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UFC Hits: Volume 1 (2000)

DVD Cover (Lions Gate)
Genres:
MMA / Fighting, Sports
Starring:
David Abbott David Abbott
Andy Anderson Andy Anderson
Vitor Belfort Vitor Belfort
Asbel Cancio Asbel Cancio
Mark Coleman Mark Coleman

7.8 / 10 - Overall Rating

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It's the best of the best! UFC Hits brings the baddest, bloodiest and most action-packed fights of all time! From Tae Kwon Do to Ninjitsu to Greco-Roman Wrestling to Kickboxing and much more! UFC Hits will knock you out of your seat! --Amazon
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Review by Chad
Added: November 16, 2008
There was a time when I was a huge fan of UFC and MMA in general, but sadly, I grew out of it when the number of rules went up and the number of fighters that I looked forward to seeing went down. I still watch it from time to time when a fight intrigues me, but to say that I'm an authority - or even a fan - of the current product would be a lie.

For those of you who missed out on the early days of the promotion, UFC was an entirely different beast than what we have today. Today, fighters have months to prepare for a single fight against an opponent who they know and who they can study. Back then, they showed up to the event and were told who they were fighting... and if they won that fight, they'd have to fight at least one more guy, a guy who may specialize in an entirely different style of fighting than the one that they had just defeated. Million dollar paydays and PPV revenue-sharing? Please; these guys fought for a pot of $50,000, and if you didn't go all the way and win the tournament, you'd have a payday of around $1,000.

Then we had the fights themselves, fights which were fought under what was basically an "anything goes" set of rules. Well, that's not entirely true: fighters couldn't bite each other and they couldn't gouge out their opponent's eyes, but everything else was fair game (yes, that includes shots to the balls, hair-pulling, and fish-hooking). Gloves and other protective equipment were optional, there were no weight classes, there were no judges, and even though the rounds were timed at five minutes each, there was an unlimited number of rounds.

Basically, two guys stepped into the octagon, and it was over when one of them submitted or got knocked the fuck out. It was brutal, it was vicious, it was bloody, and in fact, a little-known Republican by the name of John McCain would eventually lead a campaign to have the entire thing shut down. The promoters were forced to introduce more rules and tone their events down, and although this ensured the survival of UFC, it just wasn't the same in my eyes. It has since become wildly popular and rakes in millions of dollars, so it looks like I'm in the minority there.

This brings us to UFC Hits: Volume 1, a compilation of some of the best matches from the early days of the company. You won't find much in the way of technical clinics here, but what you will find are some of the most violent and gruesome brawls that had been seen up until that point... and honestly, that's what a lot of them were: bare-knuckle brawls that ended with one man left laying in a pool of his own blood, or worse, unconscious and convulsing thanks to a complete and utter destruction at the hands of Tank Abbott.

The fight list for this collection goes a little something like this:

Gerard Gordeau vs Teila Tuli (UFC 1)
Pat Smith vs Scott Morris (UFC 2)
Remco Pardoel vs Orlando Weit (UFC 2)
Keith Hackney vs Emmanuel Yarborough (UFC 3)
Harold Howard vs Roland Payne (UFC 3)
Royce Gracie vs Kimo Leopoldo (UFC 3)
Keith Hackney vs Joe Son (UFC 4)
Dan Severn vs Anthony Macias (UFC 4)
Dave Beneteau vs Asbel Cancio (UFC 5)
John Hess vs Andy Anderson (UFC 5)
David 'Tank' Abbott vs John Matua (UFC 6)
Paul Varelans vs Cal Worsham (UFC 6)
Marco Ruas vs Paul Varelans (clip) (UFC 7)
Gary Goodridge vs Paul Herrara (UFC 8)
Mark Hall vs Koji Kitao (UFC 9)
Don Frye vs Amaury Bitetti (clip) (UFC 9)
Mark Coleman vs Don Frye (clip) (UFC 10)
Brian Johnston vs Resa Nazri (UFC 11)
Scott Ferrozzo vs David 'Tank' Abbott (clip) (UFC 11)
David 'Tank' Abbott vs Cal Worsham (UFC: The Ultimate Ultimate '96)
David 'Tank' Abbott vs Steve Nelmark (UFC: The Ultimate Ultimate '96)
Don Frye vs David 'Tank' Abbott (UFC: The Ultimate Ultimate '96)
Vitor Belfort vs Tra Telligman (UFC 12)
Vitor Belfort vs Scott Ferrozzo (UFC 12)
Guy Mezger vs Tito Ortiz (UFC 13)
Vitor Belfort vs David 'Tank' Abbott (UFC 13)
Maurice Smith vs Mark Coleman (clip) (UFC 14)
Mark Kerr vs Greg Stott (UFC 15)
Randy Couture vs Vitor Belfort (UFC 15)
Frank Shamrock vs Kevin Jackson (UFC: Ultimate Japan)
Mikey Burnett vs Eugenio Tadeu (clip) (UFC 16)
Frank Shamrock vs Igor Zinoviev (UFC 16)

That's a grand total of thirty-two fights (with six edited for time) and clocks in at just under two hours, so needless to say, this is a damned fine collection for those who want to check out the highlights of UFC's first few years. What surprised me while watching this is how easily you can see the progression of the fighters in just two hours worth of fights. In the beginning, you had one-dimensional fighters who were experts in their field, but who had little or no knowledge outside of their chosen discipline. Many of these fights were filled with missed opportunities due to a lack of experience outside of their specific expertise, and more times than not, the bouts came down to "Which of these guys can hit harder?"

As the fights move along, you find fighters who are more rounded and who incorporate various techniques into their repertoire, and by the time you hit the end of the disc, you find guys who wouldn't look out of place in today's environment. You'll also note the professionalism of the fights rising; during the first half of the disc, you'll see referees completely overlooking tapouts, you'll see wives and girlfriends just outside of the cage telling their man to "Knock his fuckin' teeth out!", fighters break through the cage on more than one occasion, and yes, you'll even see the lights blow out during one fight. As the running time rolls along, the dirty tactics and overall brutality is lowered to something that is somewhat on par with today's fights, while the professionalism and production values shoot up.

There's not much more than can be said here, as this one is really a no-brainer. If you enjoy UFC or MMA in general, this needs to be in your collection even if - like me - you've moved away from the sport in recent years. It's aimed towards those who enjoy brutality over technique and bloodshed over submissions, but if you enjoy that side of the sport, this really is a fantastic collection that showcases some of the best brawlers that UFC has ever seen. 9/10.
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