Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

UFC hits 100 with gusto





















John C. Cotey can be reached at john om. It started in 1993 in the shadows, at McNichols Arena in Denver, and nearly 8,000 paid their way in while another 80,000 watched on pay-per-view and untold hundreds more on rare videotapes passed around later as if they were rare contraband.Eight men, from eight different fighting disciplines, trying to prove which was the best.That night, it happened to be jujitsu, as practiced by Royce Gracie, who got submissions from all three opponents to win UFC 1.Tonight, at UFC 100, they will continue the discussion.Only this time, there are no shadows, just a bright spotlight. Mandalay Bay, a 12,000-seat venue, is already sold out. ESPN showed the weigh-ins. A million pay-per-view buys is not out of the question.UFC 100 will likely dwarf any boxing pay-per-view that doesn't have an Oscar De La Hoya or Floyd Mayweather in it, though that's no longer surprising. In 2008, according to Yahoo.com, Manny Pacquiao's victory over De La Hoya produced 1.2 million buys, but UFC events held seven of the next nine highest selling events, including 1.01 million buys for Brock Lesnar's win over Randy Couture.From low budget to high class, through myriad problems and owners and bad press, from being banned in 49 states and nearly banished forever, the Ultimate Fighting Championship is charging forward with seemingly no end in sight.UFC 100 is being billed as the biggest mixed martial arts event ever, and that's without some of the stars — Tito Ortiz, B.J. Penn, Chuck Liddell and Couture — most recognized by average fans."You're like, holy cow, you're almost like a superstar just for the fact that you were there live and to actually think that I'm competing in UFC 100 …" said heavyweight Frank Mir, who fights in the main event against Lesnar. "(Maybe) 30 years from now Brock and I will be spoken about the same way: 'Hey, man, I was there when Brock fought Mir for the second time.' "cotey@gmail.c
UFC 100: Handicapping tonight's big fights
Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir Lesnar, top, is probably more known for his turn as a World Wrestling Entertainment superstar. The hulking behemoth doesn't look like a mixed martial arts star — he's 6-foot-3 and had to cut weight to get down to the heavyweight limit of 265 pounds — but he has emerged as a force and people forget he was an NCAA champion wrestler at Minnesota. He has to win over some diehards, however. He got a title shot when he was just 1-1 (he's 3-1 now), and a lot of purists see him as a marketing phenomenon more than a mixed martial artist. His win over the older but legendary

Randy Couture to capture the heavyweight title may have dispelled some of those notions, but others point to his first fight with Mir (12-3) as proof he is an overblown, one-dimensional fighter. In that fight, Lesnar used his power to dominate but rushed the finish — big no-no in MMA — and Mir, despite being on his back, was able to lock down Lesnar's leg and get a submission. Mir is the more well-rounded fighter, but he will need another misstep by Lesnar to put his jujitsu skills to good use.
Georges St.-Pierre vs. Thiago Alves The purists and diehards chafed by Lesnar point to this fight as the real main event, and it's pretty tough to argue. St.-Pierre, top, may be the heir apparent to Chuck Liddell as the face of the UFC. The 170-pound welterweight champ is 18-2 after a lopsided victory over B.J. Penn and has avenged both his losses. Many consider him the best pound-for-pound fighter in the game. Alves (22-4), who trains in Coconut Creek, is bigger, maybe stronger, and has won all seven of his fights — including a victory over Matt Hughes — since his last loss in 2006. St.-Pierre is favored, but this may be his most dangerous opponent to date.
Dan Henderson vs. Michael Bisping Henderson (24-7), top, is a former heavyweight and light-heavyweight champion in Japan's PRIDE, the former MMA fighting championships that was a precursor to the UFC's success, and his resume is long and impressive. Though Bisping is 18-1 and the younger fighter, he will be the smaller fighter in this 185-pound bout and is the least likely of the main event fighters to win tonight.

FAST FACTS

Mixed martial arts: UFC 100

Main event: Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir, heavyweights

When/where: 10 tonight at the Mandalay Bay Events Center, Las Vegas

TV: Pay-per-view television or online streaming video at Yahoo Sports or UFC.com, $44.95

UFC hits 100 with gusto 07/10/09 [Last modified: Friday, July 10, 2009 9:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Bucs defensive end Chris Baker (90) is seen during training camp last month at One Buc Place. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  2. Bucs' defensive attributes in opener included flexibility

    Bucs

    TAMPA — It's a blink-and-you-miss-it nuance, but in Sunday's opener against Chicago, on their very first defensive snap, the Bucs lined up in a 3-4 defense.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter shakes hands with cornerback Brent Grimes (24) before an NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times 

  3. Bucs-Vikings: What if O.J. Howard and Dalvin Cook had both been taken?

    Bucs

    So what if the Bucs had taken neither O.J. Howard nor Dalvin Cook with the 19th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft?

    Bucs tight end O.J. Howard (80) makes a reception as Chicago Bears free safety Eddie Jackson (39) tackles him Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]
  4. Wish the Bucs had taken Dalvin Cook? Read this

    Bucs

    It will happen sometime Sunday afternoon.

    Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook (33) carries the ball in the second quarter Monday night, Sept. 11, 2017 at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minn.  (Jeff Wheeler/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS)
  5. Bucs-Vikings: What could make Tampa Bay's defense elite again

    Bucs

    TAMPA — The last time the Bucs had a top-five defense also happens to be when they last appeared in the postseason.

    Bucs outside linebacker Lavonte David (54) celebrates after recovering a fumble by Chicago Bears quarterback Mike Glennon (8) during the first half. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]