UFC 21: Return of the Champions was a mixed martial arts event held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship on July 16, 1999 at the Five Seasons Events Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The event was seen live on pay per view in the United States, and later released on home video.

UFC 21: Return of the Champions
The poster for UFC 21: Return of the Champions.
PromotionUltimate Fighting Championship
DateJuly 16, 1999
VenueFive Seasons Events Center
CityCedar Rapids, Iowa
Event chronology
UFC 20: Battle for the Gold UFC 21: Return of the Champions UFC 22: Only One Can Be Champion


UFC 21 marked significant rule changes due to the Council of the Mixed Martial Arts Commission: preliminary bouts now consisted of two five minute-rounds, main card bouts were three five-minute rounds and championship bouts were five five-minute rounds (similar to the Unified Rules of Mixed Martial Arts used today in the USA). UFC 21 was the first UFC event to adopt the 10-point must system, commonly used in boxing, to judge fights instead of each judge merely stating their choice of fighter. 10 points are awarded for fighters who win the round, 6-9 points for the fighter that loses the round. Points awarded for Octagon control, effective striking, grappling/near submissions, and aggressiveness.

During the event, it was announced that UFC Middleweight Champion Frank Shamrock would defend his title at UFC 22 against rising star Tito Ortiz.


Main Card
Weight class Method Round Time Notes
Heavyweight Maurice Smith def. Marco Ruas TKO (corner stoppage) 1 5:00
Welterweight Pat Miletich (c) def. André Pederneiras TKO (doctor stoppage) 2 2:20 [a]
Middleweight Jeremy Horn def. Daiju Takase TKO (punches) 1 4:41
Middleweight Paul Jones def. Flavio Luiz Moura Submission (rear-naked choke) 1 4:20
Heavyweight Tsuyoshi Kosaka def. Tim Lajcik TKO (corner stoppage) 2 5:00
Middleweight Eugene Jackson def. Royce Alger KO (punch) 2 1:19
Alternate Bouts
Heavyweight Andre Roberts def. Ron Waterman KO (punch) 1 2:51
Heavyweight Travis Fulton def. David Dodd Decision (unanimous) 2 5:00

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