On heels of Ric Flair’s excellent ‘Nature Boy” 30 for 30 film, the UFC is getting the same treatment; in podcast form. A 30 for 30 podcast, ‘No Rules: The Birth of UFC’ dropped this week.
Early reviews praise the show for unearthing new insights into the first UFC event.
ESPN spoke with producer Chris Berube about the podcast.
*How close UFC 1 come to not even happening?
“It depends who you ask. There are a lot of lucky breaks in this story, and there were many moments where it could have fallen apart. Something a lot of people focus on is a fighter meeting, where they were all supposed to sign a waiver. There weren’t many rules at UFC 1 but there were some, and a lot of those were rules the organizers didn’t think would be controversial that ended up being very controversial.
I think the more interesting question is: How close did it come to never happening again? The first fight in the UFC was 26 seconds long. If all the fights had been that long, it wouldn’t have been a full feature-length broadcast and people probably would have hated it. They god lucky the other fights went the way they did.”
*Did you get a sense if the fighters, besides Royce Gracie, ever wonder what would have happened if they’d won?
“For sure. One question that kept coming up was what the UFC would have been like if Royce had lost. It’s impossible to answer that obviously, but I think most agree that Royce winning and setting up a rivalry with Ken Shamrock really helped the UFC.
For the UFC to set up an iconic rivalry right away, with two physically different guys with different attitudes — you know, a lot of people told me they thought the boxer was going to win. The biggest, hardest-hitting guy, that just sounded logical. And if that had happened, I don’t know what would have happened to the UFC. I don’t know what would have happened if a savate fighter from Holland had won. I don’t know what would have happened if the Gracie family hadn’t been able to prove the point they were trying to, about a smaller fighter beating a bigger fighter.”
Check out the full show below