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Length: 360 mins
Fight. Fight. Fight! MMA is possibly the fastest growing sport in the world, comparing the older shows such as on this double DVD set against the current cards can be an education…but did I learn anything?
UFC 13: Ultimate Force
UFC 13 was held on 30th May 1997 at the Civic Centre in Augusta, Georgia
- Christophe Leininger Vs Guy Mezger
- Enson Inoue Vs Royce Alger
- Dmitri Stephanov Vs Steven Graham
- Randy Couture Vs Tony Halme
- Guy Mezger Vs Tito Ortiz
- Steven Graham Vs Randy Couture
- Tank Abbott Vs Vitor Belfort
This event is based around the tournament for the UFC Lightweight Championship and a second tournament for the UFC Heavyweight Championship.
First up in this tournament was Christophe Leninger taking on Guy Mezger in the lightweight division. Both men look to be in good shape as they come down to the octagon. As the fight opens Mezger appears to have all the advantages of strength, speed and range. But with Chistophe being a judo champion these could be countered. Mezger controls the early portion of the match with a series of short-range strikes, an attack that the judo fighter is not normally exposed to. Leninger eventually manages to pull down into the guard but is clearly at a disadvantage. Mezger quickly gets back to his feet and challenges his opponent to get up, which he does so despite being a very poor striker. After a few uninspired strikes from both men Leninger manages to throw the younger man to the floor and is unfortunate that Mezger seems to have been waiting just for that and rolls straight through and into the mounted position. On the ground Leninger is still nearly totally inactive, so much for being ‘The Judo Man’. Big John eventually has to stand the fighters up due to inactivity, not that they do much standing!
Eventually, the fight goes into overtime, and again both men seem unable to really do much to the other.
An unsurprising judge’s decision scores the fight to Guy Mezger who advances to the next round of the tournament. **
The next fight pits Enson Inoue against ’The Fighting Farmer’ Royce Alger, both men claiming to have the better ground game. Straight away the fight goes to the floor with Alger being in the guard of the Hawaiian. Alger goes for the ground and pound, but the lack of submission training shows and Inoue grabs Royce’s arm and locks in an armbar for the tappout win. ***
Dmitri Stephanov Vs Steven Graham is next to grace the Octagon in the first of the heavyweight fights. Graham comes straight out with a barrage of strikes to the Russian before lifting him for a huge slam to the ground! Once on the floor Steven Graham allows the smaller man (Stephanov gives away almost 90 pounds to Graham!) no chance at all and quickly locks in a key lock for the submission victory. ***
The next first-round fight in the heavyweight tournament features Tony Halme against future UFC champion Randy Couture. Both men are making their UFC debuts in this fight, Couture seemingly having the advantage in styles with a nice mix of wrestling and boxing, but credit to Halme as he has a very powerful striking game and has the definite size advantage, outweighing Couture by 75 pounds. As a side note Halme is former WWF/E wrestler Ludvig Borgia.
Couture also obviously doesn’t want to stand and fight with Halme and shoots straight for the former pro wrestlers’ legs, taking him down and quickly applying a rear-naked choke for the win. A clinic on how to take out a bigger man. ****
Back to the lightweight tournament and Guy Mezger faces alternate fighter Tito Ortiz as Inoue sustained some vision damage in his prior fight. To set up this fight we get to see the match that Ortiz won to allow him the position of alternate.
Tito Ortiz against Was Albritton was a near no-brainer from the start, Ortiz was younger, stronger and much fitter than Albritton. And God did it show! Ortiz took Albritton down and destroyed him with strikes in a matter of seconds and Albrights corner throws in the towel at the 38-second mark. ***
Back to the actual tournament and Tito looks amazingly dominant both stood up and when they go to the ground where he lands huge shot after shot to the body and head of Mezger, cutting him open with two big knees. Lucky for Mezger the cuts aren’t bad enough to end the fight and both men are stood up to continue. Ortiz tries to do what had worked before, but Mezger sinks in a perfect guillotine choke on the Tank Abbott trained fighter to get the win. ****
The final in the heavyweight championship pits Randy Couture against Steven Graham. From the start Couture controls every aspect of this fight, Graham not standing a chance against the speed and skill of Couture. Despite an apparent lack of ways to finish the fight Couture gains the easy win after getting the back of the bigger man and raining strikes down on the back of his head. ****
The night’s main event puts Brazilian sensation Vitor Belfort against David ‘Tank’ Abbott in what promises to be short and bloody. And oh boy is it short! Belfort decimates Tank in a stunning 53 seconds. Strike after strike land on the face and head of Abbott forcing the referee to end the fight. Going on his form in these early UFC’s it was always a shame Belfort wasn’t bigger than he managed. ****
The only extras on this DVD are the inclusion of the fights for the alternate positions. Bah!
