Ten years ago tonight was a heavily hyped UFC Fight Night headlined by long-time rivals Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz, which aired live on Spike TV. The following is the report I published at MMATorch.com that night.
KELLER’S UFC FIGHT NIGHT LIVE REPORT
OCTOBER 10, 2006
HOLLYWOOD, FLA. AT THE SEMINOLE HARD ROCK
LIVE ON SPIKE TV
-After a video package hying primarily the Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock main event, Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan introduced the show. Rogan said it’s tough to make a case for Ken Shamrock winning since he showed so little in his first two fights against Ortiz. He again stressed that this will be the final match between these two. Goldberg said it could be Shamrock’s final match in UFC. They hyped the undercard briefly, then went to a preview of the first fight.
(All fights are non-title and thus three rounds each. Each round has a winner based on the ten point scoring system. The winner, if it goes the distance, will be the fighter who won either two or three of the rounds.)
1 — MATT HAMILL (30, 6-1) vs. SETH PETRUZELLI (26, 6-0) — 205 LB. DIVISION
ROUND ONE: Hamill went for a takedown right away, backing Seth against the cage. Seth went for a guillotine. Hamill pulled away and they went back to stand up exchanges. When Seth threw a roundhouse kick to the ribs, Hamill caught it and powered him back down. Rogan said Hamill’s raw power is impressive. Goldberg snuck in a plug for Saturday’s PPV just past two minutes into the round. Seth bled from under his right eye from a hammerfist by Hamill. They stood back up at 3:00. Goldberg and Rogan noted that Hamill was not holding his hands up during the stand-up exchanges. Hamill took Seth down at 3:30 easily and held him down but didn’t really come close to anything that would end the fight. Hamill won the first round.
They didn’t cut away to a commercial after the first round, so it’s been a commercial-free show nearly 30 minutes in as the second round began. They showed Tito talking to Hamill (who has been deaf since birth) between rounds. Rogan and Goldberg talked about how he can’t be coached during a round, only between rounds, which is a disadvantage since most fighters can hear tips during the fight from their corner. They showed a close-up of Seth’s face with the nasty gash under his eye.
ROUND TWO: They stood up at the start of the round. Seth caught Hamill with roundkick as Hamill bent over for a takedown. Hamill appeared to be stunned, but he was able to end up on top of Seth seconds later to stop any further offense. Ref John McCarthy urged the fighters to make something happen. When it didn’t, he stood them up at 2:20. He had to use hand signals to encourage Hamill to pick up the pace. Hamill again countered punches by Seth with a takedown attempt, but they went back to standing. Goldberg again noted that he doesn’t like Hamill’s low hands during stand-up. At 3:30 Hamill had Seth down again. Seth’s cut opened up pretty bad and McCarthy told him if he wanted out, he could quit. Hamill went after the eye and punched that side of his face where his vision was blurred. The round ended with Hamill grinding his forearm on Seth’s face.
Seth wiped at his eyes so he could see. Seth was upset at doctor threats to stop the fight, saying he wasn’t hurt. The bridge of the nose was clearly cut, too. The doctor checked out his cuts and let the fight continue.
ROUND THREE: Seth tried to keep distance with some roundhouse kicks, but Hamill caught the second one and took him down again at 0:20. At 1:30 McCarthy stood them up again. Hamill shot in, but Seth applied a guillotine. Hamill slipped out. They went back to stand-up fighting. He went for a spin sidekick and just grazed Hamill, opening up a cut. After three punches, Hamill took him down again. Rogan said it might have been fatigue keeping him from scrambling back to avoid the Hamill shoot. At 3:30 McCarthy stood them up and called time out as Seth’s right eye socket was a pond collecting his blood and Hamill’s blood. The doc was very close to calling it, but with just 90 seconds left, he let him finish. Hamill’s gash under his right eye was more than an inch long. Seth threw a nice roundhouse to the ribs and punch, but Hamill caught his second kick attempt and threw him hard to the mat. With one minute left, that appeared to be Seth’s final chance to rock Hamill and finish him by KO. Seth tried to sneak in a late armbar with ten seconds left.
FINISH: Hamill by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
STAR RATING (**): Seth made it interesting enough with the kicks and punches that landed and the blood was severe enough that it gets to two stars for entertainment value. The fight, though, was mostly Hamill controlling but not coming close to finishing (other than a blood stoppage) Seth on the ground.
