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1996 Ultimate Ultimate UFC Program w/ Credentials
1996 Ultimate Ultimate was a mixed martial arts event held by the UFC on December 16, 1995, at the Mammoth Gardens in Denver, Colorado. The card featured an eight man tournament with two alternate bouts, and was the UFC’s second “Ultimate Ultimate” tournament, held to find the best of the winners and runners up from past UFC events. This event was the first to introduce the “no grabbing of the fence” rule.
Ken Shamrock appeared as a guest on Late Night with Conan O’Brien on the mainstream network NBC to promote the event, a groundbreaking moment for the young sport of MMA. The event would also be the last time Don Frye fought in the UFC, as he would also transition into pro wrestling, signing with New Japan Pro Wrestling. Mark Hall, who Frye defeated in the semifinals, would later claim that Don Frye and manager Robert DePersia came into his dressing room during the tournament and convinced him to throw the two fighters’ upcoming semi-final match.
About the event, referee John McCarthey later wrote in his autobiography Let’s Get It On!:
“Unfortunately, this night was the second time I felt I was refereeing a fixed bout. In the semifinals, Don Frye and Mark Hall met in a rematch of their UFC 10 bout. In their first encounter Frye had beaten the piss out of Hall, who’d refused to give up. Here, though, Frye ankle-locked Hall to advance to the finals without breaking a sweat.The fight struck me as odd. Frye, a bread-and-butter wrestler and swing-for-the-fences puncher, had never won a fight by leg lock, and Hall practically fell into the submission. I also knew both fighters were managed by the same guy.”
Presented is a rare SEG era program from Ultimate Ultimate 1996. The display measures 31×39 and features six prominent pages affixed to a backing featuring the participants along with the cover from the event. The pages showcase images on the front and the back. This program originates from “Big” John McCarthy’s personal collection and would be perfect for framing.
Also highlighting the collection is a McCarthy’s ring credentials from the event shaped appropriately in the form of an octagon.