(Editor’s observe: This story initially posted July 11, 2018.)
When you look again at UFC 100 now, 9 yrs afterwards, what would seem so unconventional about it was not just the measurement and scope of the function – it is that it all occurred more or a lot less specifically the way it was supposed to.
Which is not a little something we can say about every single main event these days. In the age of the “injury bug” and early early morning visits from USADA collectors, UFC struggle playing cards are really much matter to adjust.
But on July 11, 2009, the UFC gave fans just what it experienced promised: a enormous event that felt like a celebration of the finest the marketing and maybe even the complete sport experienced to present. Supporters responded in kind, acquiring a described one.six million fork out-for each-sights, shattering preceding UFC data and nudging MMA viewership toward marks set by boxing mega-fights (by using Twitter):
9 yrs ago now,
UFC 100 took position at the Mandalay Bay Situations Middle in Las Vegas, Nevada. This nonetheless stands as a person of the greatest box-office environment occasions in UFC historical past. pic.twitter.com/hbUDJfvugk
— MMA History Right now (@MMAHistoryToday) July 11, 2018
All this just to commemorate a benchmark that was completely synthetic.
UFC 100 wasn’t the 100th occasion in UFC historical past. It was not even the 100th shell out-for every-view, considering that the early days of the UFC observed some gatherings determined by selection and other people only by title, these as “Ultimate Japan” or “Ultimate Brazil.” (The eighth UFC occasion was even dubbed “Ultimate Supreme,” which captured a sure essence of ’90s hyperbole, and also led to the 13th function, dubbed “Ultimate Top 2.”)
The fantastic news was, the timing of this event really labored out. The UFC had occur to regard early July as a fantastic time for a massive event in the fiery Las Vegas desert, as travelers flocked to town and other main sports ended up primarily on hiatus.
The UFC tried to capitalize on this by scheduling its first “fan expo” to coincide with UFC 100 that July, drawing someplace involving 30,000 and 50,000 people to a traditional hall in Mandalay Bay for a mixture trade clearly show and grappling event.
The timing labored out effectively for the fighters, also. Heavyweight winner Brock Lesnar, arguably the biggest star in the activity at the time, had been originally slated for a rematch with interim champ Frank Mir at UFC 98 a number of months before. Knee surgery held Mir from building that date, but it authorized the UFC to reschedule the heavyweight title fight for UFC 100, where it served as the most important occasion.
In the co-major, welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, a very preferred fighter himself, returned to protect his title against knockout artist Thiago Alves. It marked the 1st and very last time that a title bout featuring St-Pierre was not the primary occasion of a UFC PPV.
The relaxation of the card was sprinkled with many sorts of goodies for longtime enthusiasts. On the key card, Dan Henderson knocked out Michael Bisping to place a cap on their “Ultimate Fighter” coaching rivalry. Henderson even admitted to incorporating an further needless blow although Bisping was out cold “just to shut him up.”
It was these kinds of an legendary minute in Henderson’s occupation, the long lasting picture would serve as a kind of private brand for Henderson in afterwards years (through Twitter):
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nine yrs in the past today,
Dan Henderson completed Michael Bisping with a person of the biggest knockouts in UFC record pic.twitter.com/tYRMsCewpk
— MMA Heritage Nowadays (@MMAHistoryToday) July 11, 2018
In the last fight of the prelims, 44-calendar year-outdated Mark Coleman gained a ragged final decision around Stephan Bonnar for what would establish to be the ultimate victory of his storied vocation.
The other factor that built UFC 100 come to feel momentous was that the UFC dealt with it as these kinds of. Performance bonuses for the occasion ended up worth $100,000 each and every, 2 times as a great deal as they at present go for 9 decades later. UFC President Dana White even said he would Foundation jump off Mandalay Bay if the occasion surpassed 1.5 million pay out-for every-view purchases. (It did he didn’t.)
In simple fact, the only authentic negative for the UFC came at the incredibly conclude, when Lesnar celebrated his TKO victory over Mir by vowing to consume a Coors Light-weight – “that’s a Coors Mild, since Bud Mild won’t shell out me nothing” – and probably even “get on major of” his spouse as well.
Bud Light-weight, the UFC’s official beer sponsor, was reportedly displeased. There was no speedy word on how Lesnar’s spouse felt about the strategy.
What fans would arrive to question in the years next this function was irrespective of whether it represented a large h2o mark for MMA and the UFC. When the PPV history established by UFC 100 would eventually be a bit edged out by Conor McGregor’s earn in excess of Nate Diaz at UFC 202, in lots of ways MMA appeared to be at a cultural high place in the course of that summer in 2009 when fighters like Lesnar and GSP had been at the peak of their powers.
UFC 200, by comparison, bought about 50 percent a million fewer PPV buys five decades later on. While, in an additional signal of the switching moments, that function also experienced from a previous-moment change to the primary celebration, many thanks to an out-of-competition USADA drug check that nabbed Jones just just before he could rematch Daniel Cormier for the light heavyweight title.
There’s another thing no one particular had to stress about back at UFC 100. For improved or worse.
“Today in MMA History” is an MMAjunkie series established in affiliation with MMA Historical past Today, the social media outlet devoted to reliving “a everyday journey via our sport’s historical past.”