Every once in a while I blog about fights from the old days and what it was like to watch the sport grow. I was reading Jeff Wagenheim of Sports Illustrated spew his absolute nonsense – the guy knows absolutely nothing about fighting. His latest tactic to mask this fact is to go to the FIGHTMETRIC website and furiously count kicks and punches and takedowns tallied by someone else who may or may not know what they are doing. So I did what I usually do when the pompous ass pisses me off, I headed for YOUTUBE to look at some old stuff and appreciate how far we have come as a sport. And then YOUTUBE let me down, so now I have a question for all of you out there!
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I watched the Tank Abbott versus Scott Ferrozzo fight, and I remembered my old tape collection. And that is where YOUTUBE let me down. I remembered getting a tape, I believe from the Atlanta area (though not sure on that) of Ferrozzo doing a challenge dojo fight against this taller, skinnier (obviously) dude with red hair. Couldn’t find it on YOUTUBE.
Ferrozzo pounded the guy for twenty minutes, and I remember a lot of things. First of all, I remember thinking the dude with the red hair is tough. I remember Ferrozzo’s breathing as he tired, and thinking about how he was just raw power. As Ferrozzo was heading into a match with Vitor Belfort, it was pretty clear that Ferrozzo was going to be in trouble. You had a tough guy brawler, against some type of new hybrid. And it didn’t happen for Scott, either as history would show.
I remember shortly afterwards another tape came in the mail, this one with a Don Frye dojo fight. I pop in the old VHS tape, and Frye is fighting that same dude with the red hair in a challenge match in a dojo. Frye is more polished than Ferrozzo, and he wins clearly, but Ferrozzo had done more damage. YOUTUBE let me down again.
Back in those days, there weren’t these massive MMA dojo’s where you can go and spar, you had to seek out tests.
So what am I rambling about? I have talked about three fighters here, all deserve credit for being pioneers and men that moved this sport forward. There is Frye and Ferrozzo, obviously both get a chapter in UFC history. But then there is the unsung hero, the unknown guy with the red hair who back then was fighting in his dojo and taking challenge matches. If anyone knows him, please let me know! If not, he deserves a moment of silence anyway.
What was Wagenheim doing at the time? Probably braiding his pubic hairs, but I can assure you he was doing nothing fight related.