UFC 13: Ultimate Force is an average card, nothing really bad really, and the displays by Belfort and Couture provide highlights. ***
UFC 14: Showdown
UFC 14 was held on 27th July 1997 at the State Fairgrounds in Birmingham, Alabama
- Yuri Vaulin Vs Joe Moreira
- Todd Butler Vs Kevin Jackson
- Mark Kerr Vs Moti Horenstein
- Daniel Bobish Vs Brian Johnston
- Tony Fryklund Vs Kevin Jackson
- Mark Kerr Vs Daniel Bobish
- Maurice Smith Vs Mark Coleman
To start the event we get the spectacle of Yuri ‘The Mauler’ Vaulin against Joe ‘The Gorilla’ Moreira in the first round of the middlewieght tournament.
Straight away this fight goes to the ground with Moreira gaining enough of a mount to throw small sideways strikes to the head of Vaulin. The two fighters spend the next 9 minutes in basically the same position with Moreira landing some nasty-looking strikes to the head of The Mauler. When they get stood up again Vaulin stupidly closes the distance between himself and Moreira which allows the Brazilian to again take the fight to the ground.
In the overtime period, the fight continues exactly as the rest of the fight with Joe Moreira getting a unanimous decision. ***
Todd Butler and Kevin Jackson are the next up in the middleweight ranks. Very quickly Jackson takes the karate master to the ground and gets his back before raining down punch after punch into the back of his head and unsurprisingly Butler taps out. **
The next fight showcases Mark Kerr against Moti Horenstein in the heavyweight tournament. Again the grappler far outstrips the striker, Kerr takes Horenstein down and takes a side-mounted position. From here it was entirely academic as Kerr just uses a powerful ground and pound for the win. **
The final first-round fight for the heavyweights has Daniel Bobish against Brian Johnston. Walking to the Octagon Bobish looks like a monster with a chest as wide as any I have ever seen, Johnston just looks like Eminem next to the big man.
The fight opens up with both men exchanging heavy blows, oddly (given he is a boxer) Johnston seems to be less accurate than Bobish and quickly decides to grapple. Shame that Bobish is far superior here as well and makes the Slim Shady look-a-like tap to a choke using the cage. **
The middleweight tournament final has Tony Fryklund taking the place of the injured Joe Moreira against Kevin Jackson. Don’t blink or you will miss this one, most of this 46-second fight is spent with Jackson on Fryklunds back. First Jackson tries to get a choke, but is unable to lock it in and so goes back to punching the back of the head which forces Fryklund to tappout. ***
Mark Kerr Vs Daniel Bobish is the final of the heavyweight tourney. Kerr opens up with a kick to the left thigh of the bigger Bobish but nearly loses his footing. Kerr circles looking for an opening and manages to get a sloppy-looking double leg takedown. On the floor Kerr seems to have the superior skill and quickly gets the win after Bobish taps out. Daniel Bobish seems to have damaged his eye at the end of the fight. **
The main event super fight has Maurice Smith against Mark ‘The Hammer’ Coleman for the UFC Title. The significance of this fight cannot be understated with Smith holding the Extreme Fighting Championship and Coleman the UFC Champion. This is effectively a unification fight. The first 20 seconds of the fight have both men circling, neither wanting to risk making the first move until they are 100% sure. The man to break the circling is unsurprisingly The Hammer, who quickly takes Smith down. On the floor not much happens and both men exchange small strikes, Smith looks comfortable on the floor, an oddity for a striker, and his guard is effective and preventing Coleman from gaining a more advantageous position. Smith makes a HUGE mistake and gives Coleman his back, allowing the UFC champion to sink in a choke. Impressively the striker escapes the choke but exposes himself to a plethora of right hands. After a few more minutes of (little) action on the floor Smith manages to escape and get to his feet. The exhausted Coleman manages to take Smith back down with a lucky single leg. Again Maurice Smith manages to defend himself amazingly well and escapes while missing a chance to choke out Coleman. At the end of the 15 minutes match the men have two 3-minute overtime periods.
The first overtime period is fairly thrilling with Smith controlling the action now, Mark Coleman seems to lack the stamina for long fights. Stinging kick after kick land on the legs of The Hammer with no comeback on Smith.
The second overtime starts pretty much the same, Coleman really needs to get the definite win or he is risking sustaining his first loss in UFC, not that he even throws any more punches or kicks!
Eventually, this goes to the judge’s scorecard and unsurprisingly Smith gets the win. ***
Again the only extras are the preliminary fights.
UFC 14: Showdown is a very average card, nothing worth bothering about really. **
Well you could buy this DVD, but I would just wait for something of better value, this is one for enthusiasts only. **