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UFC 3: The American Dream was a mixed martial arts (MMA) event held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on September 9, 1994, at Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event was seen live on pay-per-view in the United States, and was later released on home video.
UFC 3 used an eight-man tournament format, with the winner receiving $60,000. The tournament had no weight classes or weight limits. Each match had no time limit or rounds; therefore no judges were used for the night. Competitors could only win a match by submission, throwing in the towel, knockout, or referee stoppage. This event marked the first time the referee was given the authority to stop the contest. The referee for the night was once again "Big" John McCarthy.
Replacement fighter Steve Jennum won the tournament by defeating Harold Howard via submission due to strikes, despite only fighting in the finals. Jennum was a replacement for Ken Shamrock, who made it to the finals but withdrew due to injury. This was the first UFC tournament that was not won by Royce Gracie (who could not continue due to fatigue). After Jennum won the UFC 3 tournament as an alternate, the UFC instituted alternate qualifying bouts to balance out fatigue, and lessen the advantage that alternates previously had entering the tournament without fighting quarterfinal bouts. UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre mentioned that watching Jennum win UFC 3 contributed to his decision to compete in mixed martial arts.
- Hackney defeated Yarborough via TKO (punches) at 1:59.
- Ken Shamrock vs. Christopher Leininger
- Shamrock defeated Leininger via submission (punches) at 4:49.
- Harold Howard vs. Roland Payne
- Howard defeated Payne via KO (punch) at 0:46.
- Gracie defeated Leopoldo via submission (armlock) at 4:40. Due to fatigue and dehydration sustained during the fight, Gracie was unable to continue in the tournament.
- Ken Shamrock vs. Felix Lee Mitchell
- Shamrock defeated Mitchell via submission (rear naked choke) at 4:36. Mitchell was a replacement for Hackney, who could not continue due to injury.
- Howard was given a bye due to Gracie's inability to continue the tournament due to exhaustion from the previous bout.
- Jennum defeated Howard via submission (punches) at 1:31. Jennum was a replacement for Ken Shamrock who withdrew due to injury.
UFC 3 bracket
|Felix Lee Mitchell1||4:43|
1Keith Hackney was forced to withdraw due to injury. He was replaced by Felix Lee Mitchell.
2Royce Gracie's corner threw in the towel before the fight. Harold Howard then advanced to the finals of the tournament, since there were no other opponents for Howard to face (the two alternate competitors for the card were already being utilized to replace the injured Ken Shamrock and Keith Hackney).
3It was announced that Ken Shamrock was injured at the event and could not continue, so he was replaced with Steve Jennum.
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