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UFC 1
MELISSA SEGURA
July 08, 2013
Before the multimillion-dollar TV deals with Fox and FX, before Rampage Jackson appeared in The A-Team and Randy Couture unveiled his Xtreme clothing line—before even Dana White—there were three enterprising men and one killer idea
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July 08, 2013

Ufc 1

Before the multimillion-dollar TV deals with Fox and FX, before Rampage Jackson appeared in The A-Team and Randy Couture unveiled his Xtreme clothing line—before even Dana White—there were three enterprising men and one killer idea

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ROSIER: He hit me with a perfect punch, broke my jaw.

FRAZIER: And then, all of a sudden, my lungs started to close. Kevin came at me, and I couldn't do anything. I couldn't even breathe. I remember covering up, and I slumped down. My coaches came over to me and got me out of the ring. The paramedics got me on oxygen and rushed me to the hospital. This nurse from Denver [where the elevation is more than 5,000 feet above sea level], she says, "Mr. Frazier, son, you have asthma. Do you know what asthma is?" I shook my head.

TULI: I was lying in the emergency room, and I heard the next fighter [Frazier] coming in. He said, "Hey, big man, we did it!" I didn't want to talk. I was depressed. I didn't want to live.

DAVIE: We had two ambulances readied, but with as many injuries as we had, we ran out of EMTs to run people over to the hospital. Kathy Kidd [a UFC event coordinator] ended up putting people in cabs and sending them over to the emergency room.

JIMMERSON: I'm the third fight of the night [against Gracie], and I remember beforehand, in the dressing room, one of my managers was literally crying. We'd seen two fighters already come back with their teeth out, their jaws broken. Through tears, my manager's telling me, "Art, we're sorry we got you in this thing." I'm like, What kind of confidence is that?

DAVIE: I found out about an hour and a half before the event that Jimmerson didn't bring any shoes or gloves. We were all out of people I could send on errands, but my kid brother Matthew was a guest of mine, and I said to him, "Here's $300 cash—money for a taxi and money for gloves. There's a sporting goods store in Arvada, a suburb of Denver, that's open until seven. Get yourself over to Arvada." And then I'm in the truck—the broadcast truck where we're sending the signal up for pay-for-view—and I look on the screen and I see Jimmerson with one glove, and I think to myself, What's wrong with this picture?

GRACIE: When he came out with one glove, I thought, He's not joking. He wants to knock me out with that hand.

JIMMERSON: My plan was to circle him in, trap him with the softness of my glove and then rush in and hit him with [the bare] right hand. It was a ploy, but I didn't even get to use it.

GRACIE: I can't afford to get hit. I'm not punch-proof.

JIMMERSON: If I threw one good punch, I knew I had him. But Royce grabbed my leg and flipped me over. Once he got me on my back, I was looking at the referee to break it up so I could get back up and fight. I forgot there were no rules. So then Royce gets me in a crab stance, and he locks my leg. You know when you see a bug on its back, you feel sorry for it? I was like a bug on my back. I couldn't get up, and a phobia came over me. I looked at my corner, and they threw in the towel—but it got caught in the fence and the referee didn't even see it. I'm panicking. I don't want to tap out. The glove became a handicap because I couldn't do any damage with that hand. Finally, I just tapped out. I was a fish out of water, trying to fight a land animal.

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