MMA Review: #52: UFC 3: The American Dream Jun11


Related Posts

Share This

MMA Review: #52: UFC 3: The American Dream

UFC 3: The American Dream

Charlotte, North Carolina

-We open with a highlight reel of UFC 1 and 2, again concentrating on the twice-victorious Royce Gracie.

-Your hosts are Brian Kilmeade, Jim Brown, and Ben Perry. They review the ‘punchers’, and the ‘grapplers’. God, we’ve gone from a description of each style in UFC 1, to all the grapplers being lumped together in UFC 2, to simply ‘punchers’ and ‘grapplers’ here.


Keith Hackney vs Emmanuel Yarborough

Yarborough is a HUGE black sumo wrestler, 6’8”, 616lbs. Hackney is a Kenpo Karate expert, dwarfed at 5’11” and 200lbs.

They get underway and Yarborough tries to close in, but Hackney drops him with an overhand right! Hackney pounces, but Yarborough gets to his knees and clubs away at Keith, before SHOVING HIM THROUGH THE OCTAGON FENCE!~! Wild. They restart and circle, with Hackney trying to strike from distance with some overhand punches and low kicks. Yarborough catches a kick, but Hackney punches him right in the face and decks him, then hammers away with some wild punches to the top and the back of the head, and Yarborough taps out. That was quite entertaining for what it was, actually.

Ken Shamrock vs Christophe Leninger

Ken comes into this one wearing shoes, meaning that he’s not allowed to kick. Hmm….is that a….rule, in a tournament that advertises itself as ‘HAVING NO RULES!’? At any rate, Leninger is the current #2 ranked Judoka in his weight class in the US.

They press and Leninger shoots in for the takedown, but Ken blocks and gets on top, with Leninger in guard. Leninger lands some punches from the bottom, and holds on tightly, so Ken uses some headbutts to break the grip. Leninger tries an armbar, but Ken avoids and takes his back, manoeuvring for a choke, but he can’t get it. Leninger tries to turn back to the guard, but he ends up stacked against the fence, and Ken pounds away, as Leninger panics and tries to escape with no avail. Ken keeps slugging away, and Leninger taps out. Leninger’s defences looked alright, but he had no offense and once Ken had good positioning, it was all over.

Harold Howard vs Roland Payne

Payne is the hometown boy, a Muay Thai fighter from Charlotte. Howard is this HUGE Canadian guy with a mullet, apparently he’s the Canadian Jiu-Jitsu champion and also the Canadian kickboxing champion. They show him breaking a punching bag open with some punches in his intro video, whoa.

We get underway, and Payne gets a quick takedown, but Howard rolls through and then tries a kick. Payne gets a takedown, but Howard reverses and they come up where Howard botches a suplex attempt. Back up again, and Payne backs him off with towards the fence with some low kicks, but Howard comes back with some palm strikes and then a BIG RIGHT HAND that sends Payne down and out. Howard didn’t seem all that skilled, but boy, he obviously hits hard.

Royce Gracie vs Kimo Leopoldo

The announcers know pretty much nothing about Kimo and his fighting style, other than the little Kimo’s told them himself. He’s billing himself as a Tai-Kwon-Do fighter, who’s also a practicing minister who “spreads the word of the lord for six months of the year”. He comes out carrying a HUGE wooden cross on his back, and seeing him for the first time amongst all these vanilla looking martial artists with all the tattoos and muscle and long hair is scary.

Royce shoots in to open up, but Kimo blocks and they muscle towards the fence in a clinch. Kimo pulls at Royce’s gi to avoid a takedown, as the Octagon gate comes open again. They restart and Royce still can’t get him down. He knees the legs and tries a trip, but Kimo outmuscles him and keeps standing, so Royce headbutts him. Kimo responds with a knee to the groin, and Royce goes for the trip again, and gets it this time, but Kimo shifts his weight and takes Royce’s back! Royce tries to turn over as Kimo gets his hooks in, holding the gi for leverage and looking for something from the position. Royce works from underneath and manoeuvres out and on top in a mount, but Kimo muscles out and turns him over into guard! Royce gets his legs up for a triangle, but Kimo blocks and flips him over, taking his back again. Into Royce’s guard again, and Kimo lands some headbutts. Royce reaches up and pulls his long hair for leverage as he tries a triangle, landing some punches along the way, but Kimo escapes and drops some punches down into the face. They come up and Kimo grabs a rear waistlock, but Royce swings it around and pulls guard, and rolls through into an armbar, and Kimo weakly taps out.

Post-fight the crowd are going BERSERK as Kimo stands up, bleeding from the left eye but looking only tired, as Royce is helped up by the Gracies looking badly hurt and refuses to shake Kimo’s hand. They practically carry Royce backstage as the announcers go crazy over Kimo’s effort in the fight, pointing out that he barely had the energy to tap out at the end.

