Maurice Smith Biography: Maurice L. Smith is a former American kickboxer and MMA fighter. He was the WKC world light heavyweight champion, the WKA world heavyweight champion, and the ISKA world heavyweight champion in kickboxing.
Maurice Smith Biography
Maurice Smith was born on December 13, 1961, in Washington, United States, and began training in martial arts at the age of 13 after watching Bruce Lee’s Chinese Connection & having to flee a fight. He studied karate, kung fu, and taekwondo before finding kickboxing at the age of 18. Smith went to West Seattle High School, where he played football and gymnastics.
Maurice Smith Wiki
|Date Of Birth
|December 13, 1961
|Washington, United States
|Mixed Martial Artist
Maurice Smith Career
Smith won his first seven amateur kickboxing bouts before turning pro. On March 4, 1982, he fought World Kickboxing Council Light Heavyweight Champion Tony Morelli, who defeated him unanimously after seven rounds. Upon realizing he had lost due to a lack of cardio, Smith began intensive cardio training, and fourteen months later, he returned to the ring as a new combatant. He won the championship by knockout via roundhouse kick against Morelli in the seventh round.
Later that year, he was scheduled to fight Don “The Dragon” Wilson in a non-title bout in Japan. Although Smith lost the fight, he showed the kickboxing community that he was on the rise. Maurice moved up a weight class and knocked out Travis Everett with low kicks to win the World Kickboxing Association heavyweight championship. In 1984, Smith came to Holland to compete and defeated Marcel Swank in the first round. Smith went ten years without facing a loss.
In 1991, he also had a notable victory over Stan Longinidis, who, at the time, was rapidly ascending the rankings and was regarded as a highly potential fighter. Maurice won this 12-round bout by split decision after recovering from a first-round TKO by Stan and overcoming an early onslaught.
1993 Smith and seven of the world’s finest Light Heavyweight and Heavyweight kickboxers were invited to the K-1 Grand Prix ’93. Smith won his first match by defeating Toshiyuki Atokawa unanimously in the quarterfinals. In the semifinals, he faced future K-1 legend and Dutch fighter Ernesto Hoost, who knocked him out with a left high kick in the final round, terminating his tournament.
Maurice Smith MMA Career
Smith’s initial contact with mixed rules of the fight occurred in November 1989, when he was invited by the Japanese professional wrestling promotion UWF Newborn. He was supposed to challenge up-and-coming wrestler Masakatsu Funaki in a mixed-rules bout, but Funaki suffered an injury and was replaced by his training partner Minoru Suzuki.
Throughout the fight, Smith countered Suzuki’s takedown attempts by employing pro-wrestling-governed rope scapes and a rudimentary ability to sprawl, striking him out multiple times with strikes before finishing him off with a right hook in the fourth round. The event sold out the Tokyo Dome and smashed records for attendance. On October 4, 1992, Smith and Funaki competed in an exhibition bout for Pro Wrestling Fujiwara Gumi, which resulted in a draw.
On July 27, 1997, at UFC 14, Smith fought UFC Heavyweight Champion Mark Coleman in a title bout. Smith surprised the mixed martial arts world with a unanimous decision victory to capture the UFC Heavyweight Championship despite being a significant underdog for the bout. Smith became the first striker to defeat a world-class wrestler with this victory.
Smith could counter Coleman’s famous ground-and-pound attacks by deploying an active guard. Coleman was tired after nearly 15 minutes of attempting to harm Smith through his guard, allowing Smith to capitalize on the feet. Ultimately, he succeeded against a tired and injured Coleman.