The UFC rarely holds events on Friday nights, because well, Saturday nights are for fights as they say. Even more rare than the UFC holding a card on a Friday night, the UFC holding a card on Friday the 13th. In fact, the pairing of the two has only happened once and it was nearly 20 years ago.
The UFC held UFC 16 – Battle on the Bayou on March 13, 1998 from the Pontchartrain Center in Kenner, Louisiana.
Friday the 13th is considered an unlucky day in Western superstition. The Friday the 13th date grew more notoriety as the horror film franchise based on the life of fictional character Jason Voorhees spiked in popularity.
Friday the 13th – March 13, 1998 – UFC 16 – Battle on the Bayou
The rules were a bit different then. There were no rounds yet, and the weight classes were not what we see today.
UFC 16 featured the first ever UFC lightweight tournament (for fighters under 170 lbs), as well as a middleweight championship bout, a heavyweight and a middleweight superfight, and two alternate bouts in case of tournament injury.
UFC 16 marked the first appearance of the influential fighter Pat Miletich, who would go on to create Miletich Fighting Systems. Miletich won the tournament after Mikey Burnett withdrew from the tournament due to a broken finger and was replaced by Chris Brennan. Miletich submitted Brennan in the finals.
Tank Abbott served as a guest commentator for the Heavyweight Superfight.
The Middleweight Championship bout, was billed to be champion Frank Shamrock’s biggest test, in Battlecade star, Igor Zinoviev. This would end up being the final match of Zinoviev’s career, as he suffered a career-ending collarbone injury from Shamrock’s victorious KO slam.
Kimo Leopoldo returned to the UFC fought top Japanese fighter Tsuyoshi Kohsaka. Kimo dominated the first portion of the fight but began to fatigue and eventually lost the fight by a decision.
UFC 16 Results:
Frank Shamrock (c) defeated Igor Zinoviev via KO (slam) 0:22 – (Shamrock retained middleweight championship)
Tsuyoshi Kohsaka defeated Kimo Leopoldo via unanimous decision – 15:00
Jerry Bohlander defeated Kevin Jackson via technical submission (armbar) – 10:21
Lightweight Tournament Finals
Pat Miletich defeated Chris Brennan via submission (shoulder choke) – 9:01
Lightweight Tournament Semifinals
Mikey Burnett defeated Eugenio Tadeu via TKO (punches) – 9:46
Pat Miletich defeated Townsend Saunders via split decision – 15:00
Lightweight Tournament Alternate bouts
Laverne Clark defeated Josh Stuart via TKO (punches) – 1:15
Chris Brennan defeated Courtney Turner via submission (armbar) – 1:20