It started with a belch and ended with a bite. But it was the kick in between that made UFC 1, celebrating its 25th birthday Monday, truly memorable.
It came out of nowhere, a visceral shock to the system, violence in a moment we'd been trained to expect anything but—when a man was down on his knees. Remember those quaint old days when attacking someone on the ground was as uncouth an act as you could imagine? Few do, but it's part of UFC's lasting legacy, one that began in the first 30 seconds of its first televised fight.
If you've seen it, it's probably seared into your memory. If not, it happened like this. Former sumo wrestler Teila Tuli had lost his balance against Dutch karate star Gerard Gordeau, and they both slammed into the wall of the Octagon. As Tuli attempted to right himself, the kick from Gordeau was already coming, a right roundhouse right to the kisser, launching both Tuli's tooth into the crowd and a martial arts revolution.