Look back at UFC commentator Joe Rogan’s first appearance on broadcast at UFC 12: Judgement Day in February 1997.
UFC 12 was the first event with weight classes: heavyweight (over 200 pounds) and lightweight (under 200 pounds). It was the promotional debut of Vitor Belfort (then referred to as Victor), who won the Heavyweight Tournament at just 19 years old. Mark Coleman defeated Dan Severn to win the inaugural UFC heavyweight championship. And Jerry Bohlander of Ken Shamrock’s Lion’s Den won the Lightweight Tournament.
UFC 12 took place at Dothan Civic Center in Dothan, Alabama, as it was a time of turmoil for the sport. Hardly any states would sanction UFC events, which at that time began operating almost exclusively in the Southern U.S. for the next few events.
(Video courtesy of UFC)