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By Brian Sweet, MMATorch DVD Specialist
Hello and welcome to the first week of my "DVD World" series of articles. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
UFC 43: MELTDOWN
JUNE 6, 2003
LAS VEGAS, NEV. AT THE THOMAS & MACK CENTER
Wes "The Project" Sims vs. Frank Mir
At the time, Frank Mir was already considered a very dangerous jiu jitsu fighter. He had only competed in six fights at this point and only lost once via punches to Ian "The Machine" Freeman at UFC 38 in London. The Freeman loss did little to derail Frank's popularity and he rebounded in a big way with an easy win over Tank Abbott at UFC 41. Wes Sims was considered very dangerous as well leading up to the event. Sims had competed in eight fights and suffered only one loss to Dan Severn via decision. However, Sims did not win the remaining seven fights. Rather, he won six and had a no contest on his record which, according to Mike Goldberg, was a result of Sims kicking his opponent in a downed position. So, you had two up and coming prospects ready to bang with potential contender status hanging in the balance due to the heavyweight division being wide open. One click of the play button later and let's see what happened.
Round 1: Referee Nelson Hamilton gets us started and here we go. Wes Sims comes charging out of his corner gong and dash style and Mir takes him down immediately. Mir lands in side control and begins looking for a kimura. Sims defends well and Mir works a little ground and pound. Mir eventually gains the mount and begins pounding the face of Sims. Mir defends and Mir works for an arm triangle choke, but Sims rolls to his back. Mir works the rear nekkid choke but can't quite lock it in. Mir gets back to mount and looks to end the fight in vicious fashion with punches and elbows from the top. Mir looks to lock in an armbar, but Sims defends well and slams Mir on his head. This is where things turn ugly. Sims grabs the cage and begins stomping on Frank's head over and over again. The ref steps in and calls the fight in Mir's favor due to a disqualification. Sims looks ready to brawl and acts surprised that he didn't win. Meanwhile, Mir lays in the corner obviously perplexed as to why he got his face stomped on. That's it folks… and it is all over! The official time is 2:56 of the very first round.
Wes "The Project" Sims: This fight earned Sims the reputation of a dirty fighter. He would go on to lose his next two fights in the UFC and not be seen within the confines of the octagon until season 10 of The Ultimate Fighter. While Sims typically has a massive size and reach advantage over most of his opponents, he has remained inconsistent during his fighting career. He has lost to some average and top tier heavyweight fighters and for the most part, only won against subpar competition. His biggest win was against Kimo Leopoldo way back in 2006 and lost against the likes of Mir, Mike Kyle, Antoni Hardonk, Tim Sylvia, Daniel Gracie, Travis Fulton and several others. His biggest asset seems to be his personality which has shined through during the latest season of TUF. However, personality only gets you so far in this sport and I don't expect him to cause many more waves after a TUF 10 champion has been crowned.
Frank Mir: Everyone knows that Mir has skills. Consistency seems to be his main problem; he has beaten some of the most well respected fighters in MMA but he has lost to some not so great fighters. He was involved in a bad motorcycle crash back in 2004, shortly after dispatching Tim Sylvia for the UFC heavyweight crown. That crash cost Mir his championship and focus it seemed upon his return. Mir returned to the UFC after his crash with a brutal loss to Marcio Cruz on the main card of UFC 57 before finally making his way back to the winners circle with a sloppy victory over Dan Christison at UFC 61. Following this win, he suffered another brutal loss at the hands of Brandon Vera in 2006, before showing signs of greatness yet again with three big wins in a row. First he crushed Antoni Hardonk at UFC 74 before being matched up against the monstrous Brock Lesnar in a fight that had a lot of media attention. As most of you know, Mir was able to lock in a devastating kneebar on Lesnar and earn himself a shot at Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira for the interim heavyweight championship. Shockingly, Mir won with a fantastic display if striking against Nogueira and set up the lesnar rematch. Although Mir lost to Lesnar at UFC 100, he has gained a lot of respect and notoriety from the MMA community and came into the fight in tremendous shape. He is tapped to face Cheik Kongo at UFC 107 and it should be a nice submission victory for Mir. He has come a long way in his short career and shows no signs of slowing down.
Check back every day for our continued march through this DVD. Here's the schedule...
MONDAY: Pedro "The Rock" Rizzo vs. Tra "Trauma" Telligma
TUESDAY - FIGHT 2: Matt "The Law" Lindland vs. Falaniko Vitale
WEDNESDAY - FIGHT 3: Yves Edwards vs. Eddie Ruiz
TODAY - 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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