Unified Rules breaking at UFC 1


Attorney and UGer Erik Magraken looks at UFC 1, through the prism of the Unified Rules.


MMA Geekery - UFC 1 vs. Modern Rules
From: ErikMagraken
Member Since: 8/31/13
Posts: 265

In a sign of perhaps having too much time to spare I viewed UFC 1 with the modern rules in mind. 

Leaving aside across the board transgressions such as no round length, no gloves, the tournament style with multiple bouts in one night and no judges, here are the specific violations of modern rules that caught my eye. I’m sure I missed many, feel free to weigh in on any others that you’re aware of! Here we go:

Quarterfinal 1 – Teila Tuli vs. Gerard Gordeau Tuli
eighing in at 410 lbs would need to fight in the super-heavyweight division with Gordeau qualifying for heavyweight at 216 lbs. The first weight class mismatch of the night. Gordeau’s Gi pants are prohibited as it Tuli’s outfit. Gordeau’s bout winning roundhouse kick to Tuli’s head while grounded would result in disqualification. Tuli appears to have forgotten his mouthpiece as is evidenced by his tooth flying out of his mouth.

Quarterfinal 2 – Kevin Rosier vs. Zane Frazier
No weight class issues as both qualify for the heavyweight division with Rosier just sneaking in at 265 lbs. It is unclear whether either competitor’s handwraps would pass Athletic Commission scrutiny. Rosier’s strikes to the back of Frazier’s head would not be tolerated. These are followed by an illegal 12-6 Elbow. Frazier hits Rosier with a knee strike to the groin. Frazier holds Rosier’s hair while throwing more low blows. While in a headlock Frazier appears to gouge Rosier’s face. Frazier throws a knee to Rosier’s head while grounded. Rosier wins the bout by striking the back of Frazier’s head followed by serial stomps to a grounded Frazier. All while grabbing the fence for extra leverage. Another bout where the winner would be disqualified under modern rules.

Quarterfinal 3 – Royce Grace vs. Art Jimmerson
Gracie, weighing in at 180 lbs would need to fight at middle weight with Jimmerson’s 196 qualifying him for light heavyweight. Gracie’s gi, of course, would be prohibited and what more can be said about “one glove” Jimmerson’s choice to don a single boxing glove that has not been said already. Additionally his footwear would not be allowed. This is the first bout of the tournament that did not have any fouls in the active competition. A quick, clean submission victory.

Quarterfinal 4 – Ken Shamrock vs. Patrick Smith
Both fighters weigh in comfortably in the heavyweight division. Shamrock’s speedo style trunks would not be allowed. Both Smith’s and Shamrock’s wrist wrapping method would run afoul of current practices. Smith appears to throw some heel kicks to the kidney while in guard. Shamrock responds with a headbutt. Other than these transgressions the bout is fought largely in compliance with modern rules.

Semifinal 1 – Gerard Gordeau vs. Kevin Rosier
No weight class issues with this match up as both would qualify for the heavyweight division. Gordeau throws a headkick to a grounded Rosier. From there the referee is slow in responding to a barrage of elbows from Gordeau allowing him to get in a final stomp to a grounded Rosier before the stoppage. Although the bout should have been stopped after the legal elbows, the illegal stomp was the final blow making this the third bout which would have stopped via disqualification under modern rules.

Semifinal 2 – Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock
We start with yet another weight mismatch with the middleweight Gracie against the Heavyweight Shamrock. Gracie throws a barrage of heel kicks to Shamrock’s kidney from guard. Other than this the Gracie v. Shamrock bout is largely compliant with the Unified Rules.

Final – Royce Gracie vs. Gerard Gordeau
Again we have a mismatch in weight classes with the middleweight Gracie facing the heavyweight Gordeau. Gorddeu grabs the fence in an attempt to stop a takedown. Gracie throws some headbutts before taking the back and then commits a double foul with a headbutt to the back of Gordeau’s head.

That wraps it up. I’m sure there are many other transgressions under modern rules that missed my eye. Any other observations are welcome!

Originally published here: http://combatsportslaw.com/2014/03/17/ufc-1-v-the-unified-rules-of-mma-some-fun-with-history/

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tags: UFC 1   Royce Gracie (detail)  

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Recent Comments »

JackG79 site profile image  

3/18/14 10:41 AM by JackG79

SeriouslY? Ya'll don't remember Dennis Hallmans little speedo show that resulted in his peekaboo moment.

PermitMeFisticuffsBrother site profile image  

3/18/14 8:36 AM by PermitMeFisticuffsBrother


MMA_Hole site profile image  

3/17/14 4:53 PM by MMA_Hole

Found it:Obligatory warning - May contain traces of nuts.http://s1220.photobucket.com/user/BushidoAristotle/media/SillyHallman.png.html

MMA_Hole site profile image  

3/17/14 4:49 PM by MMA_Hole

You're luckier than those of us who do remember. I'd gladly forget Dennis Hallman's nut sack falling out of his budgie smugglers at UFC 133 if I could. While the athletic commissions may have no problem with speedos, The UFC banned them after that incident.Also, fun article. I enjoyed it.

ErikMagraken site profile image  

3/17/14 4:21 PM by ErikMagraken

Thank you, appreciate the feedback!

ErikMagraken site profile image  

3/17/14 4:15 PM by ErikMagraken

The NJ Rules require "Each contestant shall wear mixed martial arts shorts, biking shorts, or kick-boxing shorts."The Nevada Rules require "shorts approved by the Commission or the Commission's representative."I don't recall speedo shorts being worn or approved in recent years but perhaps that is simply from no one attempting to wear them.

alley site profile image  

3/17/14 3:37 PM by alley

Pics of the speedo, please.

D241 site profile image  

3/17/14 3:23 PM by D241

I know that took some time OP, but your efforts were appreciated. This was a unique thread idea and an interesting read.   Thanks for your contributions OP.

Chromium site profile image  

3/17/14 3:13 PM by Chromium

-While not in compliance with current UFC protocol, I'm pretty sure Shamrock's speedo is actually in compliance with the MMA Unified Rules. Those were only banned specifically by the UFC after Dennis Hallman wore them at UFC 133. They can also be seen sported by Shonie Carter on TUF 4 and in many of his fights. -Pretty sure Gerard Gordeau attempted to eye gouge Royce in the finals, or at least this is what Royce claims. This would be consistent with Gordeau successfully eye gouging Yuki Nakai in his final match (which he still lost), after which Nakai was permanently blinded in one eye. This was technically a foul even at UFC 1 although the ref apparently missed it.

JonnyW site profile image  

3/17/14 2:25 PM by JonnyW

Why would the speedo not be allowed?