While UFC 33 frustrated everyone involved, it is still one of the UFC's most important events.
UFC 33 is acknowledged as probably the single worst event in the promotion's history and is among the worst ever in MMA. It was a downright catastrophe.
The UFC literally stacked the card as thoroughly as possible, with three championship bouts and an early Chuck Liddell appearance.
Then, remarkably, every main card fight went to decision, drawing things out long enough to have half of the main event get cut off for some viewers, due to the program running over the time allotted by some cable and satellite providers.
While that is what the event is mostly remembered for, it was still a key point for the UFC and MMA as a whole for two reasons:
First, and most importantly, UFC 33 was the first pay-per-view event widely available through most cable and satellite providers. After the controversy surrounding UFC 12, many companies refused to air UFC events, seriously limiting the promotion's reach and revenue potential.
Its 75,000 buys were an impressive feat at the time, and it is where Tito Ortiz first cemented himself as the UFC's top draw, from 2001 to 2004.
Additionally, it was the first MMA event that was fought under the newly-completed Unified Rules of MMA. As stated, before UFC 12, MMA in America was a wacky world of David vs. Goliath matches, 25-minute rounds and nutshots. The UFC progressively added rules from UFC 12 onward, and it was at UFC 33 that MMA literally became the sport it is today.