UFC Classics Collection, Vol. 5-8
Starring Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Oleg Taktarov
Lionsgate Home Entertainment
Release date: November 11, 2008
You may be asking yourself “Hey, what the hell is this sports stuff on a Geek site!?” and the answer to that is… hell, I don’t know, leave me alone!
As you all know, we cover all forms of media, including DVDs. This paired with the fact that I fancy myself a geek/sports fanatic hybrid who loves himself a little UFC means, a special review for all the other hybrids out there, UFC Classics Collection, Vol. 5-8!
I’ve been watching Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) since around 1993, which is a little before when these DVDs took place. Here we have UFC 5, 6, 7 and 8 which was a time much different than what the sport has now evolved to. Fitting enough, we just very recently had UFC 91 take place, so it’s been a long road.
The sport is easily the fastest growing one out there right now, but it is commonly mistaken as barbaric and it is often titled “human cock fighting” — nothing like that super-duper boxing thing everyone cherishes. The truth is, MMA is the ultimate in human competition and it’s a hell of a lot more safer than it looks. Yeah, sometimes there’s blood and maybe a broken bone, but to date, only one death and that was at some very low, probably illegal event. Most of the time when a dude goes down in MMA the fight gets stopped, unlike boxing which allows men to repeatedly have their brains shaken around in their skull like a freakin’ maraca. Oh, and let us not forget… technically, fishing is the most dangerous sport out there. Case closed.
Alright, now that the love letter is over, on we go.
If you’re a fan today, you may or may not remember these old school battles. Back then the sport definitely WAS human cock fighting with everything from headbutts to groin shots allowed. It was illegal in many states and was basically marketed off that violence. There were no weight classes, 164 lbs fought 400 lbs if they had to… and a lot of times the 164-pounder would win. The format was tournament and winners would fight 3 or 4 times a night, which is impossible today unless you’re in Japan. There were no rounds, either; people would literally lay on top of each other for half an hour and do barely a thing, which made for some unbearably boring fights to compliment some of the chaotic brawls you might see. It was definitely not a better time.
Now the fighters are the best athletes on the planet. They train in ways that would blow your mind and the skill most of these guys have is nothing short of amazing. It’s easily surpassed boxing already, which isn’t tough when you compare the two and the fact that boxers make like $23 Million a fight where top MMA fighters make like $300,000. Most who hate it will always hate it, which is fine… something like that isn’t always appealing. But if you like sport and competition, it’s not to be missed.
Even though the sport is so incredibly better now than it was before and it is in these DVDs, that does not mean you shouldn’t run out and get this set. I definitely suggest running out and grabbing it if you’re as big a fan as I am. It’s really crazy to see how things were only 15 years ago and to see the foundation that was layed out before Zuffa purchased it and revolutionized the sport. If you’ve been a fan as long as I have, you’ll enjoy this even more because it’s all the crazy shit you rememeber watching when you were a teenager and felt like you were breaking the law watching all of these “BANNED” bare knuckle fights.
To help you understand exactly what this is, it’s easiest just to reach back to the geek side and compare it to a classic movie. Bloodsport. Yes, ladies and gentleman, that brilliant 80’s underground fighting tournament movie with Jean Claude Van Damme is exactly what this is and exactly where the sport started.
Frank Dux must be so proud.