As an original fan of UFC and the tournament style of their origin, I think it is time to have another tournament to crown a "King of the Octagon" and conduct one every two years. The amount of revenue from this type of event would be astounding with proper marketing and promotion.
The very first UFC event we ordered at my house was the UFC 8 David vs. Goliath, and it culminated in Don Frye beating Gary Goodrich in the final. I have to admit it is the main reason Don Frye is probably my favorite MMA fighter of all time.
Soon after that UFC 10 was going to be in Birmingham, Alabama at the fairgrounds. My friends and I couldn't believe it was happening in our hometown. Needless to say, I was there and was devastated when Mark Coleman defeated Don Frye in the finals.
I was there where Coleman invented the ground and pound technique as he ripped through the competition in a blistering and brutal pace. He was a beast and seemed so unbeatable at the time.
Soon after attending UFC 10, I slowly lost interest in MMA and to this day am not really sure why. At one point I had a friend who was the "Cable Guy," so these events just came on at my house: Tyson-Holyfield I, all the WWE you could ask for, etc. But my desire for MMA just dwindled.
It wasn't until five years or so ago that I started getting back into MMA when I discovered Pride FC. The first one I watched was Pride 16 at a friend's house in St. Petersburg, FL, and of all people Don Frye was on the card!
Don Frye was decked out in an American flag and representing the USA just weeks after the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001. If you would have seen it live, you would have been blown away and moved just like everyone in attendance and watching on TV.
The ridiculous thing was that Gary Goodrich and Mark Coleman were on the card as well. I was trying to relate my history of being an MMA fan but was disregarded as a meager fan of MMA competitions by my Florida friends.
Little did they know I knew who the people that were being worshipped in Japan were before they ever did. Either way, it was such a mesmerizing event to watch, especially the night of Pride FC 16. For the first time I saw the Antonio "Minotauro" Nogueira bait and defeat the overzealous and monstrous Mark Coleman.
Who was this Minotauro individual, I thought? Soon I started getting into Pride FC and became a fan instantly. They had tournament-style fighting events. These had that ancient warrior feel to them.
The Japanese crowds, fans, and announcers ruled the scenery and setting. It reminded me sort of the movie Bloodsport just in the fact that it was in the "Orient" and these fighters were from all four corners of the globe.
Now some seven years later Pride is all but a distant DREAM, and UFC, although it delivers, just doesn't have the appeal I desire. Will the UFC get better? Will the UFC go to tournament-style fights ever again? I hope so.
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