The Truth Behind Fred Ettish and the Fetal Fighting Technique
Recently I picked up "No Holds Barred" by Clyde Gentry, a really good book detailing the history of MMA here in America. On of the most suprising parts is a chapter at the end where the author comes to the defense of the none other than Fred Ettish. After reading what really transpired up to and during his infamous fight at UFC II, I have a whole different outlook on the man.
Here are some of the things Gentry lays out in the book:
First, contrary to popular belief Ettish was not a point fighter. He had no interest in point tournaments and believed the UFC would be a better test for his art.
Secondly, Ettish only had two weeks to get ready for the event. He had applied for UFC II months ahead of time, but was told the card was full. Two weeks before the event Ken Shamrock broke his hand and the alternate Johnny Rhodes (the guy that beat Ettish) got added to the card. Ettish was then added as the replacement alternate.
Third, Ettish had less than ten minutes notice before he had to go out and fight. Being the alternate Ettish was not expected to have to compete, unless someone else dropped out. At the start of the show everyone was healthy and ready to go, so Ettish was asked to run errands backstage. He never even got to see any of the other fights that night. After winning his first fight, Frank Hamaker decided that the UFC wasn't for him and quit. His scheduled opponent, Johnny Rhodes, was about to quit too until he found out that his opponent had been to switched to Ettish, a much smaller man who barely had time to but on his gi before stepping into the Octagon.
Finally, the "Fetal Fighting Technique" was not indicative of Ettish's art, it was indicative of a helpless man. When he was on the ground Ettish was effectively blind, due to the punches Rhodes had already landed. With McCarthy not being authorized to stop fights, and too much pride to quit, Ettish simply took the beating.