Flashback Friday: UFC 26: Ultimate Field of Dreams

Returning to the United States, UFC held UFC 26: Ultimate Field of Dreams. The card had two championship fights. Headlining the card, Kevin Randleman put his UFC Heavyweight Championship on the line against Pedro Rizzo. From the Five Seasons Events Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA, here’s the full report of UFC 26.

Original Date: 8/27/00

Flashback Friday Podcast Edition

Quick Results:

Bout 1: Shonie Carter def. Adrian Serrano via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 2: Ian Freeman def. Nate Schroeder via Submission, Strikes (RD 2, 2:13)

Bout 3: Jens Pulver def. Joao Roque via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 4: Matt Hughes def. Marcelo Aguiar via TKO, Cut (RD 1, 4:34)

Bout 5: Amaury Bitetti def. Alex Andrade via DQ, Kicking With Shoes (RD 2, 0:43)

Bout 6: Pat Miletich def. John Alessio via Submission, Armbar (RD 2, 1:43) (UFC Lightweight Championship)

Bout 7: Tyrone Roberts def. David Dodd via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 8: Kevin Randleman def. Pedro Rizzo via Decision, Unanimous (UFC Heavyweight Championship)

Full Report

Preliminary Card

Bout 1: Adrian Serrano (31-10) vs. Shonie Carter (13-3) (Welterweight)

Starting off the two-fight preliminary card, Adrian Serrano made his UFC debut, facing Shonie Carter. The two preliminary fights were two round fights. In his last UFC fight, Carter got a decision win over Brad Gumm. They went into a clinch very early, with Carter landing a knee to the body before they separated. In another clinch they went down, with both fighters jostling for position. They got up in a standing clinch seconds later, with Serrano putting Carter against the cage. Halfway through the round, they went back to striking. Carter connected with a leg kick, which made Serrano clinch again for a moment. Carter got a takedown with two minutes to go. He landed some hard punches from full guard. Serrano rolled out of the position and got to his feet with 30 seconds left. Carter scored with a head kick during a combination of strikes. Serrano put Carter against the cage in a clinch as the round ended.

They clinched up again in the first minute of the second round. Carter almost lifted up Serrano from the clinch. In another clinch, Serrano escaped after avoiding a trip takedown. Carter landed a two-punch combination in the second minute which hurt Serrano. It happened again moments afterwards, with Serrano clinching up while recovering. Getting out of the clinch, Carter continued to connect with strikes. They went into another clinch in the final minutes of the round. With just over 15 seconds to work, Carter got a takedown. Serrano was able to reverse the position, trying for a guillotine choke as the round ran out of time. Going to the scorecards, Shonie Carter got his second win in the UFC. This was the last UFC appearance from Adrian Serrano.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Total
Serrano 9 9 18
Carter 10 10 20

Bout 2: Ian Freeman (7-1) vs. Nate Schroeder (6-5) (Heavyweight)

The other preliminary fight saw Ian Freeman attempt to bounce back from a UFC debut loss, facing Nate Schroeder. This was also the UFC debut for Schroeder. Freeman wore wrestling shoes for this fight. Schroeder threw lots of leg kicks in the first minute, not connecting with many. Schroeder shot for a takedown in the first minute, only getting Freeman in a clinch against the cage. Freeman got a takedown from the clinch halfway through the round. He got on the back of Schroeder. Freeman got flipped onto his back, with Schroeder being in top position for a few seconds before they went to the feet again. Schroeder had Freeman against the cage again in a clinch. Schroeder got a takedown in the final minute of the round. Schroeder got into full mount for a second before Freeman got up again.

The second round saw Freeman charge forward with punches again. Schroeder shot for a takedown in the first minute of the round, however Freeman reversed the position to get into full guard. Freeman got threatened by a heel hook for a moment, although Freeman escaped while keeping top position. After standing up, Freeman went back down in side control. He landed knees to the head until the referee stepped in to end the bout. A strong second round from Ian Freeman made up for the lackluster rounds he did before in the UFC. Nate Schroeder did not fight in the UFC again after this matchup.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Total
Freeman 9
Schroeder 10

Main Card

Before the first fight, the weight divisions of the UFC were updated. Bantamweight was set at “less than 155.” Lightweight stayed from 155 to 170, middleweight from 170 to 199.9, and heavyweight was 200 and beyond.

