Back before fighters were well rounded the game was a crap shoot. For the UFC, the days of one dimensional fighters came to a close shortly after Zuffa purchased the promotion from Semaphore Entertainment Group in January of 2001.
Back then fast hands, sinister submissions or wrestling could get a fighter by. And I don’t mean a combination of the three, I mean mastering one single element alone. That seemed to suffice.
As primitive as combat may have been at the time, fans played witness to numerous highly entertaining bouts. A solid handful of men excelled back in the day, and that’s what this piece is all about: examining the golden age of the UFC’s existence.
Here’s a look at 20 of the toughest men to compete for the Ultimate Fighting Championship and their career’s pre-Zuffa. Nothing they’ve accomplished beyond December of 2000 inside the octagon is going to be factored into this list, so refrain from spilling into a rage when Mark Kerr doesn’t top the list!