Welcome to the first of six installments of “10 Thoughts on UFC: Ultimate 100 Greatest Fights”. This release has been a bit quiet with only a handful of people being aware of it, but the content of this set stands far above any other mixed-martial arts DVD/Blu-Ray release ever with six discs of jam-packed footage.
This Blu-Ray is based off the special that aired before UFC 100 on Spike TV that featured a countdown of 100 of the greatest UFC fights, as voted by the fans. But instead of a highlight show like the one that was presented on Spike TV, this Blu-Ray boxed-set features every single fight on the countdown in its entirety.
This may end up looking like an organized rant/event review/Blu-Ray review hybrid, but my sole purpose throughout this column is to give you a good idea of what you will be getting yourself into before you drop the cash. Please keep in mind I haven’t seen the special that aired on Spike TV, so I have no clue as to which fights are on the list. Now, join me as I give you 10 Thoughts on the first disc of this amazing collection. LET’S GET IT ON!
Resolution: 1080i 16:9
Runtime: Approximately 30 Hours
Bonus Features: 5 Full Episodes of the Spike TV Special “UFC: Ultimate 100 Greatest Fights”
(Opening the package, Blu-Ray Main-Menu and Presentation)
1. The box is stylish, sleek, and makes you feel like you really are purchasing an important piece of UFC history. The set has six discs with over twenty-five hours of content! Inside the package are six very organized discs, not interfering with each other so you do not have to worry about scratching occurring. It comes with an eleven page booklet displaying the disc content, as well as some cool pictures and a collage of the posters of every UFC event featured on this Blu-Ray collection.
(Paul Taylor vs. Paul Kelly from UFC 80)
2. An absolutely electric fight from the get-go. The strikes never stopped in this fight. If they were standing, it was a never ending flurry of punches and kicks, and if they were on the ground it was punches and elbows. Taylor suffered a nasty cut on his forehead thanks to one of Kelly’s glazing elbows (see Penn/Stevenson). This one went to decision and was an awesome way to start off the countdown.
(Pat Miletich vs. Carlos Newton for the UFC Welterweight Title from UFC 31)
3. This is the first fight on the countdown that was not recorded with a high-definition camera. It is presented in 480i which means there are two black bars on each side. The audio is noticeably weaker too, but considering this fight is from 2001, it’s no big deal. As a matter of fact, I wasn’t bothered the least bit by the fact that it was in standard-definition once the fight started. It was one of those fights where one fighter had a clear advantage in the standing game, and the other had the upper-hand on the ground. Newton caught Miletich in a bulldog choke that came out of nowhere. I don’t think anything could have properly followed Paul Kelly vs. Paul Taylor.
(Rashad Evans vs. Sean Salmon from UFN 8)
4. WHOA! This fight got off to a slow start, but Rashad Evans made up for it when he knocked Sean Salmon out with THE high-kick from hell. Salmon was out-cold before he hit the canvas, but that didn’t stop Evans from getting a couple bonus punches in there before the referee split them up. After this fight, Evans went on to beat Michael Bisping, UFC Legend Chuck Liddell and beat Forrest Griffin for the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. If you have to remember Sean Salmon for anything during his UFC tenure, it should be for donating his head to Evans’ Knockout-Charity and propelling him to superstar status.
(Thiago Alves vs. Chris Lytle from UFC 78)
5. Watching one of Alves’ fights against someone who isn’t Georges St. Pierre is a bit confusing. I remember the fight between Alves and St. Pierre being the biggest disappointment of UFC 100 because I thought Alves was capable of so much more but I keep forgetting something: he was facing Georges St. Pierre! St. Pierre is one of the best fighters in the world. If you put anyone against him he’ll decimate them. This fight reminded me of how well-rounded Thiago Alves was and IS… he’s still a dangerous man. A controversial doctor-stoppage due to a cut from the very first punch in the fight put an end to a very entertaining fight.
(BJ Penn vs. Din Thomas/Matt Serra/Caol Uno)
6. The fact that three of the fights on disc-one alone are BJ Penn fights tells you how talented and exciting he truly is. His talent and dedication shone through in these three fights (his fight with Caol Uno went to a draw) and reminded me of why I am such a big fan of his. No doubt will his bouts with Daddy Stevenson, Georges St. Pierre and Jens Pulver be on this list as well.
(Forrest Griffin vs. Keith Jardine from UFC 66)
7. Jardine and Griffin really punched the crap out of each other in this fight. Griffin got annihilated by Jardine’s right hand, which led to another right hand, which led to another, which led to another… which led to ANOTHER until the referee broke it up. Someone can probably make a cool .GIF of Jardine bouncing Griffin’s head on the canvas with his fist, replacing Griffin’s head with a basketball.
(Karo Parisyan vs.Nick Diaz from UFC 49)
8. Every now and then, I see a fight that makes me wonder why boxing is the contact-sport with the moniker “Sweet Science”. Parisyan/Diaz is the perfect example of one of those fights because the smooth transitions, lightning-fast submission attempts and absorbed punches reminds me of a “Sweet Science” more than someone building a strategy just based around punching. Mike Goldberg mentioned that this fight was like a chess-game, and I couldn’t agree more. They exchanged transitions, counter-transitions, punches and kimuras in a fight that went the distance. Karo got the split decision win, but I believe Diaz should have been awarded the win. He had rounds one and two, with Karo dominating round three. Oh well, Nick Diaz has moved on to the “real” Sweet Science anyway. (That’s right. Full circle.)
(Phil Baroni vs. Evan Tanner from UFC 45)
9. Tanner was knocked goofy not even a minute into the fight and developed a cut under his left eye. It looked as if he was seconds from getting knocked out, but the referee stepped in and paused the fight to take a look at Tanner’s eye. Deeming it not a severe cut, the fight continued and this allowed Tanner to catch his bearings, because he came back in with a mission to end the fight. He got full mount with under a minute left in the first round, and the referee asked Baroni if he wanted to stop the fight and he responded “Yes”. Apparently, Baroni thought the referee was asking him if he was okay to keep going. Baroni got so heated he punched the ref in the face three times! When Baroni went back into his corner to take a seat Dana ripping him a new one tell him to calm down. The fight alone deserves to be on this list, but the aftermath definitely adds on to the awesome-factor!
Final Thought: Walking into this list, I expected every fight to be a competitive back-and-forth contest with the momentum switching between fighters multiple times. After completing the first disc, I now know that when they say “Greatest Fights”, they mean fights that impacted the Ultimate Fighting Championship. At first I was confused as to why a great fight between Paul Taylor vs. Paul Kelly was ranked #100 while Rashad Evans vs. Sean Salmon was ranked at #97. Then I took in the fact that that fight pretty much elevated Evans up to superstar status and it all made sense. I know I’m only one disc into this collection, I almost feel compelled to say that it’s already worth the money. So far we’ve seen blood, controversy and even fighters punching referees! My fight of the disc is going to have to go to Karo Parisyan vs. Nick Diaz… that fight was amazing.
This completes my 10 Thoughts on the first disc of “UFC: Ultimate 100 Greatest Fights”. Make sure you come back to Inside Fights every Friday (as well as every day) for more installments of “10 Thoughts on UFC: Ultimate 100 Greatest Fights” for the next five weeks, where in the final week I will give my Final Thought on the set as a whole, including picture, sound and quality of the Blu-Ray. Feedback, suggestions and questions are always welcomed!
List of Matches on Disc One
100. Paul Kelly vs. Paul Taylor from UFC 80
99. Pat Miletich vs. Carlos Newton from UFC 31
98. Kenny Florian vs. Joe Lauzon from UFN 13
97. Rashad Evans vs. Sean Salmon from UFN 8 (Knockout of the Disc Award)
96: Matt Hughes vs. Royce Gracie from UFC 60
95. Tyson Griffin vs. Sean Sherk from UFC 90
94. BJ Penn vs. Din Thomas from UFC 32
93. Thiago Alves vs. Chris Lytle from UFC 78
92. BJ Penn vs. Matt Serra from UFC 39
91. Rich Franklin vs. Ken Shamrock from The Ultimate Fighter Finale 4/9/2005
90. BJ Penn vs. Caol Uno from UFC 41
89: Forrest Griffin vs. Keith Jardine from UFC 66
88. Tyson Griffin vs. Frank Edgar from UFC 67
87. Chuck Liddell vs. Jeremy Horn from UFC 54
86. Phil Baroni vs. Evan Tanner from UFC 45
85. Nick Diaz vs. Karo Parisyan from UFC 49 (Fight of the Disc Award)
84: Josh Barnett vs. Pedro Rizzo from UFC 30
83. Chuck Liddell vs. Vernon White from UFC 49
82. Frank Trigg vs. Georges St. Pierre from UFC 54 (Submission of the Disc Award)
81. Jon Koppenhaver vs. Jared Rollins from Ultimate Fighter Finale 12/8/2007
Tags: B.J. Penn, forrest griffin, Keith Jardine, Mixed Martial Arts, Rashad Evans, UFC