UFC 9: Motor City Madness
UFC 9: Motor City Madness was a mixed martial arts event held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship on May 17, 1996, at the Cobo Arena in Detroit, Michigan.
The event was seen live on pay per view in the United States, and later released on home video.
UFC 9 was the first UFC production not to feature the tournament format (which was brought back by popular demand at UFC 10), instead it was an entire card of predetermined matchups. The card featured seven bouts, including a "Superfight" between Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock, and an alternate bout to fill time for the pay-per-view broadcast.
The UFC drew national criticism leading up to the event, due in large part to Arizona Senator John McCain's letter writing campaign against the "brutal spectacle" of no holds barred fighting. After a legal battle in the Detroit courts up until the day of the show, the UFC was allowed to continue, with modified rules.
The special rules included no closed fisted strikes – a rule which referee 'Big' John McCarthy attempted to enforce, but with little success. Before the show, fighters were warned not to use closed fisted strikes under penalty of arrest. Although many fights that night included closed fisted striking, no fighters were arrested.
Due in large part to this special rule, the Superfight between Dan Severn and Ken Shamrock is widely considered one of the worst MMA fights of all time, with the fighters circling each other for nearly 20 minutes with little or no contact.
Following the legal battle over UFC 9, Senator John McCain was successful in pulling UFC pay-per-view broadcasts from numerous cable systems, including TCI cable.