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UFC 21: What happened when Marco Ruas made his long-awaited return to the Octagon?

Paul Benson
ANALYST
Feature
Timeless


UFC 21 was the first UFC event to adopt the 10-point must system used in Boxing and feature the modern day three round main card and five round Championship match format.

The main event saw former Heavyweight Champion, Maurice Smith compete versus Marcos Ruas, the UFC 7 tournament winner, who had not been seen in UFC since December 1995 at the Ultimate Ultimate pay per view.

Maurice Smith was victorious over Marco Ruas
Maurice Smith was victorious over Marco Ruas

This was an interesting collision as Smith was an excellent striker and Ruas, the superior wrestler. Ruas took Smith down early but Smith to his credit managed to fight his way back up.

Smith found himself in the mount and nailed Ruas with some good shots before Ruas attempted a heel hook.

However, when the round ended, Ruas limped back to his corner and threw the towel in as apparently he suffered a knee injury. Your winner via TKO: Maurice Smith.

Hugely disappointing end to the fight and apparently Ruas was carrying the injury coming into the bout, which made sense as it didn't appear to occur during the fight itself.

Pat Miletich put the Lightweight Championship on the line versus Andre Pederneirnas. This was slightly more exciting thanMiletich's previous UFC bore fests. The thing with Miletich is that he was a very talented fighter but his pure amateur based style is just not entertaining to watch.

Miletich secured a rare TKO win due to a cut sustained by Paderneirnas.

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UFC 21 saw a big-time main event between Maurice Smith and Marco Ruas
UFC 21 saw a big-time main event between Maurice Smith and Marco Ruas

Jeremy Horn destroyed Daiju Takase in the first round when he took him down into the mount and pounded away until he secured the TKO win. A very impressive performance from a man who made a career out of it.

Paul Jones bested Flavio Luiz Moura but had a scare before he did so. Moura dropped Jones immediately with a right hand. Jones survived but only narrowly escaped being caught in an armbar. Jones, in the guard, edged Moura to the fence where he unloaded with elbow strikes before locking in a rear naked choked for a hard-earned win.

Tsuyoshi Kosaka took on Tim Lajcik in a decent fight as the pair traded wrestling holds and battled for position.

Finally, though, Kosaka was able to trap Lajcik in the mount and pounded away. Lajcik looked pretty spaced out when the round came to an end and remained so when he was sat in his corner so the towel was thrown in and that was all she wrote.

Eugene Jackson defeated Royce Alger in a fight that saw Alger tire badly. Once he gassed, all Jackson had to do was pick his spot and he did that brilliantly with a huge left hand for the big Knockout.

UFC 21 with the rule changes was the start of a new era for the company. As the promotion neared the new millennium, it grew closer to mainstream acceptance, once more.

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