The Krazy Horse Bennett Arrest of the Year Award: Jon Jones Slams His Reputation Into a Telephone Pole (5/19/12)
Already reviled as a phony by some MMA fans, Jon “Bones” Jones completely demolished his good-guy image with an early-morning Bentley-powered DUI in a car packed with female student-athletes — and it wasn’t the first time he endangered public safety while behind the wheel. If someone like Clay Guida or Cowboy Cerrone merged into a streetlight after a long night of partying, we’d quickly dismiss it as party boys needing to party. For the pious, Philippians-tatted light-heavyweight champ, it was just more ammo for his growing legion of haters, who never quite bought into his philosophical Man of God persona in the first place.
After he pled guilty, every flaw in Jones’s character became magnified, seized on by MMA fans like buzzards on rotten gazelle meat. Suddenly, Jones was an egomaniac with a Christ complex, not to mention a total pussy. But that May car accident was the true turning point in Jones’s relationship with the fans. He’s officially a heel now, and every night, thousands of disgruntled UFC fans pray to their Chuck Liddell shrines that Bones gets taken down a peg. No luck on that one, so far. - Ben Goldstein
Honorable mentions: Arianny Celeste for her drunken limousine-to-hotel-room brawl with an ex-boyfriend (“I be going crayyyy ha hey bay bayyy”), and Houston Alexander for defeating his cybersexing son in an unsanctioned boxing match.
Worst Event of the Year: UFC 149: Faber vs. Barao (7/21/12)
Ladies and gentlemen of Cagepotato.com, I submit to you that no matter how you look at it, UFC 149 was — hands down — the absolute worst event of 2012. For the handful of those reading this who have watched UFC 149 yet still aren’t convinced, consider the following:
The total lack of relevant names. Save for the main event between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao and the Lombard/Boetsch fight, there were no fighters on this card worth paying to watch. Granted, that doesn’t mean that the fights will necessarily be terrible…
The fights were indefensibly terrible. …but in this case, yeah, the fights were fucking craptacular. Regardless of whether you preferred to watch good strikers, good grapplers, equal parts of both — essentially, if you don’t like watching three rounds of wall-and-stall with minimal attempts at anything resembling offense, your feelings were badly hurt by three of the five main card fights. The other two fights didn’t deserve boos, but weren’t exactly Henderson vs. Rua, either.
In conclusion, I am correct, those of you who disagree with me are not, and can kindly rot in hell. Thank you. - Seth Falvo
Worst Fight of the Year: Cheick Kongo vs. Shawn Jordan @, you guessed it, UFC 149 (7/21/12)
(Photo via Esther Lin, MMAFighting.com)
Many fans would have rather paid to sit in an empty arena for UFC 151 than to watch the worst fight of the worst card of the year. No, I’m not talking about Clay Guida vs. Gray Maynard (although that was a close second). The majority of the so called “fight” was spent demonstrating the proper technique for hugging your opponent to death. There was more action at my grandpa’s funeral that there was between “Cup-check” and “Not to be confused with Michael” Jordan. I’d suggest you go back and watch if you don’t believe me, but I just don’t think I could handle being responsible for the death of so many innocent bystanders. - Jason Moles
Best Fight of the Year: Joe Lauzon vs. Jamie Varner @ UFC on FOX 4 (8/4/12)
2012 may not have brought us the zombie apocalypse or the end of humanity as we know it, but what it lacked in doomsday events it more than made up for in crowd-pleasing brutality in the cage. Neither Joe Lauzon nor Jamie Varner ever took their foot off the pedal during their meeting at UFC on FOX 4, opting instead to play Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots for the audience that night. Fans were treated to brilliant exchanges between the two lightweight warriors, and a few narrow escapes after each man was dropped during the bout. The final act was just as spectacular as the preceding scenes, as evidenced by the dramatic (and eerily similar to pro wrestling) finish. Varner speared Lauzon, sending him flying across the cage, and smashed him against the canvas only to be caught in a lethal triangle, giving J-Lau not only the W, but the Submission of the Night bonus as well. - Jason Moles
Honorable mentions: Jim Miller vs. Joe Lauzon @ UFC 155, Chan Sung Jung vs. Dustin Poirier @ UFC on FUEL TV 3, Jon Fitch vs. Erick Silva @ UFC 153