UFC 49: A Night of Finishes
Instead of writing about self-defense this month, I decided to write about one of my favorite Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events, UFC 49: Unfinished Business. UFC hosted this event on August 21, 2004 at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Be warned, this post may contain spoilers, so you should watch event before reading this synopsis.
The night started off with a short but entertaining one-round bout between Thugjitsu master Yves Edwards against future Strikeforce Lightweight Champion Josh Thompson. The two future champions mixed it up right from the start.
In the next bout, Nick Diaz and Karo Parisyan fought in an anticipated match between welterweight contenders. You can decide if the judges got it right in the only bout to go the distance on the card.
Chris Lytle would restart the trend of stoppages in the next bout with Ronald Juhn. Juhn gave Lytle his moneys worth in a tough two-round affair. This bout was followed by a one-round heavyweight tilt between childhood friends Mike Kyle and the late Justin Eilers. It looked like Kyle was struggling with fighting his friend.
The next bout featured middleweight fighters David Terrell and Matt Lindland. Matt Lindland was a suffocating silver medalist wrestler, who the UFC probably feared would win the title because his matches were considered boring. Cesare Gracie black belt David Terrell was considered a phenom. Terrell’s dynamic attack would be much more crowd pleasing. In a match between grapplers, a near-record time knockout was the result.
One of the most anticipated fights of the night was Chuck “Iceman” Liddell fighting Vernon “Tiger” White. Liddell said White was one of only two opponents that he didn’t like. If Liddell won, he would receive the next shot at the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship. Liddell didn’t need more motivation and made sure the bout went one round. Watch Liddell look to his corner before landing the KO shot.
In the second to last bout, Joe Riggs completely dominated Joe Doerksen with ground and pound for two rounds. Riggs was a marketable fighter, who the UFC got behind but lost a number of bouts he was expected to win. Riggs delivered on this night though.
In the final bout, Vitor Belfort defended the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship against the man he beat a few months previously, Randy Couture. The match was the third meeting between the men. Couture won the first fight at UFC 15 back in 1997.
Vitor won the rematch at UFC 46 in January 2004. Vitor hit Randy with a punch that damaged his eye. The fight was stopped due to the injury. Despite winning with a punch that ended the fight, Couture painted the victory as a fluke.
Vitor Belfort possessed great talent but could be his own worst enemy by letting his opponents get into his head. Vitor was clearly effected by the hype leading into the fight. He fought three disinterested rounds dominated by Couture. Eventually, the bout would be stopped due to cuts to Belfort’s face and head.
Fans went away from this event with smiles on their face due to all the great and competitive fights. Too bad all the events aren’t the same way. If you want to see the opposite of this card, watch UFC 33: Victory in Vegas.