UFC 14 featured two separate tournaments: a heavyweight tournament for fighters 200 lb or more, and a middleweight (formerly lightweight) tournament for fighters under 200 lb. The event also featured a Heavyweight Championship "Superfight" between Mark Coleman and Maurice Smith, as well as two alternate bouts in case of tournament injury.
Showdown was the first UFC event to require all fighters to wear padded gloves, weighing between four and six ounces. Up until then, it was the fighter's option - Melton Bowen was the first UFC fighter to choose to wear UFC gloves, back in UFC 4. It was also the first UFC appearance of World champion kickboxer Maurice Smith and champion collegiate wrestler Mark Kerr, who was encouraged to try mixed martial arts competition by his friend and training partner, Mark Coleman.