Monday, August 22, 2016

There are hundreds of things that are prohibited under the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts today; when the sport was born on November 12, 1993, there were far fewer.

In the beginning, Rorion Gracie had a day at his Torrance, Calif. academy, where anyone in the world game enough could walk through the doors and test their skills by fighting Jiu-Jitsu exponents until someone quit. A student at the academy and former Marine, Art Davie, was convinced that the challenge fights could turn into a Pay Per View event.

Davie and Gracie approached HBO, Showtime, and others, with no luck. Then they presented to Semaphore Entertainment Group (SEG), and it was a go.

SEG, founded by Bob Meyrowitz, was the pay-per-view television arm of the massive international media company BMG. The head of programming at SEG was Campbell McLaren. Chief Operating Officer of the new UFC was David Isaacs, who had graduated from Harvard Law School two years before; Isaacs ran the company for the next half decade.

Campbell McLaren, who now runs Combate Americas, recently posted a message on Twitter showing an early iteration of the original rules.

However, McLaren related a moment that summed up the rules of the event in two words.

So even at UFC 1, biting was the very first thing off the table.

When in 1874 prospector Alfred “Alferd” Packer survived the winter in the mountains of Colorado by cannibalism, he was sentenced to 40 years.

“There were seven Democrats in Hinsdale County, and you et five of them!” the judge, a Democrat, is reported to have said.

With all due respect to Mike Tyson, who has since mended his ways, biting just isn’t done.

However, at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio, Ukrainian wrestler Andriy Kvyatkovskyy forgot. Frank Molinaro from the USA was controlling Kvyatkovskyy from the top in the 65kg contest, when the American suddenly leapt back!

Frank Molinaro

A replay showed exactly what happened.

The referee unfortunately missed the cannibal technique. Luckily, Molinaro ended up winning 3-1, which put him into the bronze medal round. Molinaro lost to the world champion, Italy’s Frank Chamizo, for bronze in his final Olympic match by 5-3.

As for Kvyatkovskyy, he picked up a new Ukrainian nickname – Kanibal.