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UFC 100 was MMA's crowning moment

Yahoo Sports
UFC 100 was MMA's crowning moment
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Brock Lesnar battles Frank Mir during their heavyweight title bout at UFC 100

Everything Dana White and the Fertitta brothers envisioned when they took over the dying Ultimate Fighting Championship in 2001 came to fruition with UFC 100 on July 11, 2009.

On that evening, the UFC was the epicenter of the sports world. Everything came together – a hot grudge match, two title fights, the right time, right location, and the promotional lure of the 100th UFC, even though it wasn't really the company's 100th event – and it all added up to the biggest event in mixed martial arts history.

UFC champion Brock Lesnar met interim champ Frank Mir to unify the titles in what amounted to the finals of a de facto four-man tournament.

Lesnar's only career loss had been to Mir back at UFC 81, when Mir caught Lesnar in a kneebar and forced him to submit in a match Lesnar had been dominating.

Lesnar went on to defeat Randy Couture for the UFC heavyweight title the previous November, but the loss to Mir continued to eat at him. A hot series on Spike TV called "UFC Prime Time" ratcheted up the heat on the fight as Mir, who had defeated Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the interim belt at UFC 92, taunted Lesnar all the way up to fight time.

But that was where Mir's fun ended. Once the match started, Lesnar overpowered Mir and more or less delivered a schoolyard beatdown. Mir got out of the first round, but Lesnar finished the job in the second, with referee Herb Dean putting a merciful end to things at 1:48.

Lesnar's win capped an eventful triple main event that included welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre's five-round shutout of Thiago Alves for his fourth-consecutive win, and Dan Henderson's highlight-reel knockout of Michael Bisping in an "Ultimate Fighter" coaches' fight.

The most impressive numbers, though, arrived after the show. The live event drew a sellout crowd of 10,871 to the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, which paid a gate of $5,128,490. The pay-per-view buy rate, meanwhile, was a whopping 1.6 million, the largest PPV figure in MMA history; the biggest in any sports since the 2007 Oscar De La Hoya-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight; and a number no event in boxing, MMA or pro wrestling have come close to since.

NOTEWORTHY

Fast-rising Jon Jones once again wowed the crowd in his undercard victory over Jake O'Brien. Seemingly out of nowhere, Jones nailed O'Brien with a spinning back elbow and immediately followed with a slam and a guillotine choke at 2:43 of the second round. It was the third of what is presently a six-fight UFC win streak for the game's brightest light heavyweight prospect.

UFC 100 also turned out to be the final shining moment in the career of Mark Coleman, who turned back time and defeated Stephan Bonnar by unanimous decision. Largely credited as the man who invented ground-and-pound, the then-43-year-old Coleman went to his bread and butter to grind out a decision victory. Coleman was a former UFC tournament champion, former UFC heavyweight champ, and the first PRIDE Grand Prix champion.

The UFC also conducted it's first-ever Fan Expo in conjunction with UFC 100. The two-day event at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center, which included a world-class grappling tournament, drew 30,000 fans.

Quoteworthy: "Keep booing. I'm drinking a cooler full of Coors Light, Coors Light because Bud Light won't pay me anything. Hell, I might even get on top of my wife tonight." – Brock Lesnar, in his in-ring interview after defeating Mir. White reportedly kicked a men's room door down in anger after the fight and Lesnar apologized afterwards, brandishing bottles of UFC-sponsored Bud Light during the postfight news conference.

RESULTS

Shannon Gugerty def. Matt Grice, submission (guillotine choke), 2:36 R1
Tom Lawlor def. CB Dolloway, submission (guillotine choke), 0:55 R1
Dong Hyun Kim def. TJ Grant, unanimous decision
Jon Jones def. Jake O'Brien, submission (guillotine choke), 2:43 R2
Jim Miller def. Mac Danzig, unanimous decision
Mark Coleman def. Stephan Bonnar, unanimous decision
Yoshihiro Akiyama def. Alan Belcher, split decision
Dan Henderson def. Michael Bisping, KO, 3:20 R2
UFC welterweight championship: Georges St. Pierre def. Thiago Alves, unanimous decision (St. Pierre retains title)
UFC heavyweight championship: Brock Lesnar def. Frank Mir, TKO, 1:48 R2 (Lesnar retains title)
Jon Fitch def. Paulo Thiago, unanimous decision.