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UFC 37.5: What happened when Vitor Belfort clashed with Chuck Liddell in UFC's forgotten pay per view?

Paul Benson
ANALYST
Feature
470   //    Timeless

Light-Heavyweight legends Vitor Belfort and Chuck Liddell headlined UFC 37.5
Light-Heavyweight legends Vitor Belfort and Chuck Liddell headlined UFC 37.5

UFC 37.5 was a curious show. It was named as such because UFC had already announced and arranged a UFC 38 pay per view in London, England to take place in July 2002.

The hastily arranged show existed due to Fox Sports agreeing to air one full fight and highlights of the rest, marking the UFC's debut on network television.

This was a significant step in the promotion becoming more mainstream for the first time since the mid-1990s.

The fight shown on Fox was the bout between Robbie Lawler and Steve Berger as it was deemed the "fight of the night."

"Ruthless" was in fine form once more. Lawler recovered from getting taken down on numerous occasions, before landing a big right knee to Berger's face.

Lawler wasted no time in the second round, landing a stunning combination to earn the TKO win.

The headline bout pit Light-Heavyweight title contenders Vitor Belfort and Chuck Liddell against one each other.

Had this fight occurred two years later, it would have been an all time dream encounter. As it was, neither man had quite achieved the star status they ultimately would and therefore this contest was not as anticipated as it could have been.

However, the paid did deliver, with a crack at Tito Ortiz's Light-Heavyweight Championship at stake. With a hardcore, rabid crowd roaring them on, the heavy hitters pounded each other with punches and leg kicks.

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The action intensified in the final round as Liddell mistimed a jab that sparked Belfort to smash Liddell with one of his trademark flurries before Liddell counter punched with a huge right hand. The fight ended with Liddell in Belfort's guard.

That right hand likely swung the decision in Liddell's favor as he won a Unanimous Decision.

Chuck Liddell and Vitor Belfort go to war
Chuck Liddell and Vitor Belfort go to war

Benji Radach defeated Nick Serra, younger brother of Matt via Decision in a bout which failed to inspire the crowd in attendance. Serra attempted to work submissions but when they were all defended by Radach, he had no other offense to muster which led to a fight that petered out rather than inspired.

Pete Spratt quickly came out of the blocks, striking Zach Light before locking in an armbar in just over two minutes.

Tony Fryklund defeated Marco Ruas's nephew, Rodrigo Ruas via TKO in a hugely impressive performance, wherein he just dismantled Ruas from the start before unleashing on him in the mount. A massively entertaining fight here.

Yves Edwards needed just 89 seconds to turn back the challenge of Joao Marcos Pierini firing away a huge high kick that dislocated Pierini's shoulder for the TKO.

UFC 37.5 is never spoken about today and is a forgotten event from UFC's past which is a shame as due to the Fox deal, it is one of the most significant in company history.

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