by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
In what was being billed as former world heavyweight boxing champion Tommy Morrison’s mixed marital arts debut, he defeated John Stover in 2:08 of the first round, according to Sherdog.com reporter Tommy Messano.
In press releases and advertising leading up to last night’s contest, the Worldwide Fighting Championship proclaimed the fight would be Morrison’s mixed martial arts debut and that he was ready to accept a challenge to fight former UFC champion Chuck Liddell. “[UFC president] Dana White always talks about how a top cage-fighter like Liddell could beat a top boxer so here’s a chance to make it happen,” said Morrison. “I want to know if Liddell and Dana White really mean what they say or if they are just full of talk. I will take on Chuck Liddell anytime, anyplace, anywhere.”
But MMAWeekly sources confirmed that Stover’s contract going into the fight stated in large, bold print “THIS IS A STRIKING MATCH ONLY, NO GROUND.” Removing the ground game from the fight usually takes away many of the elements that classify a bout as mixed martial arts. In addition, according to Messano’s report, the rules were then changed even further prior to the fight and it was announced that there would be no knees, elbows or kicks allowed either. In the end, such rules turned the bout into a three 3-minute round boxing match with 4-ounce gloves.
Morrison did end up winning the fight, but it was hardly his mixed martial arts debut as advertised.