July 27, 1997-Dec. 21, 1997
Evolution was the name of the game when Maurice Smith met Mark Coleman in Birmingham, Ala., at UFC 14. Smith was a decided underdog against Coleman, who appeared unstoppable in his first six efforts. But Smith, who partnered with fighters Frank Shamrock and Japanese heavyweight Tsuyoshi Kohsaka to help round out his accomplished kickboxing game, stifled Coleman. Smith proved that with decent takedown defense, a smart defensive guard and punishing leg kicks, a striker could defeat a dominant grappler. Smith defended the crown once, scoring a lopsided beatdown of David "Tank" Abbott."