UFC 29: Swan song
The event was held on Dec. 16, 2000, in Tokyo and is important in UFC history because it was the last show promoted under Semaphore Entertainment Group. About a month after this show, SEG sold the UFC to Zuffa, its current ownership, for $2 million.
The card was full of fighters who would go on to great success – and popularity – in the UFC, including Chuck Liddell, Matt Hughes, Evan Tanner, Matt Lindland, Pat Miletich and Tito Ortiz.
Ortiz made the first of what would be five successful title defenses when he submitted Yuki Kondo with a neck crank in the first round to retain his middleweight (now light heavyweight) championship.
Liddell wasn’t the big pay-per-view star that he is now, and he opened the show with a win over Jeff Monson.
Hughes was looking to avenge his first professional loss, which he suffered in an Extreme Challenge event on Oct. 18, 1998, when he was submitted with a guillotine choke in 18 seconds.
Hughes makes it two seconds longer at UFC 29, before he is forced to tap to an arm bar. Hallman was the only fighter besides B.J. Penn to beat Hughes in a span of more than eight years.
Liddell made certain to thank his sponsors post-fight, Station Casinos. Curiously, the owners of Station Casinos, Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta, would go on to buy the UFC a month later. Liddell’s manager at the time, Dana White, was in the cage but did not speak publicly. He became UFC president.
Only a few months after winning a silver medal in Greco-Roman wrestling at the Sydney Olympics, Lindland made his UFC debut with a TKO of Yoji Anjo.
Though it is UFC 29, it’s the 33rd card SEG has promoted under the UFC banner. SEG promoted in three countries – the U.S., Japan and Brazil – as well as in Colorado, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Wyoming, New York, Michigan, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, Iowa, New Jersey and Puerto Rico.
Chuck Liddell def. Jeff Monson, unanimous decision
Dennis Hallman def. Matt Hughes, submission (armbar), 0:21 R1
Evan Tanner def. Lance Gibson, TKO 4:58 R1
Fabiano Iha def. Daiju Takase, TKO, 2:25 R1
Matt Lindland def. Yoji Anjo, TKO, 2:57 R1
UFC lightweight championship: Pat Miletich def. Kenichi Yamamoto, submission (guillotine choke), 1:57 R2 (Miletich retains title)
UFC middleweight championship: Tito Ortiz def. Yuki Kondo, submission (neck crank), 1:51 R1
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