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UFC 1: The Beginning - Looking Back At The No Holds Barred Tournament

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UFC 1: The Beginning - Looking Back At The No Holds Barred Tournament

No rules. No time limits. No judges. UFC 1 was a no holds barred tournament to determine the best fighter in any and every fight style and martial arts discipline.

UFC 1: The Beginning took place on November 12, 1993 in Denver, Colorado, and was the inaugural Ultimate Fighting Championship event which featured an eight-man tournament.

The one-night tournament had no rules and no weight classes, and moments which are still firmly etched into MMA's ultimate highlight reel.


From Royce Gracie rampaging his way through the competition to devastating knockouts. We take a look back at some of the significant moments from UFC 1 which started an industry.

Gerard Gordeau knocks out Teila Tuli's teeth.

The first knockout on UFC 1 resulted in a brutal knockout.


Tuli, a sumo wrestler from Hawaii, got matched up with karate champion Gordeau who weighed 200lbs less than his counterpart.

Both fighters were making their MMA debut in a bout billed as Sumo vs. Savate, and it was the Dutch striker who scored a massive win.

Tuli charged at Gordeau. He then lost his balance before clumsily hitting the canvas. Gordeau then booted Tuli flush in the face that immediately knocked him out, rearranging his mouth with teeth flying everywhere.

Gordeau's 26 second victory is still one of the greatest knockouts in UFC history.


Art Jimmerson and the lone boxing glove.

Image: UFC
Image: UFC

One of the most inedible images of UFC 1 is Gracie's quarter-final opponent Jimmerson. A boxer who entered his bout wearing only one boxing glove.

Why? Well, the idea was to protect his jab hand and leave the other free for grappling exchanges. Unfortunately for the American, he succumbed to Gracie's ground wizardry.


But his lone boxing glove is still a symbolic MMA image.

Royce Gracie wins UFC 1.

Gracie is considered the most influential figure in MMA history following his heroics at UFC 1, which saw him run through the field as he revolutionised the sport.


The Gracie family purposely put forward a smaller man to enter the tournament to highlight their dangerous brand of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

He enjoyed a remarkable night and stunned three bigger and stronger opponents to win UFC 1.

Gracie's dominant ground display resulted in three submission victories. The impact he had was monumental. His showings contributed to the movement towards grappling. A true pioneer.

Topics: UFC News, UFC, MMA

Nasir Jabbar
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