Before MMA came to be the sport that we know and love today, it was a crazy concoction of martial arts that knew no boundaries. There were no rules, aside from not being allowed to bite your opponent. Or eye-gouging for that matter. But perhaps most perplexing of all is that there were no weight classes.
Yes, even the tiniest little dudes could go up against the super heavyweights. It was mayhem and pandemonium served on a platter for mass consumption. It’s also probably what gave MMA a bad reputation in the early days.
MMA had little to no rules in its early days
The idea of a no-holds barred competition that can pit anyone against anyone regardless of size, skill and weight. It was a mind-boggling concept. Yet MMA persevered, pushed through with these terrible mismatches of epic proportions.
People seem to have forgotten about these days of the past. We now have a widely-accepted ruleset that governs the sport and makes sure our athletes are safe. We now have weight classes that divide our fighters. Gone are the times when David met Goliath in a steel cage.
Youtube however, has apparently not forgotten. A lot of the early size mismatches can still be seen today if you know where to look. Let’s check out the Four of the Craziest David vs Goliath Bouts from MMA’s Dark Ages.
Paul Varelans vs Marco Ruas
Back when the UFC featured ladder tournaments where fighters fought more than once on a single night, Brazilian fighter Marco “The King of the Streets” Ruas met Paul “The Polar Bear” Varelans at UFC 7.
After besting Larry Cureton and Remco Pardoel in his first two bouts of the evening, Ruas took on Varelans. To put things in perspective, Ruas stood at 6’1” and 210 lbs. while Varelans weighed close to 300 lbs. and stood at a towering 6’8”. The height and weight advantage Varelans had was truly significant.
Didn’t matter one bit to Ruas though, as he was able to take down the much larger man.