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UFC 10

After a supremely awful UFC 9 card, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is back with UFC 10!  The best news of all is that the tournament is back!  What I’m learning about these early UFC events is that you need a gimmick since the fights themselves are pretty shitty.  Thankfully, the original MMA gimmick – the single night tournament – has returned to the UFC.

An interesting development is that the Superfight that we’ve come to know and dread will not be taking place at this event.  In fact, Dan Severn’s victory over Ken Shamrock will be the last time the Superfight Title was contested in the UFC.  We won’t be seeing Dan Severn for a little while, but I can assure you that his next appearance won’t be insignificant.

Even without the Superfight Title being defended, there’s no way this card can be worse than UFC 9.  Don Frye, Gary Goodridge, and Mark Hall are amongst the returning tournament participants, while we have yet another Olympic wrestler in action.  A former NCAA wrestling champion from Ohio State, who also happened to place seventh at the 1992 Olympics (freestyle, 100 kilograms), will be making his UFC debut tonight.  At UFC 10, Mark “The Hammer” Coleman will attempt to announce his presence in the UFC with authority.

UFC 10: The Tournament – July 12, 1996

Previous Editions

UFC 10!!  As in, UFC double digits!  I mean, technically, UFC 9 was the tenth event and this is the eleventh event.  If you think that’s complicated, just wait until we find out that UFC 61 is the 74th event or that UFC 105 is the 139th event.  Then we’re really having fun with numbers.  Until then, let’s enjoy UFC 10, regardless of the growing numbers confusion.

In typical fashion, the opening highlight video is pretty awful.  I need to qualify this by saying that the video is awful by 2011 standards, but maybe not 1996 standards.  Whenever I watch anything from the nineties, I almost feel like crying.  The nineties were a dark time for existence, though I may have just been a deprived child.

Bruce Beck and a very unenthusiastic crowd welcome us to Birmingham, Alabama.  He confirms that the tournament has returned to the UFC and he throws to Jeff Blatnick interviewing tournament favorite Don Frye.  Frye threatens to “kill” his opponents like a trained dog and that sounds like the Don Frye that we know and love.

Noticeable by his absence from this event is Don “The Dragon” Wilson.  He mentioned that he was negotiating his UFC debut with the promotion, so I wonder if that might be coming to fruition?  Actually, I spoiled that in the last review, but we can still dream!  You never know when some time traveling accident will place us in an alternate reality where Don Wilson and Royce Gracie fight to a decision at UFC 11.  Also, alternate reality UFC 11 features the first MMA death when Tank Abbott punches a hole through Ray Wizard’s chest and turns his heart into paste.

It’s very nice to see a new tournament bracket, especially one where Mark Coleman and Gary Goodridge could potentially fight in the semifinals.  Don Frye vs. Mark Hall should be a fairly interesting opening round fight.  Moti Horenstein, Coleman’s opponent, is touted as a three time Israeli karate champion.

The rules remain unchanged tonight and I should note that no mention is made of illegal headbutts or closed fist punches.  Either the political backlash against the UFC has quickly dissipated or the UFC no longer gives a shit and has fully embraced its barbaric side.  Since this event is taking place in Alabama, I’m leaning toward the barbaric option.

Before the fights begin, let me quickly recap two unaired preliminary fights.  Geza Kalman defeated Dieusel Berto by TKO at 5:56 in the fight.  Meanwhile, former UFC veterans Sam Adkins and Felix Lee Mitchell fought to a decision, which Adkins unanimously won.  Kalman and Adkins will be alternates for the night and all four fighters will be individually ranked based on the results.

We’re onto the first fight of the night between Mark Hall and Don Frye.  I’m interested to hear if there’s any news on Mark Hall’s proposal to his girlfriend from UFC 9.  I’m guessing no news is bad news as far as Hall is concerned.  If Hall were successful, I’m sure that Beck and Blatnick would be all over that.

