for revenge. DeLucia later joined the Lion’s Den camp under Shamrock and became an early star in Japan with the Pancrase organization.

Gracie’s next opponent was Remco Pardoel of Holland, whose background was in sambo, a Russian sport that involves judo and ground submissions. But Gracie’s style was more advanced, and even though Pardoel was billed at 260 pounds, Gracie got him down and choked him out in 1:29.

The finals saw the only holdover besides Gracie from UFC 1, local fighter Patrick Smith, who had lost to Shamrock in the first round in that tournament but ran through the competition to get to the finals here.

Nobody expected Smith to have a chance against Gracie, and they weren’t surprised. Gracie took him down, beat on Smith with strikes and Smith’s corner threw in the towel at 1:16 when it was apparent he couldn’t escape from the mount.

But there were two important aspects of the second show.

The first was the introduction of John McCarthy as the referee. McCarthy did not, however, have any power to stop matches, which included a 21-second massacre by Smith on Scott Morris. McCarthy demanded the power to stop fights going forward and ended up becoming one of the key figures in the evolution of the sport.

The second was that the show drew approximately 100,000 orders on pay-per-view, up from 80,000 for the first show. It made the show profitable, which the first show wasn’t, and suddenly the prospect of UFC as a continuing series garnered momentum.

NOTEWORTHY

Patrick Smith, who lost to Gracie in the finals, is now 45, and still competes, most recently beating Brad Imes a few weeks ago. He has a 19-14 MMA record. Smith is a regular for a number of companies in Japan, and even knocked out the most famous K-1 fighter of them all, Andy Hug, in a kickboxing match.

RESULTS

First round

Scott Morris def. Sean Daugherty, submission (guillotine), 0:20
Patick Smith def. Ray Wizard, submission (guillotine), 0:58
Johnny Rhodes def. David Levicki, submission (strikes), 12:13
Frank Hamaker def. Thaddeus Luster, verbal submission, 4:52
Orlando Weit def. Robert Lucarelli, TKO, 2:50
Remco Pardoel def. Alberta Cerra Leon, submission (armbar), 9:51
Jason Delucia def. Scott Baker, submission (strikes), 6:41
Royce Gracie def. Minoki Ichihara, submission (gi choke), 5:08

Quarterfinals

Smith def. Morris, KO, 0:30
Rhodes def. Fred Ettish (substitute for Hamaker), submission (rear naked choke), 3:07
Pardoel def. Weit, KO, 1:29
Gracie def. Delucia, submission (armlock), 1:07

Semifinals

Smith def. Rhodes, submission (guillotine), 1:07
Gracie def. Pardoel, submission (rear naked choke), 1:31

Final

Gracie def. Smith, submission (strikes), 1:17

Dave Meltzer covers mixed martial arts for Yahoo! Sports. Send Dave a question or comment for potential use in a future column or webcast.
Updated Friday, Apr 3, 2009