MMA Review: #70: UFC 10: The Tournament Dec19

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MMA Review: #70: UFC 10: The Tournament

UFC 10: The Tournament

07/12/96

Birmingham, Alabama

-Your hosts are Bruce Beck and Jeff Blatnick, who gets a quick interview segment with defending champion Don Frye. No Don Wilson this time then. We see the brackets, with the return of Frye being the main focal point.

Quarter-Finals

Don Frye vs Mark Hall

The announcers plug Frye as the most well-rounded fighter in UFC history, and Hall gets his fair share of hype too as the ‘Giant-Killer’, despite not technically ‘killing’ Koji Kitao at UFC 9 (he won by cut stoppage, remember). Just for historical note, too, this is the first UFC to see Bruce Buffer announcing, and with Rich Goins having done the past three or four shows, he’s a total breath of fresh air! Both of these guys get a big pop.

Hall opens with a spinning back kick to the body that barely catches Frye, but Don quickly gets a short bodyslam down to half-guard. Frye works him over with punches to the body, then stands to attempt a guard pass, but ends up back in full guard, where he continues to work the body. Headbutt lands from Frye and he continues to work the body, with Hall’s side looking badly bruised at this point. Frye continues to work him over, chopping away at the body and head. Frye stacks up and lands more heavy body punches, moving him towards the fence. More punishment to the body continues, as Hall yells at his corner to “SHUT UP!” Frye lands some more heavy shots to the head and ribs, and Hall’s side is PURPLE at this point. Interesting bit of dialogue follows as Frye tells him, “You need to quit”, and Hall replies “No, I need to lose with honor”. Moments later John McCarthy comes in for the stoppage.

Slow-paced fight, which is surprising for a Don Frye fight at this point in time, but boy, did he mess up Hall’s rib cage. Hall showed a lot of heart though, taking some bad punishment before it got stopped.

Brian Johnston vs Scott Fiedler

Both of these guys are 6’4’ kickboxers, with Johnston apparently representing the American Kickboxing Academy. Heh, didn’t know that camp was around back in 1996. Fiedler has one of the strangest haircuts I’ve ever seen in my life, completely shaved all over except at the back, where he’s sporting a mullet. If I never have to see that again, it’ll be too soon.

Fiedler comes forward into the clinch, but Johnston gets a slick Judo throw, only for Fiedler to come right back up into the clinch. Johnston trips him back down, and looks for a kneebar, but Fiedler avoids and takes a waistlock, into a back mount and goes for a rear naked choke. Johnston blocks it and works to shake Fiedler off his back, finally doing so, and from there he gets on top in a back mount of his own, and pounds away for the stoppage.

Short, somewhat exciting fight.

Mark Coleman vs Moti Horenstein

Horenstein is an Israeli guy whose discipline is ‘Survival’, which is apparently a hybrid of karate and some other various styles. He’s also a Jean Claude Van Damme lookalike. This is Coleman’s debut in the UFC and Blatnick is really excited to see another world-class wrestler, this time an Olympic alternate, enter the Octagon.

They get underway and Coleman shoots in for a double leg, which Horenstein tries to block unsuccessfully as Coleman gets into the mount. Coleman pounds away with some punches as Horenstein holds on for dear life. Coleman headbutts him, and slides over into a side mount, landing some knees. Back into Horenstein’s guard now, and Coleman just comes down with some HUGE CAVEMAN PUNCHES and McCarthy’s seen enough and stops it there.

Easy win for Coleman there.

Gary Goodridge vs John Campetella

Both of these guys are HUGE, so I’m expecting a classic old-school UFC slugfest here.

They exchange their way into a clinch, and Campetella takes him down momentarily, but Goodridge comes up quickly into the clinch. Campetella lands some uppercuts in the clinch, and then gets a waistlock, but Goodridge pulls him down into guard and then rolls him into mount, landing some HUGE LEFT HANDS and McCarthy stops another fight on a TKO.

Goodridge actually looked in a slight bit of trouble here but once he got good position, it was over.

-Tank Abbott joins us for a quick interview and talks about some sort of ‘incident’ in Puerto Rico, I have no idea what he’s on about. He says he’ll definitely be fighting at UFC 11 on 9/20, and rips on honor and respect in the Octagon, saying that’s Don Wilson’s area of expertise. He rips on Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock, calling them ‘Freddie Mercury’ and ‘Glam Rock’, and then settles in for the next fight.

Semi-Finals

Done Frye vs Brian Johnston

They exchange into a clinch and muscle their way along the fence, looking strangely like they’re dancing, before they exchange some knees and punches and then break off. Back into the clinch, and Johnston lands some good knees and punches, but they break off and Frye lands a right hand back into the clinch. Frye gets a takedown to a half-back mount and elbows the body, and as Johnston tries to escape, he manoeuvres into side mount and wails away with some elbows to the head, busting Johnston wide open, and he taps out there.

Post-fight Tank compares losing to Dan Severn at the Ultimate Ultimate to being “raped by Freddie Mercury”. HAHA!