Hall appears to be wearing a scummy, over-sized tank top that is so long that it looks like a dress.  His corner man is wearing a matching tank top, what a cute couple!  Mark Hall’s introduction video closely resembles a video dating entry created by a serial killer.  Don Frye confirms that he has a bad attitude and implores us all to lock up our women and children.  When it comes to Don Frye, locking up your women and children should always be the rule of thumb.  Jeff Blatnick clarifies that Frye’s bad attitude comes from a recent accident that killed his dog.  Jeff Blatnick may or may not be confusing Frye’s life with the lyrics of a country western song.

Look at this!  It’s not Rich Goins!  More importantly, it’s half-brother of Michael Buffer and current UFC announcer Bruce Buffer.  Bruce has definitely come a long way since this event, but he’s a very unpolished announcer this early in his career.  He has some slight problems with voice immodulation and emphasis, and his voice seems to crack ever so slightly, but he’s still way better than Rich Goins.  We haven’t even seen a fight and I already like this show more than UFC 9.

Don Frye gets a very nice hand from the Alabamans in attendance and is definitely the fan favorite in this bout.  Mark Hall gets less of a nice hand, despite Buffer introducing him as “the one, the only…MARK HALL!”  Something tells me there are more famous Mark Halls than the one about to get beaten down by Don Frye.  “Big” John McCarthy starts this fight and we’re under way for UFC 10!

Hall starts the fight with a weak looking spinning back kick, so Frye responds by slamming Hall to the mat with a huge takedown.  Frye lands some punches and knees on his downed opponent and is clearly in control.  He’s varying his strikes, throwing an occasional headbutt, but Frye is mostly content to keep a dominant position and rest his weight on Hall.

Hall is working very hard to control Frye’s head and arms, but “The Predator” is still able to land blows and stay fairly active.  Hall is mounting barely any offense with Frye in his guard.  He’s thrown maybe one or two very weak strikes that have done nothing to bother Frye.  Hall already has some serious bruising on his left side from Frye’s body strikes.

We’re five minutes in and little has changed.  Frye is still in Hall’s guard and is mostly throwing some body shots while grinding his forearm against Hall’s head and throat.  Frye is really focusing on that huge red welt on Hall’s left side.  Frye is now throwing elbows to that area.  I can’t tell if it’s a fan or a cornerman, but somebody is yelling for Mark Hall to get out of the corner of the cage, kick Don Frye, and reverse positions.  Hall responds by yelling “shut up!” at this person while getting punched in the face.  Awesome.

Frye spends some time posturing up, attempting to land some heavier shots.  When that doesn’t work, Frye asks hall to quit.  I’m not even kidding – Frye says to Hall “you need to fucking quit.”  Hall replies “I can’t”, to which Frye retorts “yes, you can.”  Frye then appeals to referee John McCarthy, requesting that he stop this fight.  No more than 15-20 seconds after that, McCarthy actually stops the fight!  I’m guessing that Frye wanted to try and conserve his energy for later in the event, since Don Frye doesn’t seem like the kind of guy to give up a perfectly good opportunity to kick some ass.

Nonetheless, this fight is done and Don Frye advances to the semifinals.  I’m still surprised after that exchange bewteen Hall and Frye.  Honestly, Hall should have quit long before the ten minute mark.  Little changed from the first minute to the tenth, except that Hall now has to deal with the organs Don Frye decided to destroy.

This second quarterfinal fight pits Scott Fiedler against Brian Johnston.  Scott Fiedler has perhaps the worst hair in the history of mixed martial arts.  At first glance, he looks to have the classic shaved head.  As you can see above, Fiedler is just doing something…very different.  It basically looks like he shaved everything but the back of his head.  My guess is that Fiedler asked a friend of his what a mullet looks like.  The friend replied with “business in the front, party in the back” and Scott Fiedler took it a bit too seriously.

Actually, scratch that.  Fiedler reveals in his pre fight interview that he’s from Missouri.  We have our answer.  After the introductions, Big John gets this fight going.

Johnston immediately lands a really sweet hip throw, but Fiedler is back to his feet.  Johnston then attempts another throw, but it ends up being more of a trip where Fiedler lands right on his head.  After a struggle, Fiedler takes Johnston’s back but doesn’t seem very sure how to finish this fight.  Fiedler even has hooks in on Fiedler, but he just can’t finish this fight!

