Things were done a little differently back in the day. UFC 3 was a no-hold's barred, 8-man tournament, with the final winner taking home $60,000.
There were no weight classes. No time limits. No rounds. No judge's scoring. Once you entered the cage, you fought until one fighter submitted, got knocked out, someone threw in the towel or the ref stopped the fight.
At the time, Royce Gracie was arguably the most famous martial artist on the entire planet. He had won both previous UFC bouts with ease, 7 submission wins totaling less than 11 minutes inside of the Octagon.
However, that night would find Gracie pushed to his limits for the first time in his fighting career. In the opening round of the tournament, he was paired up against Kimo Leopold, a 6'2" brawler outweighing Gracie by over 75 pounds.
After a grueling back and forth war, both fighters were completely fatigued, with Gracie having to be carried out of the Octagon afterwards. UFC 3 would mark the first UFC event that Royce Gracie did not win.
It was arguably one of the most defining moments in fight history, and a great reminder of a bygone era of martial arts competition.
Leopoldo came out swinging against Gracie, who quickly got him up against the cage.
As the two fought along the wall of the octagon, the two forces actually exploded through the door and into the crowd.
Gracie did his best to try to bring Leopoldo down, but the dude just wouldn't drop!
Gracie used sheer force to keep Leopoldo pinned.
Finally, after several knees, Gracie is finally able to bring Kimo down.
Only to find himself in the worse position.
The fight continued to Gracie's guard, where he used Kimo's own hair against him in an effort to control the larger fighter.
Leopoldo tries to retreat, but Gracie keeps him in control.
Gracie beats on Leopoldo's face from below, as the larger man begins to visibly tire.
After Leopoldo gets free, he tries to take Gracie down, but it's Gracie who gets the upper hand... literally. He gets Leopoldo into an armbar against the cage wall.
And that was all she wrote...
Gracie was so exhausted that he needed to be helped back to the locker room.
His victory over Leopoldo secured his place in the semi-finals against Harold Howard.
Unfortunately, he was just too exhausted. Due to fatigue, his corner threw in the towel before the fight with Howard even began.
Steve Jennum ultimately won the tournament after replacing Ken Shamrock, who had to drop out due to an injury.