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CagePotato Presents: The Ten Most Forgettable Fights of 2011

#7: Georges St. Pierre vs. Jake Shields – UFC 129

When you think of a forgettable fight, two names often come to mind. One is Jon Fitch, and the other is Jake Shields. For instance, did you know that Jake Shields fought Martin Kampmann in his UFC debut? We didn’t, and we’re being like, super serial. Even Canada could barely muster up the enthusiasm for this fight, and they get a hard-on when any word containing the letters G,S, and P is uttered in their general vicinity. Add to that the fact that St. Pierre’s recent victories over Dan Hardy and Josh Koscheck were rather…tepid, to put it nicely, and most were not expecting a FOTY candidate heading into this one.

And we were pretty much right. After establishing that Shields could not take him down, St. Pierre all but refused to go for the kill. For fuck’s sake, Shields even managed to get the better of the exchanges at one point. GSP was gun shy, content to ride out a decision despite being the same man who had displayed brutal striking abilities in his wins over Jay Hieron and Matt Hughes. In fact, two of St. Pierre’s most recent opponents, Shields and Hardy, would be finished by arguably less decorated strikers than GSP in the first round of their very next performances. To sum it up, we were not empress wid dat erformance.

#6: Quinton Jackson vs. Matt Hamill – UFC 130

Worst. Audition. Ever. I believe a section from CrushCo’s UFC 130 aftermath piece best sums it up:

Coming off of a semi-contested and equally boring win over Lyoto Machida, Rampage’s performance last night was meant to be more than a notch in the win column. If all went according to plan, it would have provided the UFC with the type of highlight-reel footage Jackson hasn’t produced since his knock out victory over Wanderlei Silva in 2008 and had fans clamoring for a fight against Jon “Bones” Jones. But last night’s fight yielded few fireworks if any. Hamill’s mantra in the lead-up to the bout was that he would break Jackson’s will, but only a few minutes into the bout it was “The Hammer” who looked like he’d rather be anywhere than in that cage. Going 0-17 in his plodding, telegraphed takedown attempts, Hamill was unable to get the fight to the ground and understandably reluctant to stand and trade with Rampage. As for Jackson, he did deviate slightly from his hands-heavy style–incorporating knees, elbows, and even a few token kicks into his attack–but he didn’t initiate or go in for the kill against a clearly gun-shy Hamill. After the fight, Jackson put some of the blame on a fractured hand he injured back in December of last year. [Note to Quinton: we believe you and all, but you're not supposed to talk about that kind of stuff, bruh.] . Despite the lackluster performance, Dana White has stated that pending the positive outcome of tests on Rampage’s hand, he will likely be the first challenger to Jones’s belt.

#5: Erik Koch vs. Jonathan Brookins – UFN 25

You guys remember when Jonathan Brookins cruised through season 12 of The Ultimate Fighter like a boss? Well, an overly sentimental, hippie philosophizing boss, but one none the less. When Brookins used his wrestling prowess to score a unanimous decision victory over Michael Johnson and win the coveted glass plaque, it exposed to a lot of people that his stand up was not even close to where it needed to be. Then, after suffering injuries that forced him to withdraw from his fights against John Makdessi and Jeremy Stephens, Brookins finally was booked to return to action against top featherweight prospect Erik Koch, who was coming off three straight first round finishes.

Koch quickly found himself on the wrong end of a Couture/Vera clinch fest, as Brookins repeatedly tried to take him down to no avail. Though Brookins undoubtedly scored points for octagon control, the damage he inflicted on Koch was next to nothing. This would be the entirety of the fight; Koch would land a couple of good shots, only to be forced to sprawl and defend a takedown. Rinse, repeat, 30-27 Koch. The fight proved that Koch could sure defend a takedown, and that Brookins had seemingly made no improvements in his stand up game since his time on TUF, or was just not confident enough to show them off.

#4: Mark Hunt vs. Ben Rothwell – UFC 135

At first, we were thinking about omitting this fight from our list, if only because it was memorable in the fact that it was hard to think of a recent fight in which both participants gassed so badly. Also, Mark Hunt attempted an armbar. But this fight only became hyped in the first place when Rothwell made several audacious claims of being an 0-0 fighter who was finally ready to show audiences why he was signed to the UFC. People were expecting a lot out of him…and then he put on the shittiest performance of his career outside of when he beat up that fat kid.

Blame it on the elevation of the Pepsi Center, perhaps, but my God did these two suck it up, and we’re not just talking about the air. By the end of this one, both men were performing their best Butterbean impression, stuck on their backs like rolled over turtles and praying for the 10 second clack. But we’ll give credit to both men for gutting it out, because the viewing audience sure didn’t.

#3 Jose Aldo vs. Kenny Florian – UFC 136

Maybe we’re in the minority here, but since becoming the UFC’s inaugural featherweight champ, Jose Aldo hasn’t shown the same killer instinct that gained him such popularity in the WEC. Perhaps he set the bar too high in his Mortal Kombat style wins over Cub Swanson and Chris Mickle, or perhaps it can be blamed on his increased level of competition. But in either case, Aldo’s wins over Mark Hominick and Kenflo have not convinced us that he deserves such a high spot on many pundits top pound-for-pound lists.

