UFC 33: Victory in Vegas was a mixed martial arts event held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship at the Mandalay Bay Events Center on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 28, 2001. The event was seen live on pay per view in the United States, and later released on home video.
The card was headlined by three Title Bouts, Tito Ortiz vs. Vladimir Matyushenko for the Light Heavyweight Title (Vitor Belfort was unable to fight due to arm injury while training), Dave Menne vs Gil Castillo for the new Middleweight Title and Jens Pulver vs Dennis Hallman for the Lightweight Title.
UFC 33 was the first mixed martial arts event sanctioned by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, under the Unified Rules Of Mixed Martial Arts Combat, which was first established by the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board in 2000.
UFC 33 was considered a disaster by many, failing to captivate the new pay-per-view audience due to the large number of decisions on the card. The Ortiz-Matyushenko and Pulver-Hallman fights in particular have been judged the two most uneventful five-round title fights in UFC history by some metrics. Additionally, the broadcast ran over and cut out early on many cable systems (in the middle of the Ortiz-Matyushenko fight). After this event, the UFC reduced the number of live fights to five and never again scheduled three title matches on a UFC card.
During the post fight press conference for UFC 111, in response to questions about a perceived boring fight between Georges St. Pierre and Dan Hardy, UFC president Dana White commented that "UFC 33 is the only one I can remember where every fight sucked."
- Thomas wins by unanimous decision at 15:00.
- Almeida wins by submission (triangle choke) at 4:06 of the first round.
- Nakao wins by KO (punch) at :15 of the second round.
- Serra wins by majority decision at 15:00.
- Liddell wins by unanimous decision at 15:00.
- Menne wins by unanimous decision at 25:00 to become the first UFC Middleweight champion.
- Pulver wins by unanimous decision at 25:00 to defend the UFC Lightweight Championship.
- Ortiz wins by unanimous decision at 25:00 to defend the UFC Light Heavyweight Championship.
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