Rogan interviewed Hamill after the fight, and he was gracious in saying he tried as hard as he could and he was happy with his fight. He said he’s been working on his elbows. Goldberg said Hamill is “absolutely an inspiration to all.”
RAMIFICATIONS: Hamill didn’t perform in a way where he’s likely to become an instant top PPV draw for his finishing ability or exciting style. He was likable in his post-fight interview. The question watching him is whether he will continue to advance enough in submissions and stand-up to finish fights and defend against better fighters who might catch him in a submission.
2 — ED HERMAN (26, 6-2) vs. JASON MACDONALD (31, 6-3, reach advantage) – 185 LB. DIVISION
ROUND ONE: Goldberg said MacDonald tried out for some Ultimate Fighter shows, but was turned down, so he has something to prove. Herman reversed a takedown attempt by MacDonald. MacDonald, though, rolled on top of Herman 20 seconds later and was trying to lock up Herman’s arm and head. They ended up standing and both vying for a takedown. MacDonald ended up on top. Nice exchanges. At 2:00 MacDonald locked Herman into a leg triangle and had him in deep trouble. Herman tried to drag his way out and he dragged him ten feet. The grip remained tight, but Herman amazingly survived. MacDonald threw some elbows, and Herman finally tapped at 2:40.
FINISH: MacDonald via tapout at 2:40 of the first round.
STAR RATING (**+): Not very long, but thoroughly entertaining every second of the way. Great submission by MacDonald, and almost an equally impressive will to survive by Herman for about 40 seconds before he had to tapout. “I felt myself about to go out to sleep. I should’ve f—in’ fell asleep like a man, but I tapped out like a little bitch.” Rogan said he’s young and tough and this loss will make him train even harder and come back stronger.
During the official announcement, Herman just hung his head and shook his head in disappointment with himself. Rogan interviewed MacDonald who said if UFC brought him in to be a stepping stone for Herman, he’s nobody’s stepping stone. “It took me a long time to get here, but I’m here to stay,” he said. Rogan interviewed Herman, who apologized for a disappointing fight. He said he hoped to get one more chance.
RAMIFICATIONS: Herman has shown enough in the past and has a good enough rep, he’ll be back. MacDonald is on the map. Our own Nick Debrey missed his call of Hamill losing the opener, but redeems himself with a perfect prediction here, having called a submission win for MacDonald in the first round in our predictions article (available on the Main Listing).
END OF FIRST HOUR
[Commercial Break – They made up for that first 30 minutes commercial free with three longer than average commercial breaks to close out the first hour]
-Goldberg interviewed Rich Franklin from Las Vegas. I know they can’t predict how long fights are going to go, but they had a good chance to come out of this break at the top of the second hour with a reset for new channel flippers hyping the Shamrock vs. Ortiz main event, but instead they opened with a commercial for Saturday’s PPV and the interview with Franklin. Ideally, they’d have been mid-fight in an exciting fight at the top of the hour, but the next best situation was handed to them and they stuck to script rather than adjusting on the fly with some impromptu hype for the main event. UFC got a big break when the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs, as Detroit vs. Oakland game one isn’t nearly the ratings draw of a Yankees vs. Oakland or Minnesota game would have been.
Goldberg asked Franklin if he was 100 percent. He said he thinks he is and he’s felt good throwing punches during training. Rogan touted his endurance training and asked if that was an advantage for him. He said it definitely is. Goldberg asked how different a fighter he is now than at the start of his career. He said the key has always been for him that he is strong mentally. Goldberg asked him what he thought after watching Anderson Silva demolish Chris Leben. Franklin said he knew what he was all about before he KO’d Leben. He said he cornered Jeremy Horn in Korea, so he had seen him up close before.
-Goldberg then said viewers won’t want to go anywhere tonight because after UFC comes Spike TV’s “Scream Awards.” This quarter hour rating has potential to really damage the overall momentum of the show. After a commercial aired for that, Goldberg touted the presenters at the awards which included, said Goldberg: “Ben Affleck… new TNA wrestler Kurt Angle and Ozzy Osbourne.” That’s great publicity for TNA, as many UFC viewers who have been a WWE fan in the past may not have previously heard Angle jumped.
-They hyped the Kendall Grove vs. Chris Price fight.