After all of this action, we’re just ninety seconds into this fight with Fiedler throwing punches from Johnston’s back.  Fiedler gets a little high and Johnston shrugs him off and quickly mounts his opponent, but Fiedler immediately gives up his back.  Johnston briefly attempts a choke, but decides to throw punches to his opponent’s head.  Johnston does some damage and ends up cutting Fiedler before Big John stops the fight.

Brian Johnston looked pretty impressive in victory with his throws, though he’s lucky Fiedler wasn’t capable of finishing this fight.  Fiedler was in some dominant positions and would have won had he known anything about submissions.  I will also assign some of the blame to Fiedler’s ridiculous haircut.

Onto the third quarterfinal match, where Mark Coleman and Moti Horenstein will both be making their UFC debuts.  Coleman, as already noted, is an incredible wrestler.  If not for Mark Schultz competing in the previous UFC event, Coleman would easily be the best wrestler in the UFC to date.  Moti Horenstein’s discipline is listed as “survival”, though it’s clarified that he’s more of a karate practitioner.  Horenstein served in the Israeli Special Forces for three years, so we’re dealing with a very tough man right here.

Mark Coleman is announced at 245 pounds and looks absolutely huge.  He’s got a lot of weight on his frame, especially considering that he would weigh in 25 pounds lighter when he wrestled.  Bruce Beck compares Horenstein to Jean-Claude Van Damme, which makes me wonder if that actually is Van Damme.

Remember the movie Sudden Death?  If Van Damme could impersonate an NHL goalie in game seven of the Stanley Cup Finals, then why can’t he imitate a mixed martial arts fighter.  He actually spent significant time in the 1970’s and 1980’s kickboxing and will actually return to kickboxing later this year, though I think his return is fueled by a serious need for cash while recovering from a debilitating cocaine addiction.  So…welcome back to combat sports, Jean-Claude!

Anyway, lets get to this fight.  Before Big John starts the action, he gets in Horenstein’s face for daring to stretch just before the fight begins.  Not a good way for Moti to begin his UFC career, but let’s wait to see this fight before we pass judgment.

Horenstein goes for a kick and Coleman goes for a takedown – could this fight have started any more predictably?  Coleman gets the best of this exchange and is mounted within fifteen seconds.  Coleman is absolutely pounding Horenstein, who does his best to defend.  Coleman slows his pace as Horenstein grabs his head and actually tries to give up his back.  Coleman isn’t letting that happen and keeps full mount.

As Horenstein tries to control Coleman, the Ohio State wrestler is using some body shots and headbutts to do some damage.  Horenstein is backed against the fence, but actually manages to escape mount.  Coleman moves between half guard and side control, mostly just being dominant through position.  Coleman sees an opportunity to turn up the offense, landing a number of uncontested punches to Moti’s face.  Big John has seen enough and stops this fight!

Mark Coleman’s wrestling was as advertised – he absolutely smothered his opponent using his far superior size and skill.  Coleman seems completely amped up and already looks prepared for his second fight.  He quickly dispatched his Israeli opponent and will have ample time to rest up before the semifinals.  Blatnick says that many have predicted a Don Frye/Mark Coleman final match, and at this point, that seems very likely.

The fourth and final quarterfinal match will be John Campetella vs. “Big Daddy” Gary Goodridge.  John Campetella appears to be a very big 235 pounds while standing only 5’9″.  Campetella is listed as a former wrestler with some boxing experience, but also practices kempo.  Gary Goodridge is also a large fighter and has a six inch height advantage over Campetella.

For a second, it sounds like Campetella is getting a great ovation from the crowd.  It turns out that this Alabama audience is hooting and hollering for the ring girls circling the cage.  I expect no less from UFC fans from the mid-1990’s.  Jeff Blatnick reveals who each fighter holds as his personal hero: Campetella idolizes Bruce Lee and Arnold Schwarzenegger, while Goodridge idolizes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  Neither fighter’s respective heroes surprise me.

This fight begins and Goodridge is swinging right away.  Campetella briefly considers trading with Goodridge, but quickly abandons that idea and clinches his opponent against the cage.  Campetella actually lands a nice fireman’s carry throw, but Goodridge is quickly on his feet and back in the clinch.

