THE CONTENDERS The Greatest Pro Grappling Event Nobody Saw!


I really enjoyed that event. The intro videos of everyone’s training was really cool too. MattHume, Kenny Monday, Dan Henderson, Frank Shamrock…

This has some great competitors for it’s time. I remember taping this off of poverty. In fact every time I hear"Simply the best" this is the first thing to come to mind

I watched it when it aired. I liked the concept.

i also, along with another 4998 people purchased this. I uploaded the tape i made of the ppv some years ago, which is still to date the only decent copy to ever surface. Everything before was tape trader nine degrees of separation from the original


Great show, watched it live

I remember it well.

Hendo scream

John Perreti for whatever people may want to say about him REALLY knew talent in combat sports and put together some monster event + introduced legit talent



I was one of the few who ordered the PPV in 1997. I was sixteen and it was the first grappling only event I ever saw. I highly enjoyed seeing recognizable MMA fighters in a different environment, although I was a bit frustrated by the BJJ guys constantly pulling guard and how the rules seemed to disadvantage the wrestlers.

Fun bit of trivia… this aired on the same date as the first ever Pride event.

I saw this PPV in a strip club. If you gave them some $ they would give you a copy of the recording. It was magical.

The contenders was cool, but John Peretti was the absolute wooooorst

may have beena bit of a character but name me a promoter in the history of MMA who had a better eye for talent than that guy?? look at the names he brought to the sport and at that time
Kenyn monday
royce algers
John lewis
Igot zinoviev
Maurice smith
Matt hume
Carlos Newton
Erik paulsen
The Carlson gracie team

Yall legit crazy if you dislike John P as a match maker and talent scout, none better to date.
Scott Coker knows whats up too, but I mean given the era Peretti was working magic


Peretti’s homoerotic references as a color commentator made me uneasy, I’m sure it sent some first timers watching screaming for the exits, never to watch an event again. I’d also add Ralph Gracie, Paul Jones, Johil de Oliveira, Ali “doobie” Mahoobi, Bart Vale, John Lober and Pat Miltiich for some of the top talent Peretti used.


Yes, but he also was blind, listen to him commentate the john lober vs kevin jackson fight. He just talks down about Jackson the entire time even saying “he doesn’t know how to finish” seconds before Jackson floats over and sinks in the arm triangle.
How he found that talent I’ll never know given he seemed to have no eye for actual fights while they were happening

Exactly De_braco… guys a hot mess personally but in terms seeking out talent and putting the real guys in the mix?? I forgot half those guys

Johil didnt quite live up the the buzz but given the BJJ vs luta livre competition at the Peretti did a great job seeking these guys and putting them on …

Yeah had pat on there too and you know hoe influencial he went on to become

good stuff thanks for the additions

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Frank’s pre fight video of him flying over the camera made perfect sense.

how stylish is Frank Shamrock with the Reverse De La Riva inversion to the heel hook, back in 1997? Amazing

lol true but you know how it is some people just like to speak to hear the sounds of thier own voice…

i dont know how maybe someone else was doing the work but he had connections to some of the most influential fighters of the day

Indeed! The preshow is worth watching if only for the training vignettes of the various competitors and Kurt Angle about causing Gables’ head to explode by picking the jiu-jitsu guys and shooters to win.