While still unannounced, details surrounding UFC’s “Ultimate Fight Night 21” are beginning to emerge. Though reports broke last week that the event will be held in North Carolina, a venue and city were still up in the air. Today, MMASpot confirmed, through stadium officials, that Bojangles’ Coliseum in Charlotte will be the destination for the Wednesday, March 31 event, marking UFC’s first visit back to the city in fifteen years. The televised event is scheduled to serve as a lead-in to “The Ultimate Fighter: Season 11” which premiers on Spike TV later that evening.
UFC’s roots are deep in Charlotte, holding two of their first five events in the city. UFC 3, which featured the tournament style, no holds barred, bare knuckled, no weight classes era of the sport, was the first event held there in 1994. That event is best remembered as the night Royce Gracie and Kimo Leopoldo met in one of the most talked about UFC fights of all time.
Less than a year later, UFC would return. This time with the same tournament format, adding in the first ever “Superfight” between Ken Shamrock and Royce Gracie. Shamrock had missed his chance to avenge an earlier loss to Gracie at UFC 3 and was unable to compete at UFC 4. So the matchmakers at the time removed all chance, bypassed the tournament, and booked the grudge match between the two. That fight went to a time limit draw after 36 minutes, making it the first UFC event that featured time limits for the competitors. Dan “The Beast” Severn won the tournament that night.
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