Campetella maneuvers to Goodridge’s back and starts throwing some big punches to Goodridge’s head.  “Big Daddy” responds with elbows that allow him to turn and face Campetella, who takes Goodridge down and ends up in guard.  Goodridge grasps Campetella’s head, but loses control and allows Goodridge to reverse positions.  Goodridge gets an assist from the cage on the reversal, as the Canadian grabbed a hold of the fence in the process of moving to full mount.

Goodridge starts throwing heavy shots from the dominant position and Big John stops the fight!  The stoppage seems to be fairly premature as Campetella was still able to defend himself.  Goodridge only landed a couple of clean shots and it didn’t look like enough to warrant the fight being ended.  Campetella didn’t seem to be out of it and has all of his wits about him, so I’m not a fan of this decision.  The crowd is also very unhappy with this decision and is making their displeasure known.  Either way, Gary Goodridge will move on to face Mark Coleman in the semifinals.

We’re treated to an interview with the long absent Tank Abbott.  I refuse to acknowledge him as D.L. or anything other than “Tank.”  D.L. Abbott sounds like some kind of author or scientist, while Tank Abbott sounds like a guy who beats the shit out of grown men for a living.  Let’s stick with Tank – it will be better this way.

Anyway, Tank acknowledges his time away from the octagon stemming from an in-crowd confrontation at UFC 8.  Says Tank, “somebody got smart with me and, uh…I had to lay the law down.”  Jeff Blatnick is clearer when he says that Abbott was suspended from the UFC due to the incident in Puerto Rico.

Tank confirms that he’s signed on to fight at UFC 11 on September 20 barring any unforeseen circumstances.  Regarding Tank’s next fight: “you seen some animals rip apart a gazelle?  That’s what’s going to happen.”  Okay, so Tank Abbott will be fighting a gazelle at UFC 11.  Exciting news!

Of the fighters competing at UFC 10, Tank says that nobody is “tickling [him] with a feather.”  Tank calls out Don Frye, calling him a Tom Selleck lookalike.  He also brings up Don Wilson’s absence, saying that the “Dragonfly” is out making some “Godzilla voice over that you’ll see at 3:00 in the morning.”  Is that racist?  I think that might be slightly racist.

I think what we need to take away from this interview is that Tank is back and the UFC is getting to be exciting again.  I didn’t even realize how much I missed Tank until this interview.  Now I want to see him fight Don Frye!

After the interview, we move onto the semifinals.  The first match will be between Don Frye and Brian Johnston.  Bruce Beck says something interesting in that Johnston was at one point scheduled to fight Pat Smith.  As is Pat Smith’s M.O., he pulled out of the fight and it never happened.  No mention of Smith’s recurring “stomach cramps” from the earlier UFC events.

I’ve noticed that when Bruce Buffer raises his voice during these earlier events, his syllables become dissonant from one another.  It’s like he starts a word and then loses control before finishing.  Competition becomes “com-pe-ti-SHUN” and champion becomes “cham-pi-UN”.  He’s still doing a far better job than Rich Goins, but he’s got a bit of work to do before becoming the announcer we know today.

I’m pleased to hear that Tank will be doing commentary with Beck and Blatnick.  Tank picks Frye to win this fight and says Johnston’s only option is to throw in the towel.  If nothing else, we can always expect unrelenting honesty from Tank Abbott.

Frye seems interested in a quick takedown, but doesn’t put a lot behind it.  Johnston and Frye briefly trade punches until Frye clinches.  Frye throws some big right hands while attempting to control Johnston against the fence.  Tank adds that he’s a fan of Johnston’s American flag trunks.  Tank’s only done commentary for .25 fights and he’s already at Mike Goldberg’s level of broadcasting – good for Tank!

Johnston moves away from the cage and throws a couple of nice punches in the process.  Johnston seems very comfortable trading with Frye, prompting Tank to take back what he said about Johnston throwing in the towel.  Johnston is controlling in the clinch and is landing some big shots against a tired-looking Don Frye.

