Back in April 2000, Tito Ortiz and Wanderlei Silva's best days were ahead of them. Had this bout taken place in 2005 or 2006, it would have been a dream match and a massive pay per view draw. As it was, this fight instead took place in the dark days of UFC and played before a small Japanese crowd that only lightly applauded the action on display.
In the headline slot, Ortiz and Silva competed for the Middleweight Championship, which had been vacated by Frank Shamrock months before this card.
In a hugely impressive performance, Ortiz took Silva down into his guard in the first and second rounds and pounded away. Silva to his credit, managed to mostly block the assault but he could not lift himself back up to a vertical base.
Silva finally started to roll in the third round with his striking combinations which at one point caused Ortiz to run the entire length of the Octagon to avoid any more shots. But alas, that round was an aberration and the "Huntington Beach Bad Boy" regained his composure with more ruthless ground and pound in the final two rounds. Your winner by Unanimous Decision: Tito Ortiz.
With this victory, Ortiz forced the world to take note of the fact that he was the real deal.
Underneath the headliner, Murilo Bustamante made his UFC debut versus Yoji Anjo. Anjo was a pro-wrestling veteran of Japanese promotions New Japan and UWF and had little legitimate fighting experience. For a contemporary comparison. Anjo was 2000's answer to CM Punk at UFC 203.
In truth, it was a miracle Anjo survived the first round. He only held out for 31 seconds in the second. Bustamante landed a takedown and sunk in a choke for the submission win. Bustamante was rolling in UFC and Anjo would never win any of his six MMA bouts.
A flu-ridden Eugene Jackson somehow made it into the Octagon for his clash with Sanae Kikuta. However, he would have been better off remaining in bed with a Lemsip as he was quickly overpowered by Kikuta and fell victim to an armbar. Kikuta, your winner by Submission.
The final fight on the main card pitted Ron Waterman versus Satoshi Honma. This Heavyweight contest went the full three-round distance. It is impossible to understand how, as Waterman completely dominated the entire bout from start to finish. Honma offered nothing at all by way of offence and simply allowed Waterman to pound on him. Baffling fight.
UFC 25 was not a good show. There was little of interest on the card aside from the headliner and even that bout did not engage the crowd. A forgotten show in an era that unfortunately is filled with them.Published 19 Nov 2018, 21:53 IST