-Price, a former Marine, has an 8-0 MMA record. He said in the prematch hype that Grove has a good rep, but he doesn’t have more heart and he’s not stronger or faster than him. Grove said he hopes Chris came prepared because he trained his ass off. “I ain’t gonna be no stepping for anybody,” he said.
3 — CHRIS “THE EXORCIST” PRICE (23, 6-3) vs. KENDALL “THE SPIDER” GROVE (23, 6-6) — 185 LB. DIVISION
ROUND ONE: Two good punches landed early by Kendall, but Price seemed unfazed. Rogan said Grove has learned conditioning is the most important factor to bring to a fight. Grove took Price down at 1:00 up against the fence. He swung and missed with a big roundhouse punch. Rogan said Tito Ortiz probably has the best work ethic in the game and Grove has been training for seven weeks with him. Grove went for a footlock at 2:10, but didn’t get far. They had a nice pace as they each tried to counter one another. Grove was aggressive, but Goldberg said Price is undefeated and he too wanted to push the pace of the fight. Grove mounted Price against the fence and threw some elbows, which drew a rise from the crowd. Grove threw a series of elbows and Price covered and the ref stepped in at 3:58. Grove imitated Ortiz’s post-win victory routine in mid-ring. They showed Ortiz applauding backstage as he warmed up for his fight.
FINISH: Grove via ref stoppage at 3:58.
STAR RATING (*+): Disappointing that it didn’t go longer. It looked like a ref stoppage, but they announced it as a tapout, so Price apparently tapped out. Price hadn’t taken a huge beating yet, but he had nowhere to go and knew it.
-Rogan interviewed Grove afterward. He said during a replay of his elbows, “That’s how you end fights, right there. Non-stop.”
RAMIFICATIONS: Grove continues to move up the 185 division and Price will have to reprove himself elsewhere or maybe get a chance at a prelim fight to earn a spot back on a main card.
-They showed Shamrock warming up backstage.
-They went to a commercial for Saturday’s PPV again.
-More backstage footage of Ortiz and Shamrock.
-Goldberg set the stage for the Ortiz-Shamrock fight with a verbal recap of their feud over the years. Goldberg said, “This is supposed to be the final chapter.” They went into the soundbites that we’ve heard many times from Ortiz and Shamrock giving their version of what happened in the fight. Shamrock insists that Ortiz threw everything he had at him, but he didn’t hurt him. He said he’s learned over the years that when you get on your back, you relax and let the opponent burn himself out. Shamrock said he was shocked they let Ortiz throw so many elbows at Forrest Griffin because he’s a young fighter they should be protecting. Shamrock said this is his chance to show what he’s about. “He can’t hurt me,” he said. “It won’t be stopped early. I know that for a fact.” That is what UFC should have had cued up at 8 p.m. for those channel flippers, not a relatively dry interview with Franklin via satellite.
-Goldberg asked, “How can you not be fired up?” Rogan said Ortiz has only looked bad in two fights, against Randy Couture and Chuck Liddell. He noted that he’s defeated big names such as Wanderlei Silva and Vitor Belfort. Goldberg said if Shamrock won, it would be an upset. Rogan said perhaps the biggest upset in UFC history, similar to Buster Douglas beating Mike Tyson. As noted in Randy Rowles’s article on the Vegas odds on this fight, Ortiz is so favored that a $1,300 bet would deliver only $100 profit, whereas a $100 bet on Shamrock would deliver $700 profit.
-During Shamrock’s ring entrance, Rogan said he talked to Bob Shamrock, Ken’s adoptive father, and he said he’s never seen Ken so relaxed for a fight. Shamrock smiled and danced on his way to the ring. Rogan said Shamrock’s strength is his toughness and leglocks. Shamrock got cheered. When Tito’s ring entrance began, there was a mix of cheers and boos. America loves an underdog, even one who doesn’t show up to train his fighters on Ultimate Fighter.