While discussing Johnston’s wrestling credentials, Tank adds that “if you don’t know how to wrestle, you don’t know how to fight.”  For as much shit as Tank gets for being a beer-bellied brawler, he was quite a bit smarter than anyone gave him credit for.  Even if he didn’t have the conditioning to experience long-term success in MMA, Tank knew what needed to be done to win a fight.

Back to this fight, Johnston continues to get the best of the striking and controls where this fight goes in the cage.  From the clinch, Frye takes control by grabbing Johnston around his waist and chest and takes him to the mat.  Frye ends up on Johnston’s back, throwing some punches and elbow’s to Johnston’s left side.  Frye gets one hook in and continues throwing punches to Johnston’s left side.  The crowd chimes in with the “USA!” chants made famous by Jim Duggan, despite both fighters being American.  They must be pulling for Brian Johnston on account of his American flag trunks.

Johnston works back to his feet while controlling Frye’s right wrist, but Frye rolls Johnston back to the mat and ends up in side control.  Frye throws a big elbow that opens a cut over his opponent’s right eye.  Johnston appears to be very vulnerable and is in a position to take some serious damage from Frye.  Sensing the end is near, Johnston wisely taps out giving Don Frye the win.

Brian Johnston proved to be a tougher than expected competitor giving Frye a very tough fight.  Frye was clearly tired, while Johnston was a very capable striker who appeared to do some damage to Frye.  Once this fight got to the ground, Frye was in control, but getting to that point was a struggle.

Dan Severn is shown signing autographs in the crowd, prompting Tank Abbott to say “I had a bad dream…I thought I was getting raped by Freddie Mercury in the Ultimate Ultimate.”  With that, Tank’s eventful day of commentary is over, prompting Bruce Beck to exclaim “thank God.”  Wow, I thought they were having fun.

This second semifinal fight should be a good one with Mark Coleman and Gary Goodridge squaring off for the chance to fight Don Frye.  Goodridge has had some trouble with skilled wrestlers in the past.  Goodridge obviously struggled against Mark Schulz and even had trouble with a guy like Jerry Bohlander, so I’m not very confident in his chances against a wrestler like Mark Coleman.

The fight starts with Goodridge fiercely stalking Coleman, but after some initial circling, Coleman is able to score the takedown and ends up in guard.  The bulk of Coleman’s offense initially comes from the headbutt, though he throws in occasional punches and elbows.  Coleman’s corner is yelling out “smother” and Coleman responds in kind by covering Goodridge’s mouth with his hands.

Coleman backs Goodridge against the fence and uses this as an opportunity to advance to side control.  While trying to avoid this position, Goodridge ends up on all fours with Coleman on his back.  Coleman throws some punches, but Goodridge works back to his feet while grabbing onto the cage.  Coleman throws some uppercuts from behind and tries to buck Goodridge off of the cage.  Goodridge walks along the cage wall, working to get closer to his corner – an approach that sounds effective and looks ridiculous.

Coleman’s response is to throw some more big punches from behind.  Goodridge turns to face Coleman as Goodridge’s corner is throwing out gems like “you’re doing good” and “give it to him.”  It’s not long before Coleman takes Goodridge’s back again.  Goodridge is spending quite a bit of this fight making best friends with the cage wall, much like Paul Varelans did when he fought Marco Ruas.

Coleman is doing a nice job with his striking, keeping active and landing some cleaner shots to Goodridge’s head.  Goodridge turns to face Coleman yet again, throwing some elbows in the process.  During this exchanges, Coleman breaks his grasp and Goodridge is free.  “Big Daddy” approaches Coleman and…does nothing, really.  Coleman lands one or two punches against a clearly exhausted opponent.  When Goodridge attacks Coleman, he misses with some wild swings and is taken down.

Coleman is back in side control, landing some big punches and throwing some knees.  Goodridge rolls over Coleman gladly takes his back, quickly flattening out his opponent.  Goodridge realizes that things won’t get better from here and taps out due to position.  Mark Coleman has advanced to the tournament finals and will face off against Don Frye!

