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Flashback: UFC 12 – Vitor Belfort Debuts, Plus the UFC Gets Run Out of New York

The UFC is taking us on a trip down Memory Lane with the release of the entire UFC 12 video. Oh man, was Vitor Belfort a badass.

I have no idea why the UFC is taking a stroll down Memory Lane on their YouTube page, but I like it. They recently posted UFC 12 in it’s entirety, and oh man, was that an important event.

First of all, it was pretty much the beginning of the end of the fortunes of the Semaphore Entertainment Group (SEG). If you’ll recall, they were the company that founded the UFC (and eventually sold it to Zuffa). Why did SEG crap the bed? Well, they had marketed the UFC as gladiator combat to the death, and, uh, that was no bueno after a while. After a while, public outcry had politicians banning this cagefighting stuff in every state and kicking it off pay-per-view. So when UFC 12 was supposed to go down in Buffalo, NY, and New York was suddenly like, “Nah, kid,” SEG has to move the cage down to Alabama at the last minute and hold the show there.

I remember when it all happened, too. I was living in the Big Apple and watching UFC events on TV, and I was pissed off at all the newspapers writing stories about how my favorite sport was “barbaric” and “bad for kids”.

And of course I remember watching UFC 12, broadcast from Dothan, AL, and my jiu-jitsu buddies and I cackling with glee when Vitor Belfort wrecked the massive Scott Ferrozo (despite Belfort using zero jiu-jitsu in the process). Nothing else really that special happened on that card – Mark Coleman was too much for old Dan Severn, but no one expected Severn to win. And Jerry Bolander won a mini-tournament, beating a nobody in Nick Sanzo.

Anyway, here’s the event in all its glory. Maybe you saw it back then, maybe you’ve seen it since, or maybe this will be your first time. If this is your first time… heh. Yeah, the UFC was a little different back then!

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