Gary Goodridge vs Mark Coleman

Goodridge presses the action to open, but Coleman gets a takedown to guard, and drops some headbutts down onto Big Daddy as he holds on. Coleman moves him towards the fence and passes his guard into a half-back mount, but Goodridge comes up into a rear waistlock, facing the fence. Coleman works him over with some uppercuts from behind, as Goodridge manages to move towards his corner for advice, eating more uppercuts as he does so. Goodridge manages to turn back into the clinch, but Coleman muscles his way back into the waistlock and lands some more uppercuts. Coleman breaks off and Goodridge presses forward, but Coleman gets the takedown to guard again. Goodridge tries to escape, but Coleman forces him right back down into side mount, where he pounds away with some knees and elbows. Coleman takes a back mount, and Goodridge taps out there before Coleman can secure a choke.

Really impressive performance from Coleman who just out-worked Goodridge in every facet of the fight and basically manhandled him, which was really surprising given Goodridge’s famed physical strength.

-We get a plug for a PPV showcasing the Kings of Pancrase (Ken and Frank Shamrock, Minoru Suzuki and Bas Rutten) that’s being put on by the same company as UFC.

-Dan Severn joins us for an interview, where he calls his UFC 9 fight with Ken Shamrock “the most psychological fight in UFC history”. Riiight.

Finals

Don Frye vs Mark Coleman

The announcers discuss Frye’s wrestling background and the fact that Coleman’s a much superior wrestler to him, but Frye’s also more well-rounded and he’s got the experience factor too.

They begin and Frye throws some jabs, but Coleman shoots in for the takedown. Frye sprawls back and blocks, but Coleman gets a beautiful switch into a side back mount. Frye rolls through into guard, but eats some BIG RIGHTS to the face. Coleman pins him to the fence, and continues to land as Frye extends his legs, trying to keep distance to avoid the strikes. Coleman lands some more, and Frye is busted open on the forehead and also has a nasty mouse under his right eye. Frye tries to escape, but Coleman is just too strong for him, and he keeps landing with the right hands and some headbutts. He gets a side mount momentarily, but Frye gets the guard back. Coleman continues to work, as Frye tries to kick him away, but Coleman quickly moves into the north/south position. Into side mount, and Coleman attempts a neck crank, but Frye uses the fence to push off, and reverses back to standing! Frye backs him up and lands a right, but Coleman gets a nice takedown against the fence, landing a big knee in the process, and takes Frye’s back. He doesn’t really look for a choke, using the position to land some shots, before Frye manages to get back to guard. Into side mount, and McCarthy calls time to check Frye’s bloody face. Coleman looks GASSED at this point, leaning on the fence while the doctor checks Frye over.

The doctor clears him and they restart, with Frye pressing the action. He shoots for his own double leg, but just can’t pick Coleman up or take him down either, and Coleman reverses and rides his way to another back mount. Coleman elbows the back of the head, then looks for a rear naked choke, but Frye blocks it well and manages to reverse his way on top for the first time in the fight! Coleman looks tired, but still manages to reverse position, and then PICKS FRYE UP OVER HIS HEAD!~! Frye grabs the top of the fence to desperately avoid a slam, so Coleman lets him stand and then NAILS him with some heavy uppercuts against the fence. Coleman gets another takedown to guard, slugging his way into a side mount, where he continues to land, avoiding the attempts by Frye to secure guard. Coleman drops some more headbutts down onto Frye’s already bloody right eye, and McCarthy stops the punishment there.

Post-fight Coleman says the fighters were tougher than he was expecting, but his freestyle wrestling skill saw him through.

Hell of a war there in the final round, as Frye showed a ridiculous amount of heart, but just got overpowered by a much stronger opponent who also had the skill to seemingly always be in a good position for offense. Even so, the signs of the cardio problems that would plague Coleman later in his career were evident here, and that meant Frye, even when he was in deep trouble early, was never truly out of the fight, which made for an exciting final for the most part.

And we end the show there.

Final Thoughts…

UFC 10 is another one of those historically important shows, as Coleman debuted and basically took the torch that Dan Severn was holding in terms of the wrestling-based fighter, and ran with it, as he used the mix of his world-class wrestling skill and naturally overpowering strength to basically gain dominant position over everyone he fought, and once he was there…well, they don’t call Coleman the innovator of ground-and-pound for nothing. While Severn was criticised in his early days for not really having any major skill outside of wrestling, Coleman showed exactly what kind of damage a wrestler can do if they’re willing to use heavy strikes on the mat too. The show is made by Coleman’s three fights, as it’s almost like watching a large gorilla in there, just manhandling guys that you never would’ve believed it possible to manhandle. Outside of Coleman, there are no slow fights, and although the amount of TKO stoppages gets somewhat tedious, it’s a fun show to watch overall.

Highly recommended, both for historical and entertainment reasons.

Coming Soon…

Pride: 25, 26, 27, 28 and Bushido 9.

UFC: 55 and 56.

Cage Rage: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14.

WFA: 1, 2 and 3.

King of the Cage: 18, 23, 30 and 32.

WEC 9: Cold Blooded

Best of Shooto 2003 vols. 1 & 2.

Until next time,

Scott Newman:

OratoryNewman@gmail.com