Fight Facts Flashback is a branch of the Fight Facts series that
takes a look back at historic events and noteworthy moments in the
sport of MMA. These jaunts down memory lane serve as snapshot
reviews of what the landscape looked like when they occurred, while
also analyzing what happened after for those involved.
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TOTAL NUMBER OF UFC FIGHTS: 917
TOTAL NUMBER OF UFC EVENTS: 108
Ultimate Fighting Championship staged its first event in Canada
12 years ago. UFC
83 introduced the Great White North to live events and did so
in spectacular fashion. On the anniversary of this groundbreaking
card, we celebrate a thrilling event and all that went down on that
wild April night.
THEIR HOME AND NATIVE LAND: UFC 83 marked the
first time the promotion had ever held an event in Canada. While
planting a new flag, the card brought about the
quickest sellout and the highest attendance in UFC history
(21,390) at the time. The latter
record was eclipsed by UFC 97—also in Canada—one year
A PROCLIVITY FOR VIOLENCE: Nine of the 11 fights
on the card ended inside the distance. This was one shy of the
modern record for the most stoppages at a single event, trailing
only UFC Fight Night 13 in 2008 (10).
NO RESPECT TO THE CHAMP: The headliner featured a
rematch between Matt Serra and
Pierre, running it back from their shocking UFC 69 encounter
that saw Serra
spring one of the biggest betting upsets in UFC history.
Despite the fact that Serra won the first meeting by knockout, St.
Pierre still closed as a -495 favorite in the second match.
99 OUT OF 100 TIMES: Serra as the +445 underdog is
the lowest betting line for any defending champ in UFC history. No
other champion even comes close.
JUDGES LOVE HIM: The final time St. Pierre lost
was at UFC 69 against Serra. Following that defeat and including
his victory in the rematch, St. Pierre won 13 consecutive
OWNS MORE BELTS THAN PANTS: After winning his belt
back against Serra to unify his interim title with the undisputed
welterweight throne, St. Pierre never lost it again in the cage. He
vacated his 170-pound championship when he retired in 2013. He came
back in 2017, won the middleweight strap and once again
SWEET REVENGE: “GSP” knocked out Serra with knees
to the body. It remains the last time that St. Pierre finished a
fight via strikes, with his subsequent TKO win over B.J. Penn coming
via corner stoppage.
HE SAVORED EVERY MOMENT: The stoppage against
Serra came in the second round. Every subsequent fight for St.
Pierre at least reached the third.
GSP VERSUS THE MATTS: Serra’s first title defense
came against the man he took it from, but it was not the first
fight back for St. Pierre. Serra was initially scheduled to face
Hughes at UFC 79, but he injured his back. Hughes instead faced
St. Pierre for the interim strap.
NOW DEPARTING FOR FRANKLINWEIGHT: In returning
from an unsuccessful title outing against Anderson
Franklin dispatched the Travis
Jordan of BJJ,” according to play-by-play announcer Mike
Goldberg—in the second frame. It was the last time Franklin
competed at middleweight until his retirement match with Cung Le over
four years later.
AND HE WENT BACK TO TEACH ON MONDAY (NO HE
DIDN’T): Franklin picked up his 25th victory by finishing
Lutter. Across those wins, 23 came by stoppage.
BOR-ING, BOR-ING!: Nate Quarry
Starnes squared off in an unusual bout where the latter was
deemed “The Running Man.” Starnes refused to engage for much of the
bout and was saddled with a rare 24-30 scorecard due to his
performance. He never competed for the organization again.
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NOT AS BAD AS SYLVIA-MIR: Unable to reach his
corner after the first round due to a forearm injury sustained on
one of Michael
Bisping’s knee strikes, Charles
McCarthy lost by technical knockout. It was the first injury
TKO in UFC history to stem from an arm issue and the first injury
stoppage between rounds.
NO MATCH FOR DOOMS-DAY: In taking out Alan
Belcher with strikes in the opening frame, Jason Day
earned his only UFC win at this event. Throughout Day’s 18 career
victories at the time, only two came on the scorecards. With his
win, “Dooms” had posted exactly eight wins by knockout and another
eight by tapout.
THE WORST WAY TO GO OUT: Demian Maia
Herman to sleep with a mounted triangle choke, improving his
unbeaten record to 8-0 with seven finishes.
VA DORMIR: After earning his first technical
submission by rendering Herman unconscious, Maia put out Ben Askren
out with a rear-naked choke 11 years later. Maia is one of 10
fighters in UFC history to perform multiple technical submissions
AGELESS WONDER: Of the 22 fighters to compete at
UFC 83, Maia is the only one still on the active roster as of 2020.
In fact, Maia remains
ranked among the top welterweights in the world.
ENTER CAIN: Future UFC heavyweight king Cain
Velasquez made his promotional debut at this event, battering
in just over two minutes to stay undefeated. The
American Kickboxing Academy standout signed with the UFC with a
record of 2-0.
A LOFTY BAR TO SET: Kicking off the event with a
two-round battle, Jonathan
Goulet and Kuniyoshi
Hironaka each earned $75,000 for their “Fight of the Night.” It
was the second card opener to ever be awarded FOTN, with the first
coming at UFC 77, where Matt Grice
scored a split verdict over Jason
Black. That bout was initially scored a draw before it was
announced shortly thereafter that Grice had won.
NEVER SAY NEVER AGAIN: Coming into UFC 83, Lutter
had never lost consecutive bouts (13 fights), Starnes had never
lost by decision (11 fights) and Mark Bocek had
never been submitted (six fights).
HE STARTED IT: While it eventually became one of
the most popular walkout songs in UFC history, the first recorded
fighter to use “Gonna Fly Now” by
Bill Conti was Serra. Initially using a mashup of that song,
along with “Like That” by
Memphis Bleek, Serra went solely with the “Rocky” track in his
rematch with St. Pierre.
BITTER SWEET CAGE APPEARANCE: Starnes made his
walk to the cage accompanied by “Bitter Sweet
Symphony” by The Verve. He is the only recorded fighter in UFC
history to ever use this song.
WHAT, NO WOO-HOO?: Known throughout his career for
his walkout track of “Song 2” by Blur,
Bisping actually used “London Calling” by
the Clash for multiple walkouts until settling on “Song 2.” UFC
83 was the last time Bisping chose a non-Blur song.
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