In May 2006, Royce Gracie returned to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to fight Matt Hughes in the main event of UFC 60, which took place inside the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California.
Less than 200 miles away, a young Brazilian up-and-comer named Glover Teixeira made his World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) return at WEC 20: "Cinco de Mayhem," inside Lemoore's Tachi Palace Hotel & Casino.
Not that anyone was paying attention.
Despite the fact that he was cornered by John Hackleman, head trainer of then-UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell, there was very little to be excited about when talking about the future of Teixeira. Billed as "The Brazilian Pitbull," he was just 2-2 in his young mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
And fresh off a unanimous decision loss to the talented but unheralded Ed Herman.
That's probably why he was paired off against Carlton Jones, a 32-year-old slugger with a penchant for dropping bombs. Known as "The Councilman," Jones was coming off a loss to Shane Carwin at WEC 17 after trying -- quite unsuccessfully -- to out-punch the monstrous "Engineer."
Both fighters were on the rebound and ready to throw down in "The Golden State."
Here's what happened:
Teixeira enters the cage as Tool's "Sober" blares over the loudspeakers. Jones counters with nondescript death metal. Quick touch of gloves and both men unleash hell, fists flying, Don Frye vs. Yoshihiro Takayama-style. The Brazilian takes one clean to the dome and dives for a takedown, but is easily denied.
They immediately reset and start swinging for the fences in a wild, artless display of heavy leather.
Jones lumbers in for the killing blow and gets taken down as punishment for his aggression. "Welcome to Tie-share-uhs world," says the hapless color commentator. Less than a minute into the fight and Teixeira already has side control before effortlessly transitioning to mount.
Those jiu-jitsu black belts sure do come in handy.
Jones employs the Resident Evil defense, when a fighter -- complete with vacant expression -- sticks both arms straight out and moans. It does little to keep Teixeira from raining down punches and referee John Shirley has no choice but to intervene.
"Once 'The Pitbull' locked his jaws," mused the play-by-play man, "It was all over, as Carlton couldn't solve the puzzle."
The win did more than just mark a successful debut with WEC, it kicked off a 20-fight winning streak that has spanned nearly eight years. In addition, five of those 20 wins have taken place inside the Octagon, and helped propel Teixeira into a light heavyweight title shot.
Where reigning division kingpin Jon Jones will be waiting.
They'll hook 'em up in the main event of the aptly-named UFC 172: "Jones vs. Teixeira" pay-per-view (PPV) event this Saturday night (April 26, 2014) from inside the Baltimore Arena in Baltimore, Maryland, in a 205-pound showdown that will likely send the winner into a title defense against Alexander Gustafsson.
For more on UFC 172 click here.