Billed as the most anticipated event in the history of the promotion, UFC 100 on July 9th, 2009 in Las Vegas proved to be a historic night that more than lived up to the pre-fight hype.
Almost a decade later, we looked back at 10 crazy stories that occurred before, during, and after one of the most memorable events in the sport’s history.
- 1 Dana White’s BASE Jump Promise
- 2 Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir Wasn’t Intended Main Event
- 3 Arturo Gatti’s Death
- 4 The Limp Bizkit Fallout
- 5 Octagon Girl Edith Labelle Fired
- 6 Michael Bisping’s H-Bomb-Induced Memory Loss
- 7 Hit Him With Your Groin!
- 8 Rashad Evans & ‘Rampage’ Jackson Clash Outside The Cage
- 9 Brock Lesnar vs. Budweiser
- 10 Jon Fitch vs. Paulo Thiago Closed Out The Show
Dana White’s BASE Jump Promise
Caught up in the growing buzz before UFC 100, Dana White got carried away when asked if the event could smash the promotion’s previous record of 1.2 million pay-per-view buys.
“1.5 million buys – I’ll jump, I’ll BASE jump off the Mandalay Bay. I promise,” White told the media.
However, when it emerged that UFC 100 had, in fact, hit that lofty target, there was no sign of White perched atop the iconic 39-floor building. But the media was not quick to forget his promise and at the end of the year, he was reluctantly forced to speak about it again.
“I’ve actually been working on it,” White claimed. “I’ve been training for it. I’m going to do it. … I’ve been training with one of the best BASE jumpers in the U.S.
“You guys keep [expletive] pushing me. You guys are the ones doing this to me. That’s what I get for opening my big mouth. I didn’t know we were going to do that many buys. I didn’t know.
“So, I said I’d do it. Now I’m going to do it.”
However, White’s promise proved to be nothing more than hot air as nearly a decade later he still hasn’t gone through with it.
Brock Lesnar vs. Frank Mir Wasn’t Intended Main Event
When people think back on UFC 100, the first thing many recall is the thrilling main event heavyweight title battle between Brock Lesnar and Frank Mir.
However, this blockbuster spectacle was not originally intended to headline the card.
Instead, Lesnar vs. Mir II was set to headline UFC 98 in Las Vegas a couple of months earlier, with welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre vs. Thiago Alves chalked up to headline UFC 100 instead.
Fate intervened though when Mir was forced to withdraw from UFC 98 due to having recently undergone knee surgery.
As such, the promotion took what was at the time an unusual move to have two title fights at UFC 100, moving Lesnar vs. Mir’s rematch to the main event, while retaining GSP in the co-main event, and their combined star power helped propel the event to a record 1.5 million pay-per-views and ensured it was a show that would live long in the memory.
Arturo Gatti’s Death
If it wasn’t for legendary boxer Arturo Gatti, perhaps Dana White may never have become the president of the UFC.
“The day I woke up and realized I wanted to go after this thing in the UFC was due to Arturo Gatti,” White once told The Bleacher Report. “He kept signing these massive deals with HBO even when he wasn’t a champ. Do you know why? Because people didn’t give a s— about that. People wanted to see a guy who went in and f—— went to war. They wanted to see a guy who was going to put it all on the line on Saturday night.”
With that in mind, it was a tragic twist of fate that just hours before UFC 100 began, the devastating news emerged that the legendary boxer had been found dead in an apartment in Brazil at the age of 37.
Gatti was discovered deceased in a pool of blood in the kitchen, with the bloodied strap of his wife’s purse nearby, which led to her arrest on suspicion of murder via strangulation.
However, despite Amanda Gatti having been made the sole beneficiary of his will not long before his death, a subsequent investigation revealed that Gatti had, in fact, committed suicide, hanging himself using the strap, before it snapped and his lifeless body fell to the floor.
The Limp Bizkit Fallout
In conjunction with UFC 100, the company announced that a special concert by Limp Bizkit, their first in eight years, would take place outside the Mandalay Bay venue prior to the show.
