I remember a week before Christmas of 1998 more than Christmas itself, because I remember getting a big package of fight tapes in the mail. Among all the Pancrase, Shooto, Neutral Grounds, Superbrawl shows was a tape of EXTREME CHALLENGE 22. It was a fifteen fight show, with several known MMA vets (Cal Worsham, Pat Smith), a lot of tough up and coming guys (Yves Edwards for one) and the premiere woman fighter of the time, Jennifer Howe. This was an awesome show! Promoter Monte Cox was doing big time stuff!
After re-watching it for the first time in a long time, I decided to make a list of all the things that you no longer see in MMA that are available on this tape for our historical (or hysterical) viewing pleasure. Check it out:
- Square cages made of cage purchased at a Home Depot style store.
- Fighters with gi pants.
- Fighters with shoes.
- The ghetto pre-fight interviews.
- ‘Middleweight’ fights with a guy 200 lbs and a guy 170 lbs.
- One fighter thinks he is in a ‘regular bout’, the other is in a ‘tournament’?
- A guy making his debut against a guy with over 50 fights.
- Knee braces.
- Quiet Riot’s ‘Metal Health’ as an entrance song.
- One fighter hurdling another fighter.
- The pro wrestling move known as a ‘choke slam’ for the finish.
Hey, and you can see this list all in one fight! At least the gloves and tape jobs appear to match! They were really on top of things back then! The fighters were wearing the same glove. Aaaaahhhhh progress!
This really is worth watching more than once. The range of faces made my Mr. Bullock alone make this worth the watching. From the angry masticating while he makes muscles prefight, to the bewildered interview, to the fake focus of the walk ins or to the agonized gasping for air at the end, Mr Bullock really runs the gamut!
Take a look at the entire classic Jeremy Bullock versus Travis Fulton battle below. Travis once told me that while he was having his hand raised, the referee looked at him and said ‘That boy sure did smell’.
Unfortunately for Jeremy, he was totally unable to keep his butt in a bind. For the record, Jeremy Bullock retired with an 0-1 record in MMA. Though he was carried out on a stretcher that fateful day of his debut, Bullock sustained no real damage.