UFC 31 was the point where the UFC started rolling out some of the fighters that would become mainstays.
The second event held by the UFC after the Zuffa purchase was one of the best ever. It was also a historically important card, as it was the first ever to use the long-running 155, 170, 185, 205 and 206-265 weight class system.
The fights themselves were very solid. Off the actual PPV card was the promotional debut of the legendary BJ Penn, who would go on to become the only fighter to hold both the welterweight and lightweight belts.
The actual main card featured two titles on the line, with a heavyweight championship bout between Randy Couture and Pedro Rizzo, and a welterweight championship fight between Pat Miletich and Carlos Newton. Both title fights would be excellent individually, with a back-and-forth fight between Couture and Rizzo and a crazy submission victory for Newton, who made Miletich tap with a bully-at-recess-style headlock.
The other fights on the card were no slouches, either. Outside a fight between Ricardo Almeida and Matt Lindland that ended in a disqualification, there were knockouts aplenty.
Semmy Schilt showed his top-notch kickboxing skills, as he landed a pinpoint-accurate barrage of strikes on Pete Williams that ended with him crumbling to the mat. Shonie Carter had the highlight of his career, where he floored Matt Serra with a spinning backfist. Finally, Chuck Liddell ended up having his first ever knockout victory in the UFC.
This was, from start to finish, a downright huge night of fights.