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Google 2001: UFC and MMA Meant Something Different, Ken Shamrock Was Huge

Google's new Search 2001 feature, which lets you see what the search engine was like seven years ago, is a fun tool no matter where your interests lie. But I was particularly interested in using it to see how much mixed martial arts has changed.

For one thing, when you searched MMA in 2001 you got something called the MIDI Manufacturers Association. When you searched UFC in 2001 you got something called User Friendly Consulting.

It's also interesting to note that of all the names I searched (and you'll see that I searched a lot; this little toy can be addictive), by far the one that yielded the most result was Ken Shamrock. This week everyone is talking about Shamrock as the man who backed out of the Kimbo Slice fight, turning Seth Petruzelli into an unlikely star, but in 2001 he was (if Google results are any indication) by far the most famous athlete in the sport -- thanks in large part to his foray into pro wrestling.

A full list of MMA names and the number of Google hits they got in 2001 is below.

Ken Shamrock got 22,600 hits.
Dan Severn got 5,070 hits.
Frank Shamrock got 1,690 hits.
Royce Gracie got 1,670 hits.
Bas Rutten got 1,380 hits.
Don Frye got 1,340 hits.
Tito Ortiz got 1,040 hits.
Brock Lesnar got 871 hits.
Oleg Taktarov got 649 hits.
Randy Couture got 633 hits.
Chuck Liddell got 354 hits.
Steve Jennum got 73 hits.
B.J. Penn got 61 hits.
Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira got 14 hits.
Rampage Jackson got 4 hits.
Fedor Emelianenko got 4 hits.

Thanks to Will Leitch for the idea.