The Specialists
DVD WORLD: UFC 43 Meltdown Review, pt. 1: Reviews and Ramifications of Each Fight - Pedro Rizzo vs. Tra Telligman
Nov 2, 2009 - 3:46:46 PM

By Brian Sweet, MMATorch DVD Specialist

Hello and welcome to the first edition of DVD World. My name is Brian Sweet and I am an avid collector MMA memorabilia and DVDs. It is my goal to provide viewers with a collection of MMA DVD reviews of MMA events that are widely available for purchase on the net and at local retailers. Please feel free to contact me at if you have any questions, comments, or concerns regarding all things DVD and MMA related. I own a complete Pride and UFC DVD library so please contact me if you have a specific disc in mind that you would like me to review. This week we will be looking at "UFC 43: Meltdown." This event was historic in that it produced the first ever UFC champion in two different weight divisions. So let's get down to business.

We will look at one fight each day, and not only review the fight itself, but tell you what the ramifications of the fight were from today's perspective looking back. I hope you enjoy reading this new daily feature as much as I enjoyed writing it.

JUNE 6, 2003

This event is considered by many to be one of the best events available on DVD for several reasons: some great knockouts, a very compelling main event, a unique DQ finish, Matt Lindland knocking himself out, and one of the nastiest cuts ever seen inside the octagon. The main event consisted of Chuck "The Icemen" Liddell vs. Randy "The Natural" Couture for the interim Light-Heavyweight Championship. Not only was this fight for the Light Heavyweight Championship, but it was also to be the fight which launched The Iceman into superstardom.

The rest of the main card featured several big names and few failed to entertain. The former Jo Son-trained heavyweight fighter, Kimo Leopoldo, took on everyone's favorite pit fighter, Tank Abbott, in what was virtually guaranteed to be a slugfest. Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort was also on this card, taking on "The Beastman" Marvin Eastman. Vitor was looking to rebound from his loss to The Iceman at UFC 37.5 and to get back into title contention. Pre-motorcycle crash victim Frank Mir was set to fight TUF 10 jokester Wes Sims in what many figured would be a quick win for Mir and just another step towards a Heavyweight Title fight. Rounding out the main card, Ian "The Machine" Freeman fought an always-game Vernon "Tiger" White who replaced the injured Ken Shamrock.

The undercard was fairly good as well with former UFC Heavyweight Title contender Pedro "The Rock" Rizzo and his deadly leg kicks taking on Tra "Trauma" Telligman in a rematch from way back at UFC 20. Up next was Olympic silver medalist Matt "The Law" Lindland facing little known middleweight Falaniko Vitale in what proved to be the upset of the night. Finishing off the undercard, the always exciting lightweight fighter Yves Edwards, fresh off a victory over Rich Clementi at UFC 41, made his return to the Octagon taking on Eddie Ruiz.

Pedro "The Rock" Rizzo vs. Tra "Trauma" Telligman:

This fight was a rematch from a UFC 20 brawl that ended in Rizzo's favor via knockout. Rizzo was at one time, considered an absolutely great fighter. He came into the UFC and dominated his foes. Coming into this fight, Pedro was looking to rebound from two consecutive losses at the hands of Gan Mcgee and Vladamir matyushenko in order to reestablish himself as a contender in the heavyweight division. As it turned out, this fight ended up being Rizzo's second to last fight ever inside the octagon as his best days proved to be far behind him. Telligman came into this fight with virtually nothing to lose and everything to gain. He had been around the MMA world for a while without much success, but he always proved to be a very game and worthy opponent for anyone to contend with. Tellingman had just enjoyed the biggest win of his career over Igor Vovchanchyn at Pride 13 and was looking to expand upon that success. So, the stage is set, two warriors near the tail end of their respective fight careers getting it on.


Round 1: Larry Landless is our referee and we are underway. Both fighters come out aggressively with Rizzo landing a leg kick and a decent jab. Some nice exchanges here with Tra landing some good counters. Trauma counters a Rizzo jab and lands two right hooks that land flush and momentarily stun Rizzo against the cage. Rizzo clinches and looks to take a breather. Rizzo lands a few knees to the midsection of Tra before they separate. Telligman lands another right hook combo and opens a nasty gash over the left eye of pedro Rizzo. Referee Larry landless calls for a break in the action to have Rizzo's cut check out by the ringside doctor. The fight continues and Rizzo begins looking to counter. Rizzo lands a good counter left hook of his own off a Telligman jab. Some really good exchanges ensue with neither man causing much damage. Rizzo gets a muai thai plum and lands some beautiful knees to the body of Telligman.

