Rousey vs. Carmouche and the 5 Most Historical Fights in UFC History
On the back of Rousey's tremendous popularity, the sport of women's MMA was able to break into the world's largest fight organization, despite previous comments from Dana White that it would never be welcomed.
After such a monumental weekend, let's take a look back on the five most historic fights in UFC history.
UFC 1: Gerard Gordeau vs. Teila Tuli
As the first fight in UFC history, Gerard Gordeau vs. Teila Tuli has the significant legacy of being the first impression of MMA that many viewers ever got.
However, card placement isn't the only reason that this fight is particularly memorable. In a battle of David vs. Goliath, spectators witnessed a mighty sumo dispatched in violent fashion, less than 30 seconds into the contest.
Gordeau was able to sidestep a bumrush from Tuli, as the Hawaiian fell to the floor. While in a seated position, Tuli then ate a nasty head kick which Gordeau followed up with a big punch that broke his right hand.
Neither fighter would go on to make waves in the sport. In fact, this remains the only MMA contest in Tuli's career. These days, you might recognize him best from his role in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
UFC 5: Royce Gracie vs. Ken Shamrock
In a rematch from UFC 1, Ken Shamrock looked to avenge his only career loss when he met three-time tournament champion Royce Gracie in a superfight. By far, this was the most anticipated fight in the promotion's history and was part of the first card to include time limits.
Time limits might be the only thing that stopped this matchup from continuing to this very moment. Don't believe me? Shamrock took Gracie to the canvas and held him there for 30 minutes.
In the modern era of MMA, it would have been a slam-dunk victory for Shamrock, however, with a lack of judges, this fight was ruled a draw.
UFC 40: Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock
In 2002, Tito Ortiz was the undisputed baddest light heavyweight on the planet. Not only was he four defenses into his UFC title reign, but he also held a victory over then-PRIDE champion, Wanderlei Silva.
However, with former UFC Superfight champion Ken Shamrock leaving pro wrestling and returning to the world of MMA, a matchup between the two was immediately billed as the biggest fight in promotion's history.
This event came at a time where Zuffa was struggling, and this matchup single-handedly breathed new life into the organization. The buyrate came in at a whopping 150,000 buys, which doesn't sound like much by today's standards, but was three times bigger than other events at the time.
Without this fight, who knows if the UFC could have survived long enough to make it to their heyday.
TUF 1 Finale: Forrest Griffin vs. Stephan Bonnar
In 2005, the UFC introduced the world to a reality program called The Ultimate Fighter in which up-and-coming fighters would compete in a series of games, as well as exhibition bouts. The last fighter remaining in each weight class would be awarded with a UFC contract.
In the light heavyweight finale, Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar met in a featured fight on SPIKE TV. The action was incredibly intense, and for 15 minutes, the home audience couldn't get enough of the brawl that was on their screen.
Because the event was free to watch, viewership figures continued to rise as the fight went on. By showcasing this fight, the UFC created a fanbase that they couldn't have dreamed of.
Dana White has called this bout the most important fight in UFC history, and fans voted it the greatest fight of all time in a 2009 poll.
UFC 157: Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche
Who could have expected that, in the modern era of mixed martial arts, it was still possible to make history?
On Saturday night, the UFC welcomed women into the Octagon for the first time in 20 years, with champion Ronda Rousey coming up victorious.
This is a win not only for the UFC, but for women's combat everywhere. By Dana White and Co. acknowledging and welcoming females into the cage, it will do wonders for organizations like Invicta, Bellator and regional MMA, who may have had trouble promoting girl-on-girl violence.
Not only was this fight historical based on the gender of the combatants, but it also signals the first time that an openly homosexual fighter has competed in the UFC.
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