Bout 3: Joao Roque (1-0) vs. Jens Pulver (6-1) (Lightweight)

The first main card fight saw Jens Pulver go down to 155 pounds, facing Joao Roque. This was the first “bantamweight” fight in the UFC, which is now known as lightweight. This was the first UFC fight for Roque. Pulver was wearing wrestling shoes in this fight. Roque shot for a takedown early, landing on his back before getting up again. He shot again, with Pulver showing his good defence. The third time Roque tried, Pulver put him on his back on the ground. Pulver got up, letting the referee stand Roque up. This happened again a minute later. Pulver threw lots of jabs on the feet, never really connecting with the punches. Roque was put on his back again in the final minute of the round. Roque was hit with punches in the final few seconds, shooting for a takedown but not getting it.

Roque finally got his first takedown to start the second round. Pulver was able to flip the position quickly, getting full guard on top. Pulver got out of the position, making Roque get back on his feet too. Roque kept shooting for takedowns throughout the round, not being successful.

In the final round, Pulver continued to stop takedowns from Roque. But at the same time, Pulver wasn’t landing much. He spent the entire round defending, and refusing to go to the ground made it a stalemate. The fight ended with the crowd booing. After three rounds, Pens Pulver picked up the unanimous decision win. Joao Roque did not appear in UFC again.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Roque 10 10 10 30
Pulver 9 9 9 27

Bout 4: Matt Hughes (17-1) vs. Marcelo Aguiar (2-2) (Welterweight)

In 1999, Matt Hughes made his UFC debut, defeating Valeri Ignatov via unanimous decision. Now in 2000, Hughes returned to the UFC to fight Marcelo Aguiar, who made his UFC debut. Hughes was the third fight of the evening to wear shoes. Hughes got a takedown in the first minute of the round. Hughes picked up Aguiar and slammed him down. Aguiar resisted for a moment by holding the fence. They were on the ground right in front of Hughes’ corner. Hughes continued with ground and pound while in full guard. Aguiar was answering back with his own strikes from the bottom. A strike cut the forehead of Aguiar. Hughes stood up, getting back on Aguiar with a flurry of punches. He slowed down again, holding the back of Aguiar’s head. Hughes stood up again, where referee Mario Yamasaki paused the fight for Aguiar’s cut to get looked at. Something you wouldn’t see nowadays is that Hughes was able to talk to his corner during this break. After looking at the cut, it was decided that Aguiar could not continue. Getting his second of many more wins to come in the UFC, Matt Hughes showed dominance. This was the last MMA fight that Marcelo Aguiar competed in.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 5: Alex Andrade (3-1) vs. Amaury Bitetti (3-2) (199 lbs)

Tito Ortiz, who beat Wanderlei Silva at UFC 25 joined the commentary booth for the next matchup. Inb the next matchup, Alex Andrade fought Amaury Bitetti. Andrade was wearing shoes for this fight, which became relevant later. Both fighters were scoring with hard punches early. Bitetti shot for a takedown in the first minute that Andrade blocked. They stayed in a clinch on the feet for a minute or so before separating. Bitetti landed some punches which backed Andrade against the punches. The commentary team believed Andrade was hit in the eye with one. They clinched up again, where Andrade landed a good knee to the body. When Andrade charged forward with punches again, a punch seemingly dropped Bitetti. While Bitetti was down, Andrade threw a head kick. Since this was not allowed, a pause came where both fighters were sent to their corners. Almost a glorified round break. They resumed again, where Andrade dropped Bitetti again with punches. Bitetti got up, being put against the cage in a clinch. Bitetti landed some more hooks when leaving the clinch. Bitetti landed a leg kick which was recognized as another foul. The round ended just after this.

The fighters were engaged in another firefight to start the second round, throwing flurries of punches. Early in the round, Andrade landed a kick to the body. The referee called off the fight after this, giving Amaury Bitetti the win. Three strikes and you’re out. Andrade said to the camera “I’ll be back, I’m sorry” before the decision. Neither fighter appeared in the UFC again.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Andrade 9
Bitetti 8

Bout 6: Pat Miletich (25-3) vs. John Alessio (7-3) (UFC Lightweight Championship (170 lbs)

The first of two championship fights this evening was between UFC Lightweight Champion Pat Miletich and John Alessio. They clinched up early, with Miletich getting a takedown. Alessio tried for a guillotine choke from the bottom. Miletich eventually popped out of the choke. From full guard, Miletich threw punches periodically. They stayed in the position until the round ended.

Alessio was shifting around the octagon fast to start the second round. He did not come off was fatigued. They clinched up again, with Miletich getting a slam takedown from the body lock. On top, Miletich was in half guard. He stepped into full mount, switching into an armbar. Alessio tapped out quickly, giving Miletich the win. Pat Miletich was quick to end it in the second round, making him retain his UFC Lightweight Championship for the fourth time.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Miletich 10
Alessio 9

Bout 7: David Dodd (4-5) vs. Tyrone Roberts (11-1) (199 lbs)

This fight card had an order we’re not used to these days. Before the championship main event, there was one more fight. In the co-main event of the evening, David Dodd and Tyrone Roberts competed. Dodd had a clear height and reach advantage. Roberts scored with a good right hand in the first minute. Both fighters landed punches in the second minute while Roberts was backing up. They clinched for a moment. Dodd shot for a takedown, although it was Roberts who got top position. Roberts kept top position until the round ended. A strike bloodied the nose of Roberts at some point. When the round ended, Roberts got up from the position. He charged back at him as if he was going to do more, although he didn’t.

Roberts grabbed Dodd for a takedown to start the second round. They got up two minutes into the fight. Exiting a clinch, Roberts landed a couple of punches. On the feet they were clearly tired.

Not much happened on the feet to start the final round as both fighters were fatigued. Dodd failed to get a takedown. They clinched up many times in the round. In the fourth minute, Dodd landed many knees to the body in a clinch. In the final minute of the round, a pause came to fix the glove of Roberts. They resumed, with Dodd walking down Roberts until the round ended. Going to the scorecards, Tyrone Roberts got a unanimous decision win. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total
Dodd 9 9 10 28
Roberts 10 10 9 29

Bout 8: Kevin Randleman (8-3) vs. Pedro Rizzo (9-0) (UFC Heavyweight Championship)

In the main event, Kevin Randleman put his UFC Heavyweight Championship on the line against undefeated Pedro Rizzo. This fight was meant to happen at UFC 24, however it was cancelled last minute after Randleman fell backstage. Now, the fight was being run back.  Randleman wore wrestling shoes for this fight. The first minute of the fight was something of a standoff, with neither fighter throwing punches. They clinched up in the second minute of the fight, with Randleman getting a takedown after running Rizzo into the fence. Landing some but not a lot of strikes, Randleman kept top position for the entire round.

The second round had a slow start just like the first did. They were warned for inactivity after two minutes of minimal work from either fighter. They clinched up halfway through the round, with Rizzo escaping. Randleman landed two punches in the final minute of the round. Rizzo seemingly connected with a head kick with 25 seconds to go. Randleman got another two punches in before the round ended. As the round ended, the displeased crowd was booing.

They clinched up a minute and a half into the third round. It seemed like either a strike or collision from the clinch made Rizzo start to bleed above the eyebrow. Rizzo landed a good leg kick in the fourth minute. In the final minute of the round, Rizzo connected with a clean head kick. Randleman ended the round with a takedown, scoring with a punch on the way down.

The fourth round was quite inactive. Neither fighter did much. Randleman threw a two-punch combination in the final seconds of the round. The crowd went back to booing.

They stayed in a clinch for a few minutes in the fifth round. Randleman scored a good knee to the body before they separated clinch. The fight ended on the feet with the crowd booing. Having gone the distance, judges were needed to determine who won. There wasn’t much shock when the scorecards read that Kevin Randleman won via unanimous decision.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Randleman 10 10 10 10 10 50
Rizzo 9 9 9 9 9 45

UFC returned in September with UFC 27: Ultimate Bad Boyz. Before then, Pride FC held Pride 10: Return of the Warriors.

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