MMA Review: #53: UFC 4: Revenge Of The Warriors Jun12


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MMA Review: #53: UFC 4: Revenge Of The Warriors

UFC 4: Revenge Of The Warriors

Tulsa, Oklahoma

-Your hosts are Bruce Beck, Jim Brown, and Jeff Blatnick. They run through the alternate bouts, which were won by Joe Charles and Marcus Bossett, then show the brackets, which have Royce Gracie and Steve Jennum seeded and kept on opposite sides.


Royce Gracie vs Ron Van Clief

You think Randy Couture’s pushing the age boundary in MMA? ‘The Black Dragon’ Van Clief is an incredible 51 years old. He’s also a 10th degree black belt in Karate and in other numerous styles. Pity he’s about to get schooled really, as Royce Gracie gets a HUGE pop upon arrival.

Royce gets an immediate takedown to side mount, and controls him as Van Clief tries to land some knees from the bottom. Royce steps over into full mount and smothers him with the gi as Van Clief looks doomed at this point. Gracie works the body, then lands some elbows to the top of the head as Van Clief tries to hold him close by grabbing the gi collar to avoid giving him room to strike. Royce finally breaks free and opens up with a flurry of shots, causing Van Clief to roll, and Gracie works for a rear naked choke, punching the head to cause him to lift, and finally gets it for the tapout. Business as usual for Royce.

Keith Hackney vs Joe Son

The announcers are really excited about this one as Joe Son is the trainer of Kimo, who caused a stir by injuring Royce Gracie in UFC 3. According to his vignette, he’s a black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do, and also the founder of JO-SON-DO!~! Pretty infamous fight, this one is, for reasons you’ll see in a second. Son comes out like Kimo at UFC 3, carrying the cross on his back.

They get underway, and Hackney presses as Son…well, poses. Hackney lands a low kick, and Son tells him to bring it, so Hackney closes in and Joe gets the takedown to half-guard. Hackney rolls, and Son ends up getting a front facelock, but doesn’t appear to have him in a choke. Hackney works to his feet still in a headlock, and lands a punch to the groin as Son shoves him back towards the fence. Son muscles him up against the fence, but Hackney gets a trip and they go down with Hackney still in the headlock. Hackney suddenly lands some BRUTAL GROIN STRIKES, causing every male watching to gasp for breath, and that causes Son to break the headlock, not surprisingly. Hackney then gets an apparent hand choke, and Son taps, but I don’t know whether it was from the choke, or the pain from the groin strikes.

Lord….that has to be *the* most painful thing possible in MMA, and that only shows two of about seven punches! Announcers say Hackney won’t have earned himself any fans with those tactics, but c’mon….this is a fight that’s still talked about over ten years on! Perversely entertaining fight.

Steve Jennum vs Melton Bowen

Jennum is of course the defending Ultimate Fighting Champion, having won UFC 3 as an alternate. Bowen is hyped by the announcers as the first pro-boxer to enter UFC (have they forgotten the legend that is Art Jimmerson?), and he’s the WBF Intercontinental Heavyweight Champion.

They begin, and Jennum presses with some kicks, and ducks a punch before grabbing a clinch. Bowen lands some punches to the side of the head, but Jennum gets the takedown and mounts him. Jennum holds the fence for balance and starts to open up with some nice punches to the face, then lands a headbutt as Bowen tries his own punches from the bottom. Bowen works from the bottom, and uses his feet on the fence to power up to standing, but Jennum keeps the distance short, and muscles him to the fence before delivering a nice hip throw to mount. Both guys look gassed now as Jennum lands some punches without much sting in them. Jennum just smothers him for a second to regain his breath, but Bowen tries to muscle him off, so Jennum finally decides to end it there, getting a nice straight armbar for the tapout.

Not much of a challenge for him, but Jennum actually looked pretty good here outside of the questionable cardio.

Dan Severn vs Anthony Macias

This is Severn’s Octagon debut, and Blatnick, being a former amateur wrestling Olympic Gold Medallist himself, immediately starts pimping him as a possible contender. Macias is the hometown fighter, a Muay Thai practitioner.

Macias presses with kicks to open, and Severn shoots in for a double leg, but Macias avoids going to his back, and Severn slips on a belly-to-belly attempt as Macias lands some elbows. Severn comes back up and gets a single leg, up into a rear waistlock and delivers a huge suplex that lands Macias on the back of his neck. Back up, and Severn gets a SICK GERMAN SUPLEX!~! That RULED. Macias’ head bounces off the canvas this time, and Severn gets a back mount with a half-nelson, then reaches down and gets the rear naked choke for the tapout. Totally scary debut for ‘The Beast’, as those suplexes were something else, like Benoit’s Rolling Germans almost.


Royce Gracie vs Keith Hackney

They announce that Steve Jennum’s pulled out of the tourney for an unknown injury, and Marcus Bossett will take his place in the next semi-final.

