While watching the fights last night I told my buddy Charles that the UFC should do “Where are They Now?” specials. We thought that would be a fun show to watch. So, while we wait for them to get around to it, I thought I’d start playing with the idea myself.
UFC 1 took place in Denver in 1993. Back then it was tournament style — eight men, single elimination, and unlimited 5 minutes rounds until somebody was KO’d, tapped, or threw in the towel. The only thing not allowed was biting, gouging, and groin striking. Back then, you could even pull hair and stomp a downed opponent. For a great recap of the event, go check out this one at Bloody Elbow.
Royce Gracie won the tournament by submitting Gerard Gordeau via rear-naked choke. Royce, who is now 47 years old, retired 14-2-3 but still trains hard and maintains his fitness with martial arts and cross-training. He teaches seminars and maintains a network of over 50 martial arts schools worldwide and lives in Southern California with his wife and four children.
Gerard Gordeau is also retired. He runs Dojo Kamakura in the Netherlands. Although he was billed as a Savate Champion (which he was) he was primarily a Kyokushin master (9th Dan). He won’t win any charm school contests, but he’s a formidable fellow to be sure. This won’t please the BJJ fans who read this, but he might have defeated Gracie and won the tournament if he hadn’t broken his right hand and right foot on Teila Tuli.
Ken Shamrock — the man, the legend, ‘the world’s most dangerous man’ — fought way past his prime, continuing to fight until 2010. In fact, I don’t think he’s ever officially retired. He impresses me as the kind of guy who would take a fight with anybody, at any time, if the price was right. I do wish he would quit though. Now. Completely. Before he ends up punch drunk. His Facebook page is AWOL and all the links on his website are broken. What’s up Ken?
Kevin Rosier is retired. Suffering from ill health and memory problems as a result of his career in full contact fighting, he apparently resides in a retirement community in Nashville, TN. Here’s a great bio courtesy of IKF. Rosier seems like a super guy with a ton of heart.
Patrick Smith had a long and largely winning career in MMA. He continued to fight until 2009. He doesn’t have a web presence, perhaps because he’s a registered sex offender (search for Patrick B. Smith, DOB 8/28/63) and he’s afraid his site might blow up.
Other than a Wikipedia article and a couple of sites featuring his stats, I couldn’t find anything on Zane Frazier. If anybody knows what he’s up to, please post in the comments.
Teila Tuli (aka Taylor Wily) went on to be an actor. Remember him from Forgetting Sarah Marshall? If not, you can see almost every week on Hawaii Five-O. He looks like he’s put on weight since he stopped fighting, but his teeth seem okay. I wonder if Gordeau kept the one that he took back to the Netherlands in his foot? I wonder if anybody picked up the one that flew into the crowd? How much could you get for one of his teeth on eBay? See, this is how my mind works. Jokes aside, he seems like a nice dude who’d be the life of the party. And he was/is a true athlete (Sumo, football) so I would not hit on his girlfriend unless you are a world-class kickboxer.
Art “One Glove” Jimmerson retired in 2002 and is a boxing coach in California. He started a blog back in 2010, but he hasn’t touched it since. You can hear him talk about his experience at UFC 1 here.
That’s the roundup. If I get enough positive feedback I might do another one, but if not, no way. This took about two hours!