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UFC 1 with a bigger budget


the_mole

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I remember someone on here a few years ago saying Royce got an easy route to the final and was expected to beat these guys.

 

Just imagine they are all allowed to compete and some Rich nutter is paying their purses, would Gracie JJ still have looked impressive?

 

A bit of googling and I'm putting in the guys who are number 1 at that time at heavyweight or open weight

 

Rickson Gracie - considered the best of the Gracie's.

 

Riddick Bowe - Had beaten Hollyfield and Tyson was in jail, probably considered the best.

 

Branco Cikatic - Just recently won the first K1 tournament, the best kickboxer at that time

 

Alexander Karelin - big monster, with multiple Greco wrestling gold medals, once in a lifetime athlete

 

Bruce Gaumguptner - Freestyle Wrestling champion multiple times

 

David Kackhaleishvilli - Don't know much about him but seems to have won multiple medals and gold at Judo in the Olympics

 

Ken Shamrock - King of Pancrase

 

Don't know who I would have as the 8th guy but here's a few names

 

Marco Ruas - King of the streets, lutta livre guy

 

Bas Rutten - good striking, decent ground game but behind Ken Shamrock at the time

 

Oleg Taktarov - Apparently a Sambo world champion but can't see anything besides him saying it, so who knows but he did decent when he eventually came in.

 

Like UFC 1 there wouldn't be much cross training, so would another Gracie reign supreme?

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Yeah, I'd fancy Karelin's chances in that tournament. Royce benefited from there not being many really strong wrestlers in the first couple of UFCs, didn't he? Fair enough he did beat Dan Severn at UFC 4 but I think he'd have struggled big time with someone both as good and as physical as Karelin, or even Coleman and Kerr if they'd have come on the scene a few years sooner. Royce had the technique but the combination of size and understanding of grappling would've been a huge ask for Royce to overcome. The wrestlers wouldn't have had the submission knowledge the Gracies have but I just struggle to envision Royce being able to catch wrestlers like Karelin, Coleman or Kerr.

 

Rickson would've been more interesting against those guys but I still think he'd have run into problems with the sheer size and raw power. The 'size doesn't matter' thing with BJJ is all fine and dandy until you've got a jacked up gorilla like Coleman mowing you down and slamming headbutts into your face.

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If he was chosen as the 8th entry, I think Ruas would be a bit of a dark horse. 

 

I'll still go with Rickson though. The Gracie's were a few years ahead of the rest at the time of UFC 1. If you re-scheduled that line-up to compete in 1995/1996 time, I would probably go for Karelin. It would only take a bit of tinkering with seasoning and strategy to give him the edge. 

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The early fighters in the UFC's were random as fuck. I imagine lots of them were local tough guys who fancied a go and bullshitted about their credentials (see Gary Goodridge) but there were also guys in there who probably had only been in a few scrapes in their whole lifetime. Some of the traditional martial artists who entered basically had their whole worlds shattered in minutes.

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