Where a bad weight cut/sickness could be blamed for his less than stellar performance against Hominick, his fight against Florian just seemed to be lacking some undefinable quality that always punctuated a Jose Aldo fight. “Scarface” wasn’t the only one to blame for this lukewarm match, however. Florian employed a similar gameplan to that of his lightweight title fight with B.J. Penn, which is to say, clinch, clinch, with a side of clinch. Again, it’s not that this fight was particularly boring, but it was Aldo’s first fight in the UFC to establish why he had such a massive hype train behind him, and he looked rather mediocre, which could be a testament to Florian’s gameplan more than anything. Either way, what were we talking about? Oh yeah…

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Cagepotato Comments

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rpn452- January 4, 2012 at 2:05 pm
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EnemyofReality- December 30, 2011 at 4:50 pm
"The only thing I hate more than watching a boring ass fight, is reading about them later".

And apparently you hate taking the time to comment on the artical as well.
EnemyofReality- December 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm
I remember trying to explain to a room full of casual fans that GSP and Shields are two of the best fighters on planet earth while they each threw the same sloppy punch at each other. By the end of the fight I realized I will never spend another dime on either of them.
Cestus84- December 30, 2011 at 4:29 pm
"Maybe we’re in the minority here, but since becoming the UFC’s inaugural featherweight champ, Jose Aldo hasn’t shown the same killer instinct that gained him such popularity in the WEC. Perhaps he set the bar too high in his Mortal Kombat style wins over Cub Swanson and Chris Mickle, or perhaps it can be blamed on his increased level of competition."

First off, yes you are in the minority. 2nd, I don't get how the increase of level competiton or opposition in the UFC is somehow showing less killer instinct than his WEC days.
rpn452- December 30, 2011 at 3:45 pm
I agree with most of those, especially since I don't remember anything about half of them. But I was highly entertained by Hunt-Rothwell. Those guys fought as hard as they could. Of course, Hunt was a +300 underdog and I had money on him. Maybe that affected my perception. And the beer too maybe. And maybe the weed.

I didn't mind the Bonnar fight. He was busy enough on top. It was impressive to see him dominate Kingsbury so thoroughly on the ground.

Of those, the Koch and GSP fights were the biggest disappointments for me. I was expecting highlight-reel knockouts from them.
cursed5- December 30, 2011 at 3:04 pm
So Canada loves Josh Grispi, Giuseppe Verdi and the Gestapo?
NomadRip- December 30, 2011 at 2:50 pm
This article was as boring as watching a Fitch vs Shields fight. Or re-watching any of these fights. Not your fault Danga...tough to write exciting things about fights nobody wanted to remember wasting their life time away watching the first time.
Motivated Penn- December 30, 2011 at 2:22 pm
Tyson Griffin vs Paleszewski was amazing. When Griffin was about to hit the dirt, Bart was hammering him, but he mixed it up and took a beat, and then every single shot landed. Great and memorable fight.

So was Siver Cerrone. I realize you added that as a caveat, but it makes no sense to add the entire card to the forgettable list when there were at least two other memorable fights.
AndyInflammatory- December 30, 2011 at 2:11 pm
I liked the Bonnar/Kingsbury fight. If only because an old dog won a match he was put in to lose.
KINGMADE- December 30, 2011 at 1:41 pm
The only thing I hate more than watching a boring ass fight, is reading about them later.
XENOPHON- December 30, 2011 at 1:31 pm
Here is a question for dANgA
How do you get to review all these fights. Does CP pay for archival rights from Zuffa, that you have access to, or does CP record all fights. Or do you record all the fights you went back to in the reference above?
DangadaDang- December 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm
I figured as much, but appreciate the find nonetheless. Have a good New Years, Potato Nation!
macreadysshack- December 30, 2011 at 1:04 pm
Danga . . . I don't care what it was supposed to be. I wasn't teasing you, I was teasing the weirdos who give you shit all the time. Sorry, it was a bit circumspect.
DangadaDang- December 30, 2011 at 12:58 pm
Thanks for the spot. It was supposed to be witnessed, however.
RearNakedSpoon- December 30, 2011 at 12:51 pm
So the conclusion we draw from this is...woefully unbalanced match-ups that provide low brow entertainment style is superior to great athletes displaying supreme skill levels in a high risk match-up.
macreadysshack- December 30, 2011 at 12:47 pm
"We’ve simply witnesses a speed bump in his eventual return to crowd pleasing glory." Danga, YOU FORGOT THE WORD 'BECOME" you useless horrible, terrible word forgetting piece of type-fail!
Stan Dan Bang- December 30, 2011 at 12:40 pm
As an avid MMA fan, I sadly sat through all these fights. Nick Diaz and BJ Penn saved UFC 137.
Chri534.- December 30, 2011 at 12:14 pm
#10 - "Well, DW took the bait, and threw Mckee humble wrestler and possible threat to Homeland Security, Jacob Volkmann, for his big debut."
I like how you call the fight forgettable, but at the same time you reference Volkmann's callout of the President (which happened in a post fight interview from THAT fight).
TeilaTuliTooth- December 30, 2011 at 12:09 pm
pretty random picks... useless article... Danga, Skeletor you... luckily there are some fights soon to forget this major turd you just dropped.
RoyNelsonMuntz- December 30, 2011 at 12:08 pm
Fuck Jake Shields, that deliberate eye-poking fuck.
NinjaVanish- December 30, 2011 at 12:07 pm
So glad the LSAC had their shit together and gave the Win to Koch. Brookins had nothing to offer and was just stalling and holding Koch up against the cage. When they broke, Koch landed every shot he threw for the most part. Glad to see this fight wasn't a robbery like Vera/Couture was.