Patrick Smith vs. Johnny Rhodes
If Patrick Smith was to go on to the final and have a chance to face Royce Gracie, he needed to get by the boxing and karate skills of Johnny Rhodes. Rhodes, by this time had spent more time in the octagon than any other fighter and at 39 years of age you wondered where he got the energy.
Like most of the fights since the quarter-finals, this bout was quick lasting only 1:07. It opened with numerous exchanges of punches and kicks and Rhodes displayed the straight right he used to defeat Ettish to some effect.
But eventually the fighters came together and Smith got the upper hand. Forcing Rhodes up against the cage, Smith first tried a standing headbutt while the two were closed and followed it with a knee to Rhodes torso. In defense Johnny lowered his head and Patrick took full advantage applying a guillotine choke. McCarthy stopped the fight as soon as Rhodes tapped.
Patrick Smith vs. Johnny Rhodes Video
Royce Gracie vs. Remco Pardoel
Unlike later incompetitions where all fighters with grappling skills became commonplace, this fight was only the second time two ground fighters faced each other in the octagon (the other was when Royce Gracie beat Ken Shamrock in the semi-final of ).
Many thought the fight between Gracie and Ichihara would be the highlight fight of the night but anyone who understood the dominance of ground fighting in matches such as this knew that this would likely be the one to watch.
Unfortunately, Gracie showed that his style of jujitsu was superior to Padoel’s submitting the Dutchman at 1:31 and the fight wasn’t as entertaining as one might have thought.
Gracie brought the bigger man to the canvas although with some difficulty. He did so by shooting forward and grabbing Remco’s waist. Quickly afterward, Royce slid behind the Dutchman gaining his back.
Royce used his legs to hook Remco’s right leg as Pardoel unsuccessfully tried to hip toss the Brazilian. Remco lost his balance and fell to the ground where Gracie still had the Dutchman’s back. Gracie then took hold of the lapel of Pardoel’s gi as he did to Ichihara and choked out the larger opponent.