MMA in 2003: A Retrospective Look at the Sport a Decade Later

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MMA in 2003: A Retrospective Look at the Sport a Decade Later
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

We all have moments in time that stand out to us as great periods in our lives: when we had our first child, fell in love or, as the case usually is for fight fans, got to enjoy some truly excellent moments in combative sport.

Consider: 2003.

Outside of all things having to do with the ring or cage, Metallica released St. Anger, Black Label Society released The Blessed Hellride, Nickelback was being jammed down our throats on the radio and Kill Bill: Vol. 1, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl were dominating movie theaters.

And in the world of MMA, Pride FC (and not the UFC) was the top promotion in the sport.

It really was a different world back then. You had two premier organizations fighting to get the best fighters under their respective banners while proving theirs were the only championship belts that mattered.

The competition between the UFC and Pride was fierce back then, and you would never have guessed in a million years that the UFC would actually buy Pride; the Japanese-based organization just seemed too large.

But here we stand, 10 years later, and I for one enjoy the view of what was a great year in MMA.

Here is a list of the events, from both the UFC and Pride, for 2003, along with the fighters of note. With it all will hopefully come a realization and appreciation for what once was, and what is.


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