MMA Rewind with Sean Wheelock, Episode 6
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On Episode 6 of "MMA Rewind", hosted by MMA commentator, regulator, and historian Sean Wheelock, UFC 12, which took place 23 years ago on February 7, 1997, is discussed. Sean is joined by UFC creator and UFC Hall of Famer Art Davie; one of the greatest heavyweights in MMA history and UFC Hall of Famer, Dan "The Beast" Severn; and by Michael Abramson, who was in charge of UFC pay per view broadcasts and came up with the name "Ultimate Fighting Championship".
UFC 12 had a number of firsts for the Ultimate Fighting Championship: first ever UFC Heavyweight Title Fight (Severn as the reigning UFC Super Fight Champion vs Mark "The Hammer" Coleman, who was the two-time defending UFC tournament champion; first ever UFC card to feature weight classes (Heavyweights at 200 lbs and over, and Lightweights at under 200 lbs); first appearance by Joe Rogan on a UFC broadcast; and first fight in the UFC for Vitor Belfort (who won this event's 4-man heavyweight tournament).
But as Sean, Art, Dan, and Michael detail in this episode, UFC 12 is most notable for having been moved from Niagara Falls, New York to Dothan, Alabama in under 48 hours, due to the promotion being deemed illegal during fight week by the New York State Government.
As true pioneers of the sport, the three guests candidly discuss with Sean, a time (the late 1990's) when the existence of the UFC and indeed the entire sport of mixed martial arts was being threatened by politicians, law enforcement agencies, advocacy groups, and the main stream media. UFC 12 serves as the embodiment of this outlaw period, as the event literally had to flee the state of New York.
Produced exclusively for FITE, "MMA Rewind" is a video podcast series, which looks back at famous and infamous MMA events, presenting never-before-told, behind-the scenes stories from the people who were there.
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