4 — TITO ORTIZ (31, 6-2, reach advantage) vs. KEN SHAMROCK (42, 6-0) — 205 LB. DIVISION
ROUND ONE: The crowd battled with simultaneous chants of “Shamrock” and “Tito.” You gotta love (read: hate) Bruce Buffer’s wordiness, as he said this will be “the last and final time” these two meet. As if either of those words wouldn’t have been sufficient. You know he stays up all night looking up redundant synonyms to stretch out his overblown ring intros. Shamrock tried to take Tito down early, but Tito muscled him against the fence. Ken went for a leglock on a Tito takedown. Tito took Ken down into a closed guard into the same position Shamrock was in their previous fight, throwing some elbows. He just held him there and punished Shamrock, eventually throwing a barrage of punches that nailed Shamrock with force. McCarthy stepped in after 17 straight punches. Rogan said, “That was a much better stoppage.” Shamrock stayed down this time. Ortiz went into post-match grave digging routine. Shamrock came to and stood up and had to be held back as he went after Ortiz, but he was looking for a handshake. Ortiz gave Shamrock a double middle finger gesture. Tito had to be talked into it, but he walked up to Shamrock said, “You know we made a lot of money together. It was all business.” Ortiz nodded and hugged Shamrock as Shamrock kept saying, “It’s all business, man. Good fight.” Tito then raised Shamrock’s arm and walked around the ring. Shamrock shifted his hand so he was raising Tito’s arm. Tito’s endorsement of Shamrock seemed to be half-hearted, though. Goldberg said they are watching Tito grow up before their very eyes.
FINISH: Ortiz via knockout at 2:23.
STAR RATING (**-): Pretty much a replay of what would have likely been the finish of their previous match. It made Shamrock’s previous arguments about Ortiz not hurting him last time seem empty since he had no B-Plan other than getting the payoff for this rematch. I give it a two-star-minus grade not because the fight itself was at two star level, but the aura of the grudge and it being Shamrock’s last UFC fight made the fight more than the punches themselves added up to.
-The decision was announced.
-Rogan interviewed Ortiz, who said it felt good to fight three times in one year and get back to the level he was at when he first started and became World Champion. Ortiz referenced the upcoming boxing match between him and Dana White, which was actually part of the contract clause when Ortiz agreed to return to UFC after his contract holdout. It was originally not supposed to be taped, but Rogan asked if it would be available on the Internet. Ortiz said it might be a cheap ten or fifteen dollar PPV. Ortiz said Shamrock fought tough. He said he felt his arm go limp at that point, so he decided to shift to punches instead of elbows. He said McCarthy did his job, telling Shamrock to defend himself, and when he didn’t, he stopped the fight. He said Liddell is a great champion, but he wants his belt back. He said they’re not friends anymore, just acquaintances. He closed by thanking friends of his who came in for the fight. His t-shirt said, “Punishing him into Retirement: Oct. 10, 2006.”
-Rogan interviewed Shamrock. He asked him if this was his final UFC match. Shamrock said he didn’t want to say anything before the fight. He said Ortiz beat him clean. “I was definitely out,” he said. He said it’s the greatest sport in the world. He thanked the fans for their wonderful years. Ortiz stepped in and said they had their issues in the past, but they’ve settled it. He apologized for his post-match antics. He said it’s part of the show and the entertainment. He shook Ken’s hand and told him he’s looked up to him as a fighter and made him a better fighter. “Thanks for passing the torch,” he said. “It’s Shamrock’s night to night.” Rogan then told him they have watched him from UFC1 through tonight and it’s been an honor to watch him compete. “Thanks for all you’ve done for this sport,” he said.
-Goldberg said, “It is, as we anticipated, the final time that man will walk out of the Octagon. The World’s Most Dangerous Man has retired from the Octagon.”
-They went to another promo for the Scream Awards on Spike TV immediately following this show. Goldberg said the show is off the charts, winning over friends at Spike TV with his great company-man hype.
-Rogan told Goldberg he hopes that Shamrock did just have his final fight. He said he has provided great entertainment for the fans of UFC. Goldberg reminisced about Shamrock’s early fights against Royce Gracie. Rogan said Ken was one of the few who stuck around when many other fighters from those early events disappeared. Goldberg asked what will shine most brightly about Shamrock. Rogan said he has evolved over the years and raised great fighters in the Lion’s Den. Goldberg talked about Shamrock’s background being adopted. Rogan said it shows that martial arts is about pushing yourself beyond your boundaries and learning in the process. Goldberg again plugged the Scream Awards, saying “there are some hotties on there.” Rogan no-sold the comment at first, then rolled his eyes at Goldberg. Pretty funny.
-They closed with a nice video with clips of Shamrock over the years in UFC. I wish they had aired that before the fight to build up Shamrock with clips of him during his prime, although it was a fitting way to end the show.