STUDIO: Lions Gate Home Entertainment
MSRP: $19.98
RUNNING TIME: 90 Minutes
Alternate Angle Fights
Bonus Fights
Hall of Fame Interview

The Pitch

“In UFC 1, a bunch of guys got pummeled and dominated by a grappler. Watch as they futilely try to incorporate grappling into their own repertoire and get dominated once again.”

The Humans

Royce Gracie, Pat Smith, Remco Pardoel, Johnny Rhodes and Jim Brown

The Nutshell

Once again, fighters from around the globe converge in Colorado to determine who the greatest fighter really is. The first UFC was billed as a battle of different martial arts to determine the superior fighting style. This element has been diminished in UFC 2, as it quickly became apparent that only a few styles are well suited to the octagon. The fighters are still clinging to their basic styles, but from their interviews it becomes apparent that they all recognize the importance of grappling.

The fighters in this tournament have all put in a small amount of time cross training in grappling disciplines and are all decent fighters as opposed to the tomato cans appearing in UFC 1. The tournament is slowly evolving into a competition to determine the greatest and most well-rounded fighter, not the superior martial art.

"Hi. I’m Royce Gracie. I enjoy small animals, long walks on the beach and candlelight dinners. If you choose to go on a date with me, I’ll put your heart in a guillotine choke and never let go."

The Package

UFC Classics 2 is presented in full screen format in Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo sound. The producers of the program learned from their mistakes in UFC 1 and have toned down on the awful video effects. The event has a much more professional demeanor and the graphics packages reflect it.

This volume includes a different interview with Royce Gracie than the one on the first event. Royce explains why his family is so proud of their fighting style and why they’re so eager to teach others how to utilize it. To fit in its original timeframe, the PPV broadcast of UFC 2 only showed the matches from the quarterfinals on up. A few of the preliminary fights are available as extra features. These matches are of the same visual quality as the original broadcast and contain the same commentators and video packages. These fights also come with the option of two viewing angles.

The Lowdown

The inaugural UFC event, while an interesting concept, was less than impressive in its execution. The fights were short and brutal. Most of the competitors had no idea what to expect and found their fighting styles completely useless in the context of a real fight (Honestly, boxing gloves? Are you serious?). Royce Gracie and Ken Shamrock, the only competitors in the first competition skilled in grappling, easily dispatched the competition. After seeing the complete domination of grapplers, the promoters of UFC took a different approach for the second event.

In UFC 2, the promoters realized that a competition between various martial arts styles wouldn’t work. UFC 2 simplifies the field of competitors into grapplers and kickboxers. Gone are the large out of shape white guys slinging ham-fisted punches and getting winded in thirty seconds. The athletes participating in this tournament are well skilled in their craft and all recognize the importance of grappling and submissions. Unfortunately for them, in the time it took them to grasp the basics of Gracie style, Royce has become even better at it.

Using a split in martial arts? Expect a call from Van Damme’s lawyers.

As the fighters become more informed and know what to expect, the brutality of the tournament is greatly reduced. Only one fighter gets taken out in a violent fashion, with the majority of matches ending in submissions. It’s a good thing too, since the referees still have little clue how to handle a match at this point. UFC stalwart Big John McCarthy makes his debut, and while his catchphrase and competence as a ref would ultimately make him a fan favorite, he seems over his head here. Matches are allowed to continue even as fighters tap out and yell for as long as ten seconds.

UFC 2 presents the slow but steady evolution of MMA fighting, making for an interesting but incredibly sloppy event. None of the fighters have any idea how to escape holds or even how to change guards, meaning that the first person to get taken down always loses. The sport was still in its infancy, and it would take a few more years of Gracie dominance before the rest of the field could catch up. UFC 2 is educational viewing for modern fans of MMA and entertainment for anyone who prefers the no-rules atmosphere of yesteryear.

7.0 out of 10