Article

UFC 25 Years In Short: Judgement Day


Today there are injuries, weight misses and visa issues that can derail UFC fights. But back in 1997, UFC 12: Judgement Day was less than a day from starting in Niagara Falls when the New York District State Court banned “no-holds-barred” fighting from New York.

“I’m not interested in running them out of business, I’m interested in running them out of New York,” said New York Governor George Pataki. “They have no place in this state.”

With time running out the UFC was forced to move the event to Dothan, Alabama. That means fighters, equipment, UFC staff and the Octagon all had to make its way to the south in less than a day. 

Among the fighters that experienced the upheaval from Buffalo and relocation to Alabama was a 19 year-old Vitor Belfort, who would go on to show why his nickname “The Phenom” was so accurate.

UFC legend Mark Coleman also fought that day, securing the UFC heavyweight championship with a scarf-hold headlock submission victory over Dan Severn.

Watch: A Country Boy Can Survive - The Story of Matt Hughes

For the UFC, moving the event at the last second from New York to Alabama was an act of desperation, but for the citizens of Dothan and the rest of the south, it was more than they could have ever asked for.

Make sure you watch UFC 25 Years in Short: Judgement Day on UFC Fight Pass to relive the journey, obstacles and triumph of the UFC event that almost never happened.

Watch Past Fights

Saturday, February 23
7PM
GMT
Prague, Czech Republic

Media

Recent
Watch the UFC Fight Night: Ngannou vs Velasquez Post-fight Press Conference LIVE following the event.
15-Feb-2019
Check out the weigh-in recap from Phoenix. UFC Fight Night: Ngannou vs Velasquez airs live on ESPN Sunday night.
16-Feb-2019
Cain Velasquez makes his return to the Octagon on Sunday night live on ESPN against Francis Ngannou.
16-Feb-2019
Check out the Top 5 finishes from Cain Velasquez' legendary UFC career.
16-Feb-2019