UFC 21: Hawkeye homecoming

This is the show in which the UFC adopted the basic format it still uses today.

Photo UFC 21 was the biggest night of Pat Miletich’s active career.
(File photo)

Judges were used to score the bouts on a 10-point must system, similar to what is done in boxing. And fights were either two-, three-, or five-minute rounds. There were two-round bouts, a format since done away with, that were not on the main card. All others were three rounds, with the exception of championship fights, which were designated for five rounds.

Also familiar to current viewers, but new at the time, was the constant hyping of the next show. In this case, the UFC was pitching a title match at UFC 22 between Tito Ortiz and Frank Shamrock that would be for its middleweight (now light heavyweight) title.

This card, on July 16, 1999, was at the Five Seasons Events Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Predictably, the championship bout featured an Iowan, Pat Miletich, putting his lightweight (now welterweight) belt he had won at Ultimate Brazil against Andre Pederneiras.

Miletich ended the fight in the second when a big right hand opened a gash over Pederneiras’ eye. Referee John McCarthy stopped the fight because of the cut and gave the win to Miletich.

One-time heavyweight champion Maurice Smith got back on the winning track after back-to-back losses to Randy Couture and Kevin Randleman by defeating Marcos Ruas. Ruas injured his left knee in the bout and could barely return to his corner. He was forced to quit on his stool.


Pederneiras got a title shot in only his second fight. He’d knocked out Rumina Sato at Vale Tudo Japan in 1998, then lost to Miletich at UFC 21. His career ended inauspiciously after that, with back-to-back draws against Caol Uno and Genki Sudo.

It was announced on the broadcast that Bas Rutten had decided to vacate the heavyweight title he’d won by defeating Randleman at UFC 20.

Daiju Takase, who lost to Jeremy Horn, had wins over one former and one current UFC champion. He submitted reigning UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva in a 2003 match and won a split decision over one-time welterweight champion Carlos Newton in 2004. Both bouts came in PRIDE.


Travis Fulton def. Davis Dodd, unanimous decison
Andre Roberts def. Ron Waterman, KO, 2:51 R1
Eugene Jackson def. Royce Alger, KO, 1:17 R2
Tsuyoshi Kosaka def. Tim Lajcik, TKO, 5:00 R2
Paul Jones def. Flavio Luiz Moura, submission (rear naked choke), 4:21 R1
Jeremy Horn def. Daiju Takase, TKO, 4:42 R1
Maurice Smith def. Marco Ruas, TKO, 5:00 R1
UFC lightweight championship: Pat Miletich def. Andre Pederneiras, TKO, 2:20 R2 (Miletich retains title).