by MMAWeekly.com Staff
A couple of days ago, I learned that Carlson Gracie passed away at 72 years of age. It was a pleasure to have met him and he will truly be missed. I wish the best for his family.

“Old UFC vs. New UFC”

There is a whole new audience to the UFC since the debut of the “Ultimate Fighter” show that started in January of 2005. There are many names from the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) that are currently known: Matt Hughes, Randy Couture, Forrest Griffin, Chuck Liddell, and Rich Franklin just to name a few, but there was a different era known as NHB (No Holds Barred) with different names, different roles, 8 man tournaments, no weight classes, no time periods, and no gloves. I am asked on many occasions what do I think of the current UFC show, the athletes, the rules, etc. My answers are: The athletes are by far more well rounded and not single discipline based as in the beginning. The Rules: only two in the beginning, but many now which are to please some athletic commissioners, some politicians, and last but not least to protect the athlete’s themselves.

As for the current UFC product I am a little mixed on feelings here. It is an exciting product, but that is because many of the matches are spending more time on their feet as opposed to being on the mat. It’s not because of a decline in grappling ability… it’s because the athlete’s are wanting to stay employed or involved. They (the athlete’s) know that if their match is not exciting they will not be asked back. The UFC is the biggest, and best-known MMA Company in the United States and they (The UFC) are dictating policy to the athlete’s.

Flash to the past: 1996… Cobo Hall arena in Detroit Michigan… the super bout between Ken Shamrock and myself takes place for a second time before a sell out crowd of approximately 10,000 people. What was hyped up and promoted was not delivered. Many claimed the match as one of the most boring bouts ever. I on the other hand would disagree. I felt that it was one of the most well thought out psychology matches that relied on the very fact that the crowd was not going to like the match. With the crowd becoming restless, booing, chanting redwings and other assorted verbs, etc. How was that going to affect the athletes?

It did not affect me at all, but that is because I had hoped it would happen in the first place. Shamrock, on the other hand, started getting anxious and talking to me saying, “Come on.” I thought to myself “I would bring it to you, or you could bring it to me… I don’t care because I have nothing but time to kill.” This was the first of the UFC events where there had been time limitations placed on a match. This strategy worked to keep Shamrock more on edge. I went on to win that bout and seal my name in the history of NHB by becoming the only Triple Crown Winner.

Flash to the present: 2006… Just two weekends ago I was in Loveland Colorado for yet another MMA match. My opponent was Victor Vincelet – standing 6’1″ – weighing in at 262 lbs. – He is a brawler from Rhode Island. It has been a decade since I first began my NHB to MMA career. I am the oldest (at 47) most active MMA fighter on the scene today. Once again the match did not begin as most would want a match to begin and my opponent became uneasy as the audience grew impatient. The match lasted about 2 minutes and I walked away the victor adding to my 4,000 plus career match record. I will not allow the crowd to dictate what I should do. When I am in a cage giving up an average of 15-20 plus years I am not shaken by any crowd. I only think to myself, “What would you do IF you were in my shoes?”