After a few events at the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA for their past few shows, UFC travelled to East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA for UFC 32. Headlining the show, one of UFC’s most dominant fighters at the time, Tito Ortiz, returned to fight rising light heavyweight Elvis Sinosic. Here’s how the show went down on June 29th, 2001 at the Continental Airlines Arena.
DeSouza Catches Rodriguez Early
In the first of two preliminary fights, Tony DeSouza made quick work of Paul Rodriguez, catching him with a guillotine choke in the first minute.
Appearing at the last two UFC events now, DeSouza moved his young MMA career to 4-0.
“I was looking for the choke. I studied him,” said DeSouza after the fight.
This was the first and last appearance for Rodriguez in the UFC.
“Maybe I was too relaxed,” said Rodriguez in retrospect.
Rodriguez Doesn’t Miss A Beat In UFC Debut
After a year-long stint in Pride FC, Ricco Rodriguez made a seamless transition to the UFC, defeating Andrei Arlovski in the third round with strikes. The win saw Rodriguez struggle with takedowns, but be dominant when he could bring the fight to the ground.
“I’m proud to be here, and I’m going to stay here for a long time,” predicted Rodriguez in his post-fight interview.
Rodriguez went 3-0 in Pride FC, taking all three fights in the year 2000. He had fought once before in 2001 before his UFC debut, defeating Paul Buentello with a kneebar.
Arlovski was in his second UFC appearance, winning his debut in 2000 against Aaron Brink.
Matyushenko Controls Kondo
Starting off the main card, Vladimir Matyushenko controlled Yuki Kondo on the ground en route to a unanimous decision win. The UFC debut for Matyushenko marked the second loss for Kondo in the promotion over three appearances.
The fight was the last appearance for Kondo in the UFC, going on to fight most of the rest of his (ongoing) MMA career in Japan.
After the fight, an interview was done with Limp Bizkit, who had high praise for the UFC.
Uno Puts Iha Out Cold
Having trouble in stand-up, Caol Uno was able to get a fast win over Fabiano Iha once getting the fight to the ground. Uno finished Iha in the first round, posturing up and landing a flurry of punches from full guard that put Iha out cold.
Uno struggled on the feet, being hurt by strikes early. However, his lifeline was his ability to land takedowns, being successful on every attempt.
“I’m not happy. I want to show my technique more,” said a translator for Uno after the fight.
The fight was a bounce back from his last fight, a failed attempt at the vacant UFC Bantamweight Championship against Jens Pulver.
Iha’s four-fight win streak, including three fights from the UFC, was ended with this match.
Before the next fight, it was announced that Dennis Hallman will challenge Jens Pulver for his UFC Lightweight Championship on the next show.
Miletich Begins Second Quest
After losing his long-held UFC Welterweight Championship, Pat Miletich started his quest back to the belt with a win over Shonie Carter. Starting with a bang in his new quest, Miletich stopped Carter with a knockout head kick in the second round.
In the round before, Miletich was the better fighter, keeping Carter on the ground for a long period of time.
In his previous fight, Miletich got the first loss of his professional career, getting caught in a bulldog choke from Carlos Newton.
“This was a bigger win than winning the title because of all the trouble I went through,” said Miletich after the fight.
“It was a numbers game, I feel that it wasn’t a mistake,” said Carter in his post-fight interview.
The fight was Carter’s last in the UFC, apart from a 2006 run on TV series “The Ultimate Fighter.”
Barnett Bouncing Back From First Loss
Bouncing back from his first loss as a pro, Josh Barnett got a quick win over the towering Semmy Schilt. Barnett locked in an armbar on the ground, making a bloody Schilt tap out.
“Another big man, another one down,” said Barnett after the fight.
In his last fight, his second UFC appearance, Barnett was finished by Pedro Rizzo.
Barnett, who had visibly looked thinner since his last fight, had lost “10 percent” of his body fat since then, per the commentary team.
“I’m coming back stronger,” said Schilt afterwards. The fight was his last UFC appearance, taking his talents to Pride FC in his next appearance.
Thomas’ UFC Debut Spoiled By Penn
Spoiling the UFC debut of Din Thomas, BJ Penn landed a knee to the head that marked him winner in the first round of competition. Penn, who won his MMA debut at UFC 31, got his second win in the promotion with this stoppage.
The fight, which was on the ground for a few minutes, saw Thomas in control. On the feet, a perfectly timed knee dropped Thomas, with Penn landing some punches on the ground before the fight ended.
“I’m a nice guy, but this is what will happen to anyone who steps in the ring with me,” said Penn after the fight.
Ortiz Defends Belt Yet Again
Defending his UFC Light Heavyweight Championship for the third time, Tito Ortiz stopped Elvis Sinosic early with strikes on the ground.
Ortiz got a takedown early, slaughtering Sinosic with ground and pound until the referee had seen enough.
“I just haven’t had enough experience against the fence,” said Sinosic afterwards, mentioning how he is more skilled in kickboxing.
“I didn’t get to accomplish a lot of stand-up, but to hell with it,” said Ortiz after his fight.
Sinosic fought once in the UFC before, defeating Jeremy Horn with a triangle armbar.
To Vegas, With A Checkpoint In Saitama
UFC returned in September with UFC 33: ” Victory In Vegas,” at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. Before then on the MMA calendar was another Pride FC event, “Raging Rumble,” from the Saitama Super Arena in Saitama, Japan.