Should he defeat his opponent Chris Wilson in their upcoming UFC 82 bout, Jon Fitch will become only the second fighter in the UFC history to achieve eight consecutive victories in the Octagon. But not without some controversy:
Royce Gracie holds the current record for most consecutive wins in the UFC. Gracie accomplished his eight victories over the course of the first three UFC tournaments. After defeating Kimo Leopoldo in the opening round of the UFC 3 tournament, Royce was not able to continue fighting. Instead of withdrawing from the tournament between bouts, Gracie entered the Octagon to face Harold Howard in the semi-final — only to have his corner throw in the towel as soon as the bout began.
MMA pundits disagree on whether to count “the fight that wasn’t” as a loss on Gracie’s record. Sherdog.com lists it as a loss; so does UFC.com. FCFighter.com shows this bout as a No Contest. UFC lore has it that Royce chose to enter the Octagon and throw in the towel instead of quitting between bouts so that he would receive the “show money” for the second fight. Had he skipped that fight completely, he would have extended his streak to eleven consecutive wins following his performance in the UFC 4 tournament – a record not likely to be disputed for a long time to come.
But wait, there’s more! It turns out there is another fighter who can make a claim to already have matched Royce Gracie’s record. That man is The Ultimate Fighter Season 2 Heavyweight winner, Rashad Evans.
While Evans’ UFC record is commonly listed as 6 wins, 0 losses and 1 draw, he acquired three additional victories during his performance on the reality show. It just so happens that bouts that took place during Season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter were considered professional MMA bouts by Nevada State Athletic Commission (see NSAC official results here). All bouts that took place during seasons 1 and 3-6 of The Ultimate Fighter are considered exhibition bouts — most likely due to the fact that Season 2 bouts were all 3 rounds in duration, while all other seasons followed the 2+1 round structure (a two-round fight with an additional round only in case of a draw on judges’ scorecards).
Once again, there is some disagreement about how these bouts should be counted. UFC.com does not include any of the Season 2 bouts in Rashad’s UFC bout list. Sherdog also does not include those bouts on his record - but FCFighter does.
For the sake of consistency and fairness to other TUF competitors, we will not consider these fights as being “official” UFC fights – and so Evans’ win streak ends at 5. However, they will be considered as professional fights for the ranking purpose.
Posted on February 26, 2008 by oleg