Awesome fight here, easily the best of the early (1-5) UFC’s. Royce had been overwhelming everyone he’d fought with his skill up to this point, but Kimo had the right amount of skill and sheer strength to actually put up a hell of a fight, really surprising and also hurting Gracie in the process. This fight practically made Kimo into a star in the early days of MMA and to a certain extent he’s still riding the reputation he made here today.


Ken Shamrock vs Felix Lee Mitchell

Keith Hackney dropped out of the tournament, apparently he broke his hand punching Yarborough in the head, so Mitchell is his replacement. Mitchell comes out wearing a pair of boxing gloves, but takes them off before the fight starts.

Ken closes in right away and gets a bodylock, but Mitchell blocks the takedown and Ken just muscles him into the fence and holds him there. Ken moves into a rear waistlock, and tries a standing choke, but Mitchell avoids it. Mitchell works back into a regular clinch and they exchange some short punches, before Ken finally gets the takedown and goes into the full mount. Mitchell rolls onto his stomach, and Ken gets a tight rear naked choke for the tapout.

Post-fight Ken’s limping, as the announcers mention a possible ankle injury.

-We get a highlight of the fights so far, as the announcers mainly discuss Kimo/Royce and wonder if Gracie will be okay for the next fight. They discuss how Kimo was able to hang with Royce until he got tired, and then Royce was able to finish him off on the mat.

Harold Howard vs Royce Gracie

Gracie comes out slooowly, looking hurt before the fight even begins. They’re about to get underway, but Royce turns to his family and they throw the towel in, awarding Howard the victory and the spot in the final match. The Gracies carry Royce out, and I have to wonder why they didn’t just pull him out to begin with and let an alternate fight Howard. Ah well.

Before the finals can begin Kimo and his trainer Joe Son come into the Octagon to take the credit for Gracie’s injury, and a small ‘Kimo!’ chant starts up as Big John McCarthy removes them from the scene. So the finals are set to be Harold Howard vs. Ken Shamrock, or not, as the announcers tell us that Ken’s now pulled out of the final with an unstated injury. So it’s going to be Howard vs. an alternate, Ninjitsu fighter Steve Jennum.


Steve Jennum vs Harold Howard

Jennum comes out, and he’s a skinny guy in black shorts who’s a Ninjitsu fighter and also a cop from Omaha, Nebraska. This is a mad disappointing final considering the line-up. Anyhow….Howard gets underway with an attempt at a somersaulting kick (!), and then lands a superman punch, so Jennum quickly grabs a clinch. Jennum eats some punches, but muscles Howard to the fence where Howard tries a guillotine. He tries to pull guard with it, but only ends up with a half-guard and Jennum works to escape and stands, landing a good punch that rocks Howard. Jennum lands another as Howard looks stunned, and he lunges for Jennum but he moves his head right out of the way. Jennum gets a takedown to mount, and starts to wail away with punches until the towel comes in from Howard’s corner, making alternate Steve Jennum the Ultimate Fighting Champion!

Post-fight they award Jennum with the cheque for $60,000. It’s hardly like he went through the whole line-up of eight fighters to win, but hey, I guess it’s something cool to tell his grandchildren. Pretty crude fight, too.

Final Thoughts…..

With a better final match, I’d be willing to highly praise UFC 3 as it had a lot more interesting fights than UFC 1 or 2, with Kimo/Gracie being the pick of the bunch, but Yarborough/Hackney and Ken’s stuff being pretty fun too. Shamrock pulling out pretty much ruined things though, as Jennum was able to beat just one guy (who’d already fought once) to win the money, and even Howard hadn’t fought a semi thanks to Royce’s injuries. I have to think really, that even with his ankle injury – if that’s what it was – that Ken probably could’ve taken Howard in the finals, as he despatched his two opponents here with relative ease. I’d recommend this show for Kimo/Gracie as it’s a must-see fight from the early days of MMA, but otherwise, it’s mainly the same as the other two UFCs with a bit more skill thanks to the involvement of Shamrock as well as Royce Gracie.

Coming Soon….

Pride: 25, 26, and Bushido 4, 5 and 6.
UFC: 4, 5, 6, 52, and 53.
Cage Rage: 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11.
IFC Global Domination: LHW tournament including Renato Babalu, Jeremy Horn, Mauricio Shogun and Forrest Griffin.
WEC 9: Cold Blooded: featuring Joe Riggs vs. Alex Stiebling, and Olaf Alfonso vs. John Polakowski.
Shooto 12/2002: featuring Vitor Ribeiro vs. Tatsuya Kawajiri, Takanori Gomi, and Joachim Hansen.
Best of Shooto 2003 vols. 1 & 2, featuring Takanori Gomi vs. Joachim Hansen, and Joachim Hansen vs. Vitor Ribeiro.

Until next time,

Scott Newman: