- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
ROYCE GRACIE (JUJITSUKA, PARTICIPANT): I could see it on their faces: They were trying to pick out which one was me [from among the renowned fighting Gracie siblings]. Brothers, cousins—there's always a group of us walking together. [My brother] Royler and I look very much alike, or they would look at [my other brother] Rickson and see his physique and say, "Man, maybe that's the one." A couple of fighters came up and asked, "Which one of you is Royce Gracie?" I said, "Don't worry about it. You'll meet him soon."
JIMMERSON: I was thinking, If I'm knocking out guys in the gym with 16-ounce gloves, what am I going to do to someone with my bare fists? I felt sorry for these guys. Who could beat me?
SHAMROCK: I had defended my title in Pancrase [a Japanese MMA organization] earlier that week in Japan, and I ended up jumping on a plane three days before UFC 1. I thought, This is going to be a piece of cake. I remember seeing Royce Gracie; he had this karate gi on, and I made a crack to one of the reporters: "The only guy I've got to worry about is the guy in the pajamas."
III THE PREFIGHT MEETING
"I got a T-shirt that says no rules."
FRAZIER: The night before the fight, Rorion announced, "We're going to have a rules meeting." I said, "Wait a minute; what rules? There are no rules—isn't that what you've been saying the whole time? O.K., there's no eye gouging, biting or fish hooking, but I got a T-shirt that says NO RULES." Rorion goes, "These are the rules: You can't wrap your knuckles. You can't wear shoes...." I started to complain, and Rorion says, "Zane, if you've got a problem with the rules, you don't have to fight. You can back out right now, and we'll just tell everyone you were chicken." I said, "Why don't we clear the tables and the UFC starts right here, right now?" I rushed the table. I went after Rorion.
DAVIE: I could barely get control of that meeting. At one point Tuli picked up a release form that we were asking the fighters to sign, slammed it down on the table and said, "I don't give a damn about all this crap. Anybody that wants to be at the arena tomorrow night, I'll fight you." Zane didn't say another word. It was the end of the meeting.
IV FIGHT NIGHT
"I was a fish out of water, trying to fight a land animal."
SHAMROCK: Backstage, before the fights, we were just kinda clumped together, like cattle waiting for the slaughter. But I was thinking to myself, I'm going to beat the crap out of somebody. Bare knuckles, no rules, kick 'em in the head, knee 'em in the head, hit 'em in the groin—whatever I wanted. The reality didn't sink in until the first fight: Gordeau, who was like 190 pounds, against a big ol' sumo wrestler, Teila Tuli.