However, despite the rock concert having been heavily promoted, the UFC abruptly pulled the plug on it due to creative differences with the band.
While the UFC themselves offered no comment, the band later issued a public statement revealing that they had attempted to have the venue switched from the beach at the Mandalay Bay hotel to the ‘House Of Blues’ venue located elsewhere on the premises, claiming that the original location wasn’t suitable for a rock concert.
The UFC was said to be “unhappy” with that idea, stating that they wanted “a party atmosphere,” and as such insisted that it take place at the beach.
Meanwhile, further disagreements regarding the DVD rights for the concert led to the UFC canceling the concert altogether, much to the dismay of the band, who stated it was unfair to their fans, resulting in them hosting a free gig elsewhere in Las Vegas on the same night.
Octagon Girl Edith Labelle Fired
For UFC 100 the promotion had a full compliment of Octagon Girls on-board, but one member of the lineup was conspicuous by her absence, Edith Labelle.
Labelle had been an Octagon Girl for the best part of two years when rumors emerged that she had partied too hard on the eve of UFC 100 and was suffering from a bad hangover, leading to the UFC firing her on the spot.
Sometime later, Labelle came out with her own version of events, claiming that she’d gotten ill with food poisoning while attending some of the UFC’s pre-fight parties the night before.
When she phoned the UFC to let them know she was unwell the next day they told her to remain in her hotel room, and she was then given her marching orders after the event finished.
Nevertheless, despite her excuse her time as a UFC Octagon girl was over, though these days she can be seen in the Cage Warriors promotion.
Michael Bisping’s H-Bomb-Induced Memory Loss
One of the most unforgettable moments of UFC 100 was a stunningly brutal KO Michael Bisping suffered at the hands of Dan Henderson, with a thunderous ‘H-Bomb’ knocking him out cold before Hendo followed it up by dropping down on his unconscious rival with a flying elbow to the face.
However, even many years later, Bisping admits he still can’t remember much about one of the most devastating knockouts of all-time.
“After the fight, I don’t remember anything,” Bisping told BT Sport. “I remember being in the showers and I didn’t have a clue what was going on. I was saying to my manager at the time, ‘I can’t be knocked out cause I’m not fighting for another two months, what the hell are you talking about?’ and then these people come and go ‘Michael we need to take you to the hospital’. I’m like I’m not going to the hospital and then I’d say again, ‘what’s going on’, I’d just keep repeating myself.”
Bisping had just spent weeks trash talking with Henderson in the build-up to their fight after becoming sworn enemies while serving as team coaches on TUF, but in his post-KO stupor, he couldn’t remember any of that.
“I thought I was there to corner somebody, and I had been convinced to step in on short notice to fight. That’s what was going on in my head. I was like ‘why have I fought tonight? I’m not supposed to fight for another two months!’.
“Eventually they coerced me into the ambulance and we’re rolling to the hospital and after a while, it kind of dawned on me.”
Hit Him With Your Groin!
Greg Jackson is one of the sport’s most celebrated trainers and cornermen and is known for giving his fighters sage advice in between rounds that can help guide them to victory.
Rarely has his advice been needed more than when welterweight kingpin Georges St-Pierre fought Thiago Alves in the UFC 100 co-main event and found himself having to battle through adversity after suffering an injury mid-way through the fight.
“I try an arm-bar from his back and something happened…I felt my right abductor cracking…something went wrong,” St-Pierre later recalled in a blog for YardBarker.com. “I hear the noise of the ligament ripping. I end up in my guard and Thiago Alves landing big shot on me. I hold his head down, I wrap his arm, protect myself and I make a prayer in my head: “Please God, help me to get out of this situation, I work so hard to win this fight and give me the strength to keep going and fight well.”
Returning to his corner after the round was over, a worried sounding St-Pierre told Jackson, “I tore my groin.”