They press to open, with both looking tentative, and Hackney fakes a kick, so Royce shoots in and Hackney steps off and lands a punch. Royce starts pressing with some kicks of his own, missing a high kick. He stalks Hackney and then shoots in for the takedown, but Hackney gets a nice sprawl and avoids! Royce closes in faking some punches, and finally gets a clinch against the fence, but Hackney blocks the takedown well. They step off the fence and Hackney holds his gi with the left hand and lands some sharp rights, but Royce shoves him back into the fence and lands some knees to the midsection. Hackney uses the gi to hold himself up, so Royce lands some more knees, and then pulls guard and immediately goes for a triangle choke. Hackney avoids and lands some rights, then stands and drops a good right into the guard, but Royce gets the triangle again and starts landing punches to the head. It looks like he’s got it locked in, but he can’t finish it off and Hackney escapes again, landing some more punches. Royce tries it once more, landing some elbows to the head this time, and then transitions to a tight armbar, and Hackney is forced to tap out.

Damn, that was actually a hell of a fight, with Hackney showing a decent amount of skill in avoiding the takedown and then the submissions for quite a long time for this period. Probably Royce’s 2nd hardest fight at this point behind the Kimo one. Really entertaining, surprisingly enough.

Dan Severn vs Marcus Bossett

They show a highlight of Bossett’s fight earlier in the night, winning by KO over a guy called Eldo Dias Xavier.

They begin and Severn blocks a kick, then catches another kick attempt and gets the takedown. He mounts quickly and then gets some sort of choke for the tapout. It looks like he just smothered him out, it didn’t look like an arm triangle to me. Really quick fight for Severn and the announcers discuss how he’s spent a lot less time in the Octagon than Gracie over the night.


Royce Gracie vs Dan Severn

This is for $64,000 and the title of Ultimate Fighting Champion. That’s quite a big amount when you think about it, considering this is 1994. Anyhow, this is of course Wrestling vs. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, one of the classic MMA rivalries. The announcers wonder whether Severn has the capability to actually finish Royce off, as he’s shown no striking thus far.

Royce presses with some low kicks to open, but Severn shoots in for the takedown and gets it, putting Royce on his back in full guard. Royce uses some heel strikes to the kidneys as Severn holds him down. Severn goes for the same smother choke he used to finish Bossett, but Royce is having none of it and punches Severn in the head. Severn keeps trying the choke as the announcers talk about the surprising effectiveness of wrestling in a fight, because how do you stop the wrestler from taking you down? Five minutes in, and Severn gets his first strike, headbutting Royce and then punching him a few times. Dan stands, but then goes right back into the guard where Royce tries an arm triangle choke from the bottom. He can’t get it locked so he breaks and lands some punches to the head. Severn responds with some weak strikes of his own, then goes back to just holding him. A minute later and Severn works the ribs, we’re about ten minutes in now. Severn lands some more punches, but can’t do any damage and Royce looks to prep a triangle, so Severn shoves him into the fence. Royce releases, and Severn stands, then goes back into the guard. Severn keeps pushing him into the fence, and we’re now fifteen minutes in. Royce uses the fence to get his legs up for a triangle choke, and Blatnick makes the classic mistake of saying “He’s got nothing here”, before Royce tightens the legs across the back of the neck. Severn tries to escape by standing, but that gives Royce more leverage, and he’s forced to tap out at just over fifteen minutes! Royce Gracie is the new Ultimate Fighting Champion.

Post-fight Royce celebrates with his $64,000 cheque, as the announcers discuss how he looked in trouble throughout, but kept his composure and showed a ton of heart, and finally finished Severn off with technique.

Not the most exciting fight, but it was interesting in that while Severn was able to use crude chokes against the lesser opponents to finish them, he couldn’t do that against the skilled Gracie, and thus had no real offense once he put Royce on his back. Severn’s wrestling was dominant in gaining him the top position, but he had no way to finish the fight, and once Royce was given the chance, he was able to finish. What Severn did show though was the effectiveness of wrestling against the striking martial arts, and that would be taken a step further by Mark Coleman and the innovation of ‘ground and pound’ in the future UFCs….but that’s another story. As far as Gracie goes, I think this was his greatest performance in the tournaments, as he overcame two really tough opponents that he actually had to fight to beat to regain his title.

Final Thoughts…..

This is a really entertaining show actually. Hackney vs. Son and Hackney vs. Gracie are both really great fights to watch, albeit for different reasons, and Severn’s first two fights are awesome shows of domination that make ‘The Beast’ one of my favourite guys to watch from the early UFC days. There’s also none of the typically crude brawls of the early shows, as everyone who won fights actually showed some semblance of skill, like Jennum with the armbar. The final match itself is pretty boring, as it’s mainly just Severn holding Gracie down and wondering how to finish him, but if you look past that, it’s actually an interesting fight for the reasons I pointed out above. Overall, I think UFC 4 is definitely worth a look for anyone interested in the evolution of MMA.

Coming Soon….

Pride: 25, 26, and Bushido 4, 5 and 6.
UFC: 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: