Flashback Friday: UFC 30: Battle on the Boardwalk

The year is 2001, and big changes are coming to the UFC. Their former owners SEG are now out of the picture, and Zuffa has taken their place. Kicking off their ownership, Zuffa held UFC 30: Battle on the Boardwalk from the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA.

Printed on the cover of the DVD is “The All New Ultimate Fighting Championship.”

Headlining the card was 199-pound champion Tito Ortiz fighting Evan Tanner. Also on the show, Caol Uno and Jens Pulver battled to find the first 155-pound champion. Let’s look at UFC 30.

In previous UFC events in America, the canvas did not have sponsorships on it. This time it featured sponsorships from Travelocity and Gordon Biersch Brewing Company. The show also had a new graphics package, including the updated UFC logo which is still used nowadays.

Podcast Version:

Quick Results:

Bout 1: Sean Sherk def. Tiki via Submission, Injury (RD 2, 4:47)

Bout 2: Phil Baroni def. Curtis Stout via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 3: Bobby Hoffman def. Mark Robinson via KO, Elbow (RD 1, 3:27) (Overturned to no contest due to Hoffman failing drug test)

Bout 4: Pedro Rizzo def. Josh Barnett via KO, Right Hook (RD 2, 4:21)

Bout 5: Elvis Sinosic def. Jeremy Horn via Submission, Triangle Armbar (RD 1, 2:59)

Bout 6: Fabiano Iha def. Phil Johns via Submission, Armbar (RD 1, 2:05)

Bout 7: Jens Pulver def. Caol Uno via Decision, Unanimous

Bout 8: Tito Ortiz def. Evan Tanner via KO, Slam (RD 1, 0:32)

Full Coverage:

Preliminary Card:

Bout 1: Tiki (3-2) vs. Sean Sherk (10-0) (Welterweight)

Kicking off the preliminary card, Tiki fought undefeated Sean Sherk. Tiki first appeared on UFC 24, losing to Bob Cook via armlock. Sherk was making his UFC debut. This was billed at 170 pounds, which was then known as lightweight at the time. Sherk was wearing shoes for this fight. At the very start, Sherk got a takedown. Both fighters landed short distance strikes from full guard. Tiki stood up against the cage in the second minute but was thrown back down. Sherk was landing more on the ground. This continued until the round ended.

Sherk tried to get a takedown at the start of the second round, but Tiki was able to avoid it. Upon the second attempt, Sherk was able to bring the fight to the ground. After Tiki was stuck on the ground for a while, he got up in the final minute. Sherk was able to throw him back down into full guard. In the final minute Tiki tapped out while in bottom position as he had become injured. He walked around the octagon holding his left arm. Remaining undefeated, Sean Sherk earned his 11th professional win. He’ll reappear in 2002 in the UFC.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Total
Tiki 9
Sherk 10

Bout 2: Phil Baroni (1-0) vs. Curtis Stout (1-0-1) (199-lbs)

In the second preliminary fight, Phil Baroni and Curtis Stout made their first UFC appearance. The fighters had an intense staredown before the fight. Baroni was quick to charge forward and get a takedown. Baroni was throwing a very fast pace of punches to the body and head. It was one-way traffic in favour of Baroni. Stopping his flurry of strikes, Baroni went into side control. Stout was able to move Baroni back into full guard with over a minute to go. Baroni stayed in top position until the round ended.

Stout scored with a leg kick to start the second round. Throwing another kick, Baroni was able to catch it for a takedown. Baroni chipped away at Stout with punches on the ground. They stayed on the ground until the round ended. Going to scorecards, Phil Baroni got a win, remaining undefeated.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Total
Baroni 10 10 20
Stout 9 9 18

Main Card:

Bout 3: Mark Robinson (1-0) vs. Bobby Hoffman (23-4) (Heavyweight)

Before the main card fights kicked off, an interview with the new UFC President Dana White took place. The first fight saw Mark Robinson make his UFC debut, fighting Bobby Hoffman. Hoffman appeared once before at UFC 27, losing to Maurice Smith. Robinson wore shoes for this fight. At the start, Robinson put Hoffman against the cage in a clinch. Hoffman landed some knees to the body from the clinch. Hoffman got away from the cage, scoring a left cross while backing up. Separating from a clinch, Hoffman landed an elbow which knocked Robinson out. The records do not show this fight as a win for Hoffman as he failed a drug test. This was the last MMA fight that Mark Robinson competed in. It was mentioned on the broadcast that Robinson was a replacement fighter for Ian Freeman.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 4: Josh Barnett (10-0) vs. Pedro Rizzo (10-1) (Heavyweight) 

In a battle of two similar fighters on paper, Josh Barnett fought Pedro Rizzo. Rizzo had previously main evented UFC 27, stopping Dan Severn in the first round. They were pretty evenly matched in the first minute with neither fighter connecting with much. The fighters were eventually throwing punches and leg kicks. Barnett’s mouthpiece came out halfway through the round, causing a slight pause in the action. They went quite tit-for-tat with strikes in the fight. In the fourth minute, Barnett landed a combination of punches, missing with a knee at the end. Rizzo had his own series of strikes seconds later. After the first round it became clear that this was a very close matchup.

Barnett was the fighter constantly moving forward, however Rizzo was landing just as much on his backfoot. They would clinch on the feet but would never stay in the position for a long time. The pace had slowed down with strikes near the end of the round. In the final minute, Barnett was hit with a right hook while coming forward. Wobbled and with his guard down, Barnett was hit with another right hook which knocked him down. To the crowd’s approval, Pedro Rizzo got his second stoppage win in a row. 

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round Total
Barnett 9
Rizzo 10

Bout 5: Jeremy Horn (45-9-4) vs. Elvis Sinosic (3-3-1) (199-lbs)

Moving on in the card, the very experienced Jeremy Horn fought Elvis Sinosic, who was coming from Australia. Horn started the fight by marching forward with hooks. Sinosic pulled guard after they were clinched up. From the bottom position, Sisosic tried for an armbar while holding Horn’s head with a triangle. Horn was quick to tap, giving Elvis Sinosic his first UFC win.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 6: Fabiano Iha (6-3) vs. Phil Johns (21-9) (Welterweight)

Riding a two-fight winning streak in the promotion, Fabiano Iha returned to fight Phil Johns, who was making his UFC debut. In his last two showings, Iha stopped his opponent in the first round. They clinched up in the first minute, with Johns putting Iha against the cage. Iha flipped the position, getting a takedown seconds after. Iha went into side control eventually spinning into an armbar, making Johns tap out quickly. Getting his third quick win in a row, Fabiano Iha was making a name for himself in the 170-pound division. Phil Johns did not appear in the UFC again.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Total

Bout 7: Caol Uno (12-3-2) vs. Jens Pulver (9-2-1) (Vacant UFC Bantamweight Championship (155-lbs)

UFC looked to find their very first 155-pound champion at this show, so they booked Caol Uno to fight Jens Pulver. This was the first UFC appearance for Uno, boasting a record of 12 wins and three losses. Pulver had racked up three wins within the UFC at this point in his career. Uno shot for a takedown in the first minute after inactivity from both fighters. Pulver resisted the takedown, only going down for a second before getting back up. He scored with punches while Uno attempted the takedown. He tried for a takedown in the second minute, keeping Pulver down this time. Uno quickly got on the back of Pulver, staying attached after Pulver got back up. Pulver was able to turn around and get Uno off of him. Pulver started to let some punches go in the final minute, but apart from that not much happened before the round ended.

Pulver was able to stuff a takedown early in the second round, trying for a front choke on the knees for a moment afterwards. When they got up, the inactivity made the crowd start to boo. Uno got a takedown in the third minute, getting on the back of Pulver again. Similar to the round before, Pulver got Uno off of him when he stood up. Pulver connected with punches and knees in a clinch after. After stopping a takedown, Pulver was able to land a few more strikes.

Uno failed to get a takedown to start the third round. This happened again in the second minute. Halfway through the round, Uno finally got another takedown. Pulver stayed down for 10 seconds before springing back up. While Pulver resisted takedowns he would often land body punches or knees. Uno was dropped by a leg kick at the end of the third round.

Pulver stopped a takedown in the second minute, landing hammerfist punches while on his knees. This round was like the ones before, where Pulver stopped takedowns and punished Uno with strikes in the process. Uno brushed Pulver with a head kick at one point.

 The first few minutes of the final round saw Uno continue to fail with takedowns. Uno opened up with strikes near the end of the round, but Pulver was responding with his own punches. The fight went all 25 minutes, with Jens Pulver being crowned the first UFC Bantamweight Champion at the end. Pulver was quite emotional afterwards, mentioning that someone close to him passed away from cancer earlier in the week.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total
Uno 10 9 9 9 9 46
Pulver 9 10 10 10 10 49

Bout 8: Tito Ortiz (6-2) vs. Evan Tanner (23-2) (UFC Middleweight Championship) (199-lbs)

The main event of the evening saw Tito Ortiz attempt to make his second defence of his Middleweight Championship. Months before, he stopped Yuki Kondo with a neck crank in the first round. Tanner had three wins in the UFC before this matchup. Ortiz landed a leg kick to start. They clinched up, where Ortiz landed a few punches. Ortiz slammed down Tanner from the clinch, knocking him out cold. In under a minute, Tito Ortiz retained his UFC Middleweight Championship.

My Scorecard:

Fighter Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 Total

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