Mark Coleman is helped to his feet by Big John and gets a huge hand from this audience.  Bruce Buffer asks “ladies and gentlemen…was that a good fight or what?”  This reaction is surprising, since this has only been the second best fight on this card so far.  I thought that Brian Johnston vs. Don Frye was superior, since I never felt like Goodridge had a chance of winning.  After that initial takedown from Coleman, I knew that Goodridge would be doomed.  Coleman fought a great fight against a veteran opponent, but the outcome should be no surprise – Gary Goodridge can’t wrestle.

As has been the habit with recent UFC events, we cut to a plug for the next Pancrase event.  Fighters like Ken and Frank Shamrock, Bas Rutten, and Minoru Suzuki will be in action at this event.  The Pancrase highlight video they show includes clips of Bas Rutten and Frank Shamrock, notably the fight where Frank makes faces at Bas.  If I was watching this live, I would have been pissed off about not seeing fights like this in the UFC.  Bas Rutten and Frank Shamrock were a million times more interesting than anyone in the UFC – Tank Abbott included.

And now we’re treated to Dan Severn on commentary, which should be far different than hearing from Tank Abbott.  Severn has good things to say about Mark Coleman’s performance from the night.  Severn also says that his last fight with Ken Shamrock was the most strategic fight in MMA history.  Just because you don’t attack your opponent like a maniac doesn’t necessarily mean your approach is strategic, but it definitely means your approach is boring.  That said, Severn wasn’t pleased with his performance that evening in Detroit.

Severn will also be answering questions from internet users on CompuServe.  Regarding Don Frye, Severn has nothing but good things to say, but will likely never fight his training partner.  A fan asks if Severn “rode the clock” against Tank Abbott, and Severn explains that he didn’t want to trade with Tank so he went for the takedown and would stay on the ground until the referee stood both fighters up.  I guess you can’t argue with that approach, though his answer sounds like a “yes” to me.  Still, I’d rather spend an entire fight laying on top of Tank Abbott instead of getting punched in the face by Tank.

After some plugs for overpriced UFC merchandise, it’s time for the final tournament bout between Don Frye and Mark Coleman!  Coleman and Frye both look tired after some grueling fights, though I think Frye burned a lot of energy in his fights with Mark Hall and Brian Johnston.  Buffer confirms that this is both our last and final fight of the evening.  It’s good to get that kind of extra reassurance of finality in case there was any doubt remaining.

Honestly, the crowd sounds more behind Coleman than Frye.  I guess the win over Gary Goodridge was enough to influence the fans toward Coleman’s side, though I think being an Olympian holds a certain weight with fans.

The fight starts with a quick shot by Coleman which Frye defends, but Coleman explodes out from underneath Frye and takes control.  Frye is on all fours with Coleman on his back.  The men struggle before Coleman ends up in Frye’s guard, landing a series of big punches that bust Frye open.  Frye tries to roll out from underneath Coleman to no avail as Coleman maintains guard.  Coleman continues his assault on Frye, throwing a lot of punches that appear to graze his downed opponent.

Coleman briefly moved to side mount to throw some punches, but was back in guard after no more than 5-10 seconds.  We’re four minutes into the fight and it’s all Mark Coleman.  Frye makes attempts to escape but ends up with Coleman in side control attempting a side choke.  Frye quickly escapes and both men slowly get back to their feet.  Fatigue has definitely set in and it will be interesting to see which fighter is able to get through the tiredness.

Coleman is sucking in air while Frye is pretty bloodied.  When Frye moves in to strike, Coleman lands a quick takedown and knees his downed opponent in the head.  Frye is once again on all fours with Coleman in control on top.  Frye rolls to his back, prompting Coleman to throws some punches.  Coleman’s corner implores him to throw some “fucking knees”, but Big John halts the fight before that can occur – he wants the doctor to check Frye’s cuts.  Frye says that he can see fine and can continue, prompting Big John to restart the fight.

Neither man seems interesting in striking on account of exhaustion, so Coleman and Frye spend a bit of time circling.  Frye tries a few punches but cannot connect with anything solid.  Frye tries a takedown of his own, but Coleman is pinned against the cage and doesn’t seem interested in being taken down.

