Maurice Smith was quite a skilled kickboxer who compiled a final record of 53-13, winning the WKC (World Kickboxing Council) world light heavyweight championship, the WKA (World Kickboxing Association) world heavyweight championship, and the ISKA (International Sport Karate Association) world heavyweight championship. With a record of 39-5, he entered his first mixed martial arts organization in Japan called Pancrase. He would also fight in the Russian led event, RINGS. Where in both organizations Smith was met with mixed results. Compiling a record of 5-7. Smith then signed with the UFC and on July 27th, 1997 at UFC 14,, Smith faced UFC heavyweight champion Mark Coleman in a title fight as his first opponent. Smith was considered to be a massive underdog for the bout. Many MMA pundits had Coleman winning the bout rather quickly, as Coleman had rampaged thru the UFC and compiled a 6-0 record, beating Dan Severn, Don Frye, Gary Goodridge and Brian Johnston on the way to the championship. Coleman was considered the best fighter in the world with unrelenting ground pound wrestling. However Smith posed a challenge to Coleman, which was his accuracy in leg kicks. After nearly 15 minutes of attempting to damage Smith through his guard, Coleman was exhausted, and Smith won by unanimous decision. It sent shockwaves and for the first time a striker had won the UFC championship against a high powered wrestler. Smith had wrote the "blueprint" on how to compromise a wrestler using distance striking. Smith would end up retiring from MMA in 2013 with a 14-14 record.