Normally caring and considerate, on this occasion Jackson was anything but.
“I don’t care, I don’t care Georges” Jackson matter-of-factly told him. “Hey, look at me! This is where champions are made. You understand me? Nothing matters now. Hit him with your groin!”
While he didn’t take him up on that suggestion, Jackson’s message was clear and St-Pierre returned to the fight with renewed determination, fighting through the pain barrier to successfully defend his title.
Rashad Evans & ‘Rampage’ Jackson Clash Outside The Cage
Around the time of UFC 100, another major fight between two big-name UFC stars, Rashad Evans and Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson was also in the works, and it almost unexpectedly took place in the stands that night in Las Vegas.
The two had just wrapped up their stint as opposing coaches on ‘The Ultimate Fighter Season 10,’ and by the time UFC 100 came around the buzz was that a volatile rivalry had developed between them and they were constantly at each other’s throats on set.
So much so, that off-camera during UFC 100, when ‘Rampage’ noticed Evans sitting by Dana White cageside the two soon became embroiled in a scuffle and verbal sparring match, though officials quickly got between them to prevent a full-scale brawl breaking out.
“We just got into it again,” Evans told ESPN Radio afterward. “It wasn’t the right place, but it just happens every single time we’re together, you know? It’s always something.”
The two eventually fought at UFC 114 a year later, raking in 1,050,000 pay-per-view buys – an impressive number for a non-title fight headliner.
Brock Lesnar vs. Budweiser
After Lesnar demolished Frank Mir in the main event of UFC 100, he proceeded to engage in one of the most over-the-top Octagon interviews ever, and landed himself in hot water with the UFC brass after bringing one of their most prestigious sponsors into the bargain.
After infamously telling Joe Rogan that he’d just pulled a horseshoe out of Mir’s ass and beat him over the head with it, Lesnar went completely off the rails by taking a pot-shot at the UFC’s marquee sponsor, Bud Light.
“I’m going to go home tonight, I’m going to drink a Coors Light, that’s a Coors Light, because Bud Light won’t pay me nothing! I’m going to sit down with my friends and family, and hell, I’m might even climb on top of my wife tonight.”
As big a star as he was, publicly criticizing a sponsor crossed a line, and so backstage Dana White was waiting for what he would later claim was, “a man-to-man talk,” while Lesnar described it as, “a whip the dog session.”
The end result was that at the post-fight press conference Lesnar was seemingly now Bud Light’s biggest fan.
“Brock Lesnar’s a good guy…and he loves Bud Light,” White stated to laughs from the assembled media as Lesnar took a swig from a conveniently placed bottle of the beer in front of him.
“I apologize to Bud Light,” the uncharacteristically humble Lesnar said. “I’m not biased, I drink any beer. Tonight I’m drinking Bud Light all night.”
Years later, Lesnar had a different recollection of his drinking choices that night though.
“I actually had two different beers that night,” Lesnar said with a wry smile. “One for the public, and one for me to enjoy.”
Jon Fitch vs. Paulo Thiago Closed Out The Show
UFC 100 concluded with a blockbuster trio of fights featuring plenty of thrills and spills, culminating in Brock Lesnar bringing the house down with his TKO destruction of Frank Mir in the event’s grand-finale.
That’s the way most people remember it anyway, but in actual fact, the final fight on the historic, star-packed line-up that night was Jon Fitch vs. Paulo Thiago.
This wasn’t by design though. The two welterweights had been scheduled to fight earlier on the main card, but time constraints due to there being two, five-round title fights still to come, the decision was made during the event to postpone Fitch vs. Thiago until after the main event.
Given that Lesnar vs. Mir had already delivered a stunning cresendo to the evening’s entertainment, it proved to be a virtually impossible act to follow, particularly given that Fitch was not exactly known for being a crowd-pleaser.
As such, most fans in the building that night chose not to stick around for the unlikely conclusion to such a historic night as Fitch doggedly ground his way to a unanimous decision victory.