Round 2: Rizzo begins the round landing a hard outside leg kick. Both guys are still throwing hands here and Rizzo lands a vicious left jab right hook combo that stuns Tra Telligman. Rizzo hits another leg kick and throws some bombs directly at Telligman's kisser. Trauma evades and Lands a beautiful straight right on Rizzo. Both men are looking to drop some bombs here, very entertaining. Pedro gets a takedown and works some ground and pound from the closed guard of Tra Telligman. Tra gets bloodied up here as Rizzo lands some nice elbows and punches. Rizzo stands up and the action resumes as both men begin swinging wildly. The referee calls for a timeout and has Telligman's cuts checked out. Rizzo lands a beautiful knee from the muai thai plum and opens up a big cut just over the right eye of Tra Telligman. The fight momentarily stopped again to check the cuts on telligman's face and is stopped. Pedro Rizzo is declared the victor.


Pedro "The Rock" Rizzo: Rizzo is in my top five all time favorite fighters list. The Rock exploded on the scene way back at Ultimate Brazil in 1998 and took out Tank Abbott when he was still considered dangerous. After the Abbot fight, Pedro went on to defeat some of the very best heavyweight the UFC had to offer in Mark Coleman, Tra Telligman, Fedor Emelianenko conquerer (sort of) Tsuyoshi Kosaka, Dan Severn, and Josh Barnett. The Josh Barnett fight produced one of the best knockouts ever in the UFC. He suffered a loss to team hammer house member and former UFC heavyweight champion Kevin Randleman in a UFC title fight at UFC 26, but Rizzo would not be deterred. He would get another shot at the UFC crown when he took on Randy Couture at UFC 31 and came very close to winning the strap, however the decision was not in his favor and he had to settle for an immediate rematch at UFC 34 six months later. Couture dominated the fight and won by TKO. Rizzo's previous dominance began to slow after the second Couture fight but not before knocking out Andrei Arlovski at UFC 36. Rizzo would never fight for the UFC title again, but he was the first man to expose a flaw in Captain America's game inside the octagon. He is a former WVC heavyweight champion and possessed some of the most lethal leg kicks ever in MMA since the days of Marco Ruas. Interestingly enough, Ruas trained Rizzo and helped form Pedro into one hell of a feared striker both inside and outside of the UFC. Rizzo's epic battles with Randy Couture are still considered by many to be some of the greatest UFC title fights of all time.

Tra "Trauma" Telligman: Telligman could throw some serious leather and was an exciting fighter to watch. Leading up to this fight, Tra brought some international experience as well as a nice array of wrestling skills. He trained with Ken Shamrock and was capable of pulling off the upset here. At this point, Tra had only suffered three losses in his career but mainly against top quality fighters such as Vitor Belfort, Rizzo, and Brazilian submission artist Carlos Barreto. Furthermore, Tra came into this fight fresh off a huge victory albeit disputed by many, against Igor Vovchanchyn who was an extremely devastating striker on the level of Rizzo. Big things were on the horizon for Telligman if he would have pulled off the upset, but it wasn't meant to be. His last fight in the UFC and MMA for that matter occurred over two years later when Tim Sylvia landed one of the most brutal head kicks in all of MMA to knock out Tra inside the octagon and out of the sport for good at UFC 54. For many, he was known as the guy who was missing a pectoral muscle, but for the hardcore fans, he brought great heart and determination to the table and will always be remembered as entertaining if nothing else.

TOMORROW - FIGHT 2: Matt "The Law" Lindland vs. Falaniko Vitale
WEDNESDAY - FIGHT 3: Yves Edwards vs. Eddie Ruiz
THURSDAY - FIGHT 4: Wes "The Project" Sims vs. Frank Mir
FRIDAY - FIGHT 5: Vernon "The Tiger" White vs. Ian "The Machine" Freeman
SATURDAY - FIGHT 6: Vitor "The Phenom" Belfort vs Marvin "The Beastman" Eastman
SUNDAY - FIGHT 7: Tank Abbott vs. Kimo Leopoldo
MONDAY - FIGHT 7: Randy "The Natural" Couture vs. Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell

And then stay tuned next Monday for the start of another full DVD review.

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