UFC 2: What happened at the sequel to the MMA spectacular?
UFC 2, later redubbed, UFC 2: No Way Out was the sequel to the successful, original UFC event.
Once again, hosted in Denver, Colorado, this time at Mammoth Gardens on the 11th March 1994, the event sought to continue the momentum build up at the inaugural competition.
The organizers went with the bigger is better approach, and doubled the field from eight to sixteen competitors. Just two remained from UFC 1; Champion Royce Gracie and Pat Smith, the man Ken Shamrock submitted in the opening round.
Therefore there were 14 debutants at the event. Another UFC debutant came in the form of a referee, Big John McCarthy, beginning a relationship between the former police officer and the UFC that would last almost a quarter of a century.
Shamrock did not return for UFC 2. He was forced to withdraw due to injury. Therefore, Gracie began the second UFC event as the overwhelming favorite.
Despite the expanded field, only one of the first round bouts made it onto the pay-per-view portion of the card. That was Gracie’s first match versus Minoki Ichihara. Lasting an epic by Gracie standards, five minutes and eight seconds, the match time is misleading as Gracie dominated this fight from the start, before earning the submission victory.
The first second-round bout was the most memorable match in UFC history at that point. Pat Smith, the man who had been dispatched with ease by Shamrock the previous November, crushed his opponent, Scott Morris who was purported to be an expert in Ninjitsu. Smith overwhelmed Morris with disgustingly brutal elbows to the face. After the match was over, Morris tried to stand up but quickly collapsed to the floor – his face unrecognizable from the man who had entered the Octagon minutes earlier.
An all Karate bout could not hope to live up to the drama of the previous fight. Johnny Rhodes defeated fellow practitioner Fred Ettish with a choke.
UFC 1 finalist, Gerard Gordeau accompanied Dutch wrestler, Remco Pardoel to the Octagon for his fight with Kickboxer, Orlando Weit. Pardoel harnessed his inner Pat Smith and unleashed a flurry of devastating elbows to the temple of Weit, rendering the Kickboxer unconscious. Already the sequel was a far superior fighting event than the original.
In the final second-round encounter, Gracie rather inevitably made light work of Jason Delucia with an armbar in around a minute. It was a mismatch.
Disappointingly, Smith faced Rhodes and not Pardoel in the first semi-final. A match between the two brutal elbow throwers would have been something to behold. Smith instead used his submission skills for a stand-up guillotine on Rhodes for the win.
Gracie moved into the UFC final with ease, with a surprisingly quick and easy submission win over Pardoel.
Royce Gracie versus Pat Smith main evented UFC 2, with the winner being awarded the title of tournament winner and the not inconsiderable prize of $60,000.
The fighters grappled before Gracie managed to maneuver Smith into his guard, which left Smith wide open for Gracie to unleash a barrage of strikes. This was enough for Smith to tap out. Gracie was victorious for the second UFC event in a row.
Gracie informed the audience he would go skiing with his winnings this time around. Gracie was still on top of the world but a man by the name of Ken Shamrock was sat in the crowd and waiting in the wings to take his crown at UFC 3. Gracie had sterner tests to come.
The event drew three times as many pay-per-view buys as UFC 1, drawing roughly 300,000 buys. A monster of a number by 1994 standards. The UFC had truly arrived in the public’s consciousness.