Coleman moves into a position where he can sprawl on top of Frye.  This allows Coleman to take Frye’s back once again, this time with sinking in a single hook.  Coleman tries to stay active with some punches and elbows.  Frye moves from all fours to his side, Coleman still on his back.  Coleman seems interested in a rear naked choke, but can’t sink it in and that ends up being a problem.

Frye is able to reverse positions and ends up on top of Coleman, but Coleman still has the strength to stand out of it!  Coleman not only gets out of the precarious position, but hoists Frye up for a takedown.  Frye desperately grabs the cage to prevent himself from being slammed and maneuvers himself back to his feet, landing a big punch on Coleman who responds with some punches of his own.  Coleman drops down for another double leg and moves to Frye’s guard.

We’re around the ten minute mark with Mark Coleman in a dominant position on top of Don Frye.  Coleman lands some hammering blows and is able to move to side mount as Frye tries to defend.  Coleman throws some knees to the head while Frye tries to get Coleman back in his guard.  Coleman is laying in some heavy elbows and headbutts, finally prompting Big John McCarthy to stop the fight!  Mark Coleman has won the tournament of UFC 10!

Mark Coleman seems beside himself with exhaustion, hugging John McCarthy when the victory is announced.  Bruce Buffer declares that we just saw “a fantastic championship bout.”  Buffer is definitely not afraid to display his emotions, that’s for sure.  The replays show that Coleman’s headbutts were pretty damaging and the stoppage seems warranted.

In the only post fight interview of the night, Coleman said he’s surprised that his opponents could take so many punches.  He dedicates this win to his friends, his family, and wrestlers around the world.  Coleman will be walking out of the Octagon with $50,000 and the tenth UFC tournament title.

Mark Coleman has made a huge impression on the world of MMA with this dominating performance.  He completely dominated his first opponent, Moti Horenstein, while defeating the finalists from the previous UFC tournament.  Coleman’s stellar wrestling and bruising ground and pound looked unstoppable on this night.

Regarding the rankings for these fights, I still think the main event was only the second best fight of the night.  I really enjoyed Brian Johnston vs. Don Frye and thought that was the most competitive and exciting fight of the night.  Coleman was solidly in control of the finals, while Coleman and Frye being completely exhausted definitely influenced the outcome of this fight.  I would love to see a Superfight rematch between these two, but we’ll have to wait and see if that comes to fruition.

The Johnston/Frye fight cracked the top-ten all time fights, while Frye/Coleman came very close.  Many of these fights tonight were very good and we’re seeing MMA progress right before our eyes.  These fighters seemed to be more well-rounded than in previous tournaments, though Coleman’s wrestling was so dominant that he didn’t need to worry about any other aspect of his game.

Looking forward to UFC 11, we know one thing for sure: Tank is back.  After his prolonged layoff from the UFC, Tank Abbott will be making his return.  But what other competitors will we see at this event?  Will Mark Coleman defend his UFC Tournament Championship?  Will Don Frye return to claim another tournament crown?  Will Dan Severn come back to tournament competition?  It will be interesting to see how UFC 11 turns out with so much up in the air.  UFC 10 was a really great card featuring some of the best bouts yet and I hope the UFC can build upon this momentum at their next event.

**UPDATE – 7/16/2011**

I have located the preliminary bout between Geza Kalman and Dieusel Berto and will review and rank this fight.  As expected, I’ve found an awful recording of this video that has terrible audio quality.  It seems like this was ripped from a VHS tape and there’s a constant clicking noise.  I get to enjoy this for about ten minutes – hooray!

Geza Kalman looks like a big fat baby with a terrible hair cut.  The only hair on his head is a tiny patch along his forehead.  Given how much this guy looks like a large toddler, I think more hair would only help Kalman.  Bruce Buffer also asks during introductions if we are ready for Dieusel Berto.  I see no reason why we wouldn’t be.  It’s not like he’s going to be beating up audience members, as entertaining as that would be.  It sounds like the crowd is reacting positively to Kalman, but they’re actually just hooting and hollering for the filthy looking ring girls.

