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UFC 3: The American Dream
UFC 3 promotional poster.jpg
A poster or logo for UFC 3: The American Dream.
Promotion Ultimate Fighting Championship
Date September 9, 1994[1]
Venue Grady Cole Center
City Charlotte, North Carolina
Attendance 3,000
Buyrate 90,000
Event chronology
UFC 2: No Way Out UFC 3: The American Dream UFC 4: Revenge of the Warriors

The Ultimate Fighting Championship III (later renamed UFC 3: The American Dream) was a mixed martial arts (MMA) event held by the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) on September 9, 1994, at Grady Cole Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. The event was seen live on pay-per-view in the United States, and was later released on home video.


UFC 3 used an eight-man tournament format, with the winner receiving $60,000. The tournament had no weight classes or weight limits. Each match had no time limit or rounds; therefore no judges were used for the night. Competitors could only win a match by submission, throwing in the towel, knockout, or referee stoppage. This event marked the first time the referee was given the authority to stop the contest. The referee for the night was once again "Big" John McCarthy.

Replacement fighter Steve Jennum won the tournament by defeating Harold Howard via submission due to strikes, despite only fighting in the finals. Jennum was a replacement for Ken Shamrock, who made it to the finals but withdrew due to injury. This was the first UFC tournament that was not won by Royce Gracie (who could not continue due to fatigue). After Jennum won the UFC 3 tournament as an alternate, the UFC instituted alternate qualifying bouts to balance out fatigue, and lessen the advantage that alternates previously had entering the tournament without fighting quarterfinal bouts.


Weight class Method Round Time Notes
N/A Steve Jennum def. Harold Howard Submission (punches) 1:27 [a]
N/A Ken Shamrock def. Felix Mitchell Submission (rear-naked choke) 4:34 [b]
N/A Keith Hackney def. Emmanuel Yarborough TKO (punches) 1:59
N/A Ken Shamrock def. Christophe Leininger Submission (punches) 4:49
N/A Harold Howard def. Roland Payne KO (punch) 0:46
N/A Royce Gracie def. Kimo Leopoldo Submission (armlock) 4:40 [c]
  1. ^ Jennum was a replacement for Ken Shamrock who withdrew due to injury.
  2. ^ Keith Hackney was forced to withdraw due to injury. He was replaced by Felix Mitchell.
  3. ^ Due to fatigue sustained during the fight, Gracie was unable to continue in the tournament.

UFC 3 bracket[edit]

Quarterfinals Semifinals Finals
Keith Hackney (American Kenpo) TKO
Emmanuel Yarborough (Sumo) 1:59
Felix Mitchell (Shaolin Kung Fu) 1 4:34
Ken Shamrock SUB
Ken Shamrock (Shootfighting) SUB
Christophe Leininger (Judo) 4:49
Steve Jennum (Ninjutsu)3 SUB
Harold Howard 1:27
Harold Howard (Gōjū-ryū Karate) KO
Roland Payne (Muay Thai) 0:46
Harold Howard2 BYE
Royce Gracie (BJJ) SUB
Kimo Leopoldo (Taekwondo) 4:40

1Keith Hackney was forced to withdraw due to injury. He was replaced by Felix Mitchell.
2Royce Gracie's corner threw in the towel before the fight. Harold Howard then advanced to the finals of the tournament.
3It was announced that Ken Shamrock was injured at the event and could not continue, so he was replaced with Steve Jennum.

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