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Length: (DVD) 179 mins
This week I got a chance to review history thanks to the good people at FightDVD. I got the chance to look at both UFC 1 and UFC 2 in their entirety on the new two-disc DVD presentation. I had seen matches from both these events on compilations but this was the first time I could watch both from start to finish so I was looking forward to getting my DVD player on and reliving history.
On April 9th UFC presented UFC 52 from Las Vegas but we have to go back 12 years to 1993 when UFC debuted UFC 1 and in 2004 number 2. If you’re a WWE fan you have already been bolstering your tape and DVD collection of back catalogue releases with the tagged classic series and now you can do the same with your UFC series. So I was about to find out whether it was a piece of history worth remembering or erasing from your memory.
UFC 1: The Beginning
- Gerard Gordeau vs. Teila Tuli
- Zane Frazier vs. Kevin Rosier
- Royce Gracie vs. Art Jimmerson
- Patrick Smith vs. Ken Shamrock
- Gerard Gordeau vs. Kevin Rosier
- Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie
- Jason Delucia vs. Trent Jenkins
- Royce Gracie vs. Gerard Gordeau
UFC 2: No Way Out
- Royce Gracie vs. Patrick Smith
- Royce Gracie vs. Remco Pardoel
- Patrick Smith vs. Johnny Rhodes
- Royce Gracie vs. Jason DeLucia
- Patrick Smith vs. Scott Morris
- Johnny Rhodes vs. Fred Ettish
- Remco Pardoel vs. Orlando Weit
- Royce Gracie vs. Minoki Ichihara
Highs and Lows
Comparing UFC 1 & 2 with the latest UFC releases is like comparing Wrestlemania 1 with Wrestlemania 20. We join UFC as they are finding their identity so don’t expect the polished article you have come to expect with current UFC releases. UFC 1 and 2 are purely about competition no fancy video packages and no fancy pyros. If you like your hard-hitting action and get annoyed by all these WWE-style video packages and analysis getting in the way then these releases are for you.
Both UFC 1 & 2 events centre around two tournaments in UFC 1 an eight-man tournament and in UFC 2 a sixteen man tournament. These are prize competitions that see fighters from all disciplines square off to find out who is the best.
Two fighters etched their names in UFC history in these events and can both legitimately use the title of “legend” those two competitors being of course Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie. So if you have only just got into UFC and you hear people mentioning the name of Royce Gracie you need to buy this DVD to find out why he is still talked about today, especially for UFC 2 which features four of his bouts from the tournament. If you watched the comeback of Ken Shamrock at UFC Vendetta getting comfortably beat by Tito Ortiz and you are wondering how he got his tag of “Worlds most dangerous man” again you have to get this DVD.
By releasing these titles in a double box set you can see the progress that UFC made in the early stages to make it what we all enjoy today. Changes that were made after UFC 1 included the elimination of the unlimited 5-minute rounds and a decrease in octagon surface padding to aid the movement of competitors. Yes, that’s the right in the beginning there were no judges, no rounds after UFC 1 and no varying weight classes. This is very different from what you have become accustomed to in UFC today.
The action in UFC 1 is hot and heavy as Royce Gracie tore through the field in the knockout tournament is record time with his famous rear-naked choke. In UFC 2 everyone stepped up to try and take the title away from Royce but again Gracie stepped up to the plate in one of the most competitive tournaments in UFC history. In both the competition is intense with the refs trying to let the guys fight as much as possible so on occasions the corner team had to do it by throwing the towel in as these tournaments at the time were the hottest in the world of mixed martial arts and everyone was looking to book their place in history.
If you are a UFC fan you have to buy this double DVD release as it’s part of history and if you truly want to get into UFC this is where everyone should start. I know this is a release I will be getting off my shelf on a regular basis to check if the fighters of today can hold a candle to the likes of Shamrock and Gracie.
Points: 7 / 10
USA: DVD (UFC 1)
USA: DVD (UFC 2)