UFC 56 was far more eventful because of announcements about the future than because of any matches on the card.
The Nov. 19, 2005, show from the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas was highlighted by Dana White in the octagon making a series of announcements.
The first was a third Randy Couture vs. Chuck Liddell match for UFC 58, which ended up being, up to that point, the biggest money match in company history.
The next was the announcement of the return of former heavyweight champion Frank Mir, after his 2004 motorcycle wreck.
Then he announced Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz as coaches for the third season of "The Ultimate Fighter." That season was the most successful, and the two Shamrock-Ortiz matches that took place in 2006 were groundbreaking events.
Finally, White announced the return of former welterweight champion B.J. Penn, who, like Ortiz, had left the company after a contract dispute.
Nearly four years later, the four biggest money fights in UFC history were Ortiz vs. Chuck Liddell 2 at UFC 66, Randy Couture vs. Brock Lesnar at UFC 91, Shamrock-Ortiz at UFC 61, and Penn vs. Georges St. Pierre 2 at UFC 94, which were all indirectly related to announcements made over a five-minute period. And that doesn't even count the match that may top them all, Lesnar-Mir 2 on July 11.
As for the card, the main event saw Rich Franklin retain the middleweight title by knocking out Nate Quarry in just 2:34 in one of UFC's all-time highlight knockouts. It was evident within seconds there was a big talent gap between the two, as Quarry couldn't match Franklin's hand speed.
Franklin decked Quarry, and then backed off, hoping the fight would be called. When that didn't happen, it, unfortunately allowed Quarry to recover. Franklin followed with a brutal left hook to the nose and Quarry went down like a tree that had just been cut.
A scheduled second title match didn't happen, as Joe Riggs missed making weight by a pound-and-a-half, changing his welterweight title fight with Matt Hughes to a non-title bout. Riggs had claimed before the fight to be the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world, but Hughes, who dominated from start-to-finish, didn't get the memo. Hughes won via submission with a Kimura in 3:28.
At least one former UFC champion was not happy with the Ortiz-Shamrock announcement. Ortiz-Shamrock was a last minute deal, as the company had already sent out press material for TUF 3 listing former welterweight champs Pat Miletich and Carlos Newton as coaches. Miletich was under the assumption he was coaching the show and found out otherwise when he watched the card with friends and saw Ortiz and Shamrock come out on television, which led to problems with Miletich and UFC that have yet to be resolved.
Nick Thompson def. Keith Wisniewski, unanimous decision
Thiago Alves def. Ansgar Chalangov, TKO, 2:25 R1
Sam Hoger def. Jegg Newton, submission (rear naked choke), 2:05 R2
Jeremy Horn def. Trevor Prangley, unanimous decision
Matt Hughes def. Joe Riggs, submission (Kimura), 3:28 R1
Gabriel Gonzaga def. Kevin Jordan, KO, 4:39 R2
UFC middleweight championship: Rich Franklin def. Nate Quarry, KO, 2:34 R1 (Franklin retains title)
- Tito Ortiz
- Ken Shamrock
- Rich Franklin
- Chuck Liddell
- Nate Quarry