Kalman immediately charges in for a shoot, but is unsuccessful and backs Berto against the cage.  Kalman has a tight clinch, but is unsuccessful with a throw and ends up with Berto on top.  It looks like Berto grabbed the cage to preven the takedown and he ends up in an advantageous position.  It doesn’t take Kalman long to sweep Berto and move to side control.

Berto ends up rolling onto his knees and Kalman isn’t really taking advantage of this.  He seems lost and spends some time in the sprawl position.  It looks like he wants to try and turn Berto onto his back, but Berto is able to work back to his feet.  Kalman seems clueless on his feet, swinging wildly and missing every single punch in a loopy combination.  Kalman moves into the clinch and backs Berto against the cage.

Berto tries to advance positions and take Kalman down and Kalman weakly attempts a guillotine.  Berto now has Kalman backed against the cage and is liberally using the cage to maintain position.  Kalman, the bigger fighter, is eventually able to break Berto’s grasp and reverse positions with Berto now against the cage.

Berto again reverse positions and begins throwing some headbutts to Kalman.  Berto leans in for the takedown, but gets hit by a big knee.  Berto and Kalman are really struggling with one another against the cage, frequently changing positions while attempting to advance.  This hasn’t been a very technical fight, but both fighters are active enough to keep things interesting.

With Berto against the cage, Kalman lands some big punches that go unanswered.  Berto takes some big shots and that prompts the referee to stop the fight!  Berto was absorbing punishment and seemed pretty out of it.  Berto was wobbled by these big shots and it looks like the cage was the only thing keeping Berto on his feet.  It didn’t look like a great stoppage at first, but the replays show otherwise.

This certainly wasn’t a great fight, but I’m glad I found it for the sake of adding another bout to my cumulative UFC rankings.

Greatest Fights of UFC 10

  1. Don Frye vs. Brian Johnston
  2. Mark Coleman vs. Don Frye
  3. Mark Coleman vs. Gary Goodridge
  4. Brian Johnston vs. Scott Fiedler
  5. Gary Goodridge vs. John Campetella
  6. Geza Kalman vs. Dieusel Berto
  7. Mark Coleman vs. Moti Horenstein
  8. Don Frye vs. Mark Hall

Top Ten Fights Through UFC 10

  1. Royce Gracie vs. Kimo Leopoldo – UFC 3
  2. Royce Gracie vs. Dan Severn – UFC 4
  3. Royce Gracie vs. Keith Hackney – UFC 4
  4. Oleg Taktarov vs. Tank Abbott – UFC 6
  5. Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock – UFC 1
  6. Ken Shamrock vs. Dan Severn – UFC 6
  7. Marco Ruas vs. Paul Varelans – UFC 7
  8. Don Frye vs. Brian Johnston – UFC 10
  9. Ken Shamrock vs. Christophe Leininger – UFC 3
  10. Ken Shamrock vs. Patrick Smith – UFC 1

Greatest Fighters of UFC 10

  1. Mark Coleman (3-0)
  2. Don Frye (2-1)
  3. Brian Johnston (1-1)
  4. Gary Goodridge (1-1)
  5. Geza Kalman (1-0)
  6. Sam Adkins (1-0)
  7. John Campetella (0-1)
  8. Felix Lee Mitchell (0-1)
  9. Scott Fiedler (0-1)
  10. Dieusel Berto (0-1)
  11. Mark Hall (0-1)
  12. Moti Horenstein (0-1)

Top Ten Fighters Through UFC 10

  1. Royce Gracie (11-1-1)
  2. Dan Severn (9-2)
  3. Ken Shamrock (5-2-2)
  4. Oleg Taktarov (6-2-1)
  5. Mark Coleman (3-0)
  6. Don Frye (6-1)
  7. Marco Ruas (4-1)
  8. Patrick Smith (4-2)
  9. Tank Abbott (3-2)
  10. Gerard Gordeau (2-1)
Categories: Ranking the UFC
  1. kyle
    July 17, 2011 at 11:28 pm

    never thought Gary goodridge would be ranked below Gerard Gordeau…sad day.

  2. December 29, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Sadly, Scott Fiedler drowned at the Lake of the Ozarks several years ago.

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