Scott Morris was beat up very badly by Patrick Smith, and the knockout has been called the most brutal in UFC history. Morris sustained a series of punches and elbows to the throat, mouth and face. The match was the reason that UFC implemented several new rules. See more »
For new fans who are interested in following the UFC from the beginning, this is an event that can not be skipped over. UFC 2 not only solidified Royce Gracie's dominance over the budding sport, but it also contains some of the gnarliest finishes in MMA history. It was the first UFC to be released on VHS, as well.
The most memorable fights in UFC 2 were not competitive, back-and-forth matches. They were prolonged, one-sided beat downs. The reason some of these fights were allowed to go on for longer than they should have was because referee Big John McCarthy (Making his first appearance) was not given any authority to stop the fights on his own judgment. In a gladiatorial event with legal groin shots and no rounds, the banning of referee stoppages was a decision that stands as the most dangerous ever made.
As for the tournament, it was a 16-man bracket, meaning a fighter would have to beat four opponents in one night to win the title. A problem that occurred as a result of this was that seven of the preliminary fights could not be aired because of time constraints (The producers at least had the courtesy to show Gracie's first match). Luckily, many of these "lost fights" can now be watched on Youtube and DVD's.
Another problem is that, because promoters wanted a large number of styles to be represented, a sizable portion of the fighters had less-than-stellar credentials. A few didn't even have any competition experience. Most of these palookas got bumped off before they could make it onto the broadcast, but a few managed to squeak into the quarterfinals. And that's when the fun really starts.
Patrick Smith vs. Scott Morris is probably the best remembered fight from the show. Morris was a Texas ninjutsu practitioner who had never had a fight before the tournament. He had managed to win his first match by choking out 18-year-old Taekwondo stylist Sean Daugherty, but in the quarterfinals he was up against a seasoned full-contact fighter in Smith. At the start of the bout, Morris displayed his inexperience by pulling Smith straight on top of him into the mounted position. It was at this point that Smith unleashed a heinous barrage of punches and elbows on Morris' defenseless face, pushing him to the brink of unconsciousness. With Big John powerless to stop the fight due to Morris' corner's refusal to throw in the towel, it took Patrick Smith to cease in the beating on his own accord.
Another memorable beat down was kick boxer Johnny Rhodes against alternate Fred Ettish. Johnny Rhodes had decent striking credentials and replaced Ken Shamrock in the tournament, who was out with a hand injury he received in training. Rhodes' lack of a ground game would have been a liability for him in MMA even at the time, but in this particular tournament a solid punch was all that was needed to make him one of the better fighters. He gave the under-prepared Ettish a whooping that lasted well after Ettish was able to defend himself. After finally submitting to a choke, Ettish would go on to be ridiculed on the internet for years after this event because of his poor performance and karate background. Amazingly, over a decade and a half after his first fight, he would return to the cage and score his first victory in MMA at the age of 53.
As for the returning champion Royce Gracie, he won the event with hardly any effort at all. Remarkably so, considering how potentially dangerous all of his opponents could have been. In his first fight, Gracie patiently worked the top position on highly-touted karate competitor Minoki Ichihara until he finally secured a collar choke and forced his opponent to surrender. In the quarterfinals, he submitted kung-fu stylist Jason DeLucia with a nasty arm bar just slightly after the one-minute mark DeLucia had actually fought Gracie before and trained jiujitsu to prepare for the event, but he ended up leaving as the loser for a second time. In the semis, Gracie took on massive grappler Remco Pardoel. This certainly looked like it could have been a tough one, especially after Pardoel knocked out Muay Thai champion Orlando Weit in the quarterfinals. As it turns out, Pardoel would tap out only a minute and a half into the fight from Gracie's collar-choke. The finals ended up being a dud, with Patrick Smith wilting like a pansy and tapping out from position. In his previous fights that night he displayed improved grappling ability, but apparently he hadn't studied how to escape the mount.
Overall, this event is worth watching for its gritty quality and the lopsided beatings that personified the early UFC. In terms of contribution to the history and evolution in MMA, this event proved that Gracie's first tournament win was no fluke. As evidenced by Patrick Smith (Despite his last fight), this event also showed how someone who trained specifically for this type of competition would fare better than someone who relied on a single discipline.
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