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Eight MMA Fighters Who Desperately Need a Stoppage Victory

By CagePotato contributor Dan “siksik6” Teague

#8: Gray Maynard

When fans and fighters complain about wrestlers in MMA, they’re talking about Gray Maynard. He takes fighters down because that’s what he’s good at. In Maynard’s nine-fight UFC career, he has just one stoppage, a KO of Joe Veres over three years ago. He’s earned his title shot not because of his performances, but rather because what the hell else do you do with a guy who’s undefeated and has won eight straight fights, including one over the current champ? Cole Miller said it best: Taking people down should be a means to an end. Gray needs to start having some refs pull him off of people if he’s ever going to have any drawing power.

#7: Ben Askren

Ben Askren is just starting to make his way into mainstream MMA discussions. However, it’s not exactly a heralded arrival. The kid makes picking strawberries look like it belongs in the X Games. His last “stoppage” was a controversial sub over Ryan Thomas, who promptly and correctly displayed his best WTFIYP face. Before that it was a north-south choke over some guy you’ve never heard of in some organization you’ve never heard of back in August of ’09. For his last fight, in which he won the Bellator welterweight strap, he came about as close to finishing Lyman Good as I did. I was on the couch eating Mayfield Butter Pecan ice cream. It was delicious. As a title holder for an up-and-coming organization, Askren needs to show more of a killer instinct if he ever wants his fights to be broadcast by anyone other than Fox Sports South.

#6: Jake Shields

One can make the argument that Jake Shields gets a bum rap for being a boring fighter. Not so long ago he went on a tear of eight straight stoppages, including a hat trick over Robbie Lawler, Paul Daley, and Nick Thompson. Unfortunately, his last three fights have been snoozers, and in a “what have you done for me lately” sport, all Jake Shields has done for us lately is resurrect the classic Yo Mama-style cracks about how boring he is. Casual fans who don’t think MMA exists outside of the UFC heard the comments about Shields leading up to his fight with Kampmann. And damn if he didn’t go out and back ‘em right up. Jake Shields needs to submit his tape to Extreme Fighter Makeover. Besides, it would be a cross-promotional dream to have his next fight cornered by Ty Pennington and that Paige chick with the impressive ta-tas.

#5: Forrest Griffin

Look, we all love Forrest, but he’s kinda getting a pass because of his fan favorite status. His last stoppage win was his rear-naked choke of Mauricio "Shogun" Rua in September 2007 — the same version of Shogun that struggled mightily against Mark “Ken Shamrock: Part II” Coleman. Other than that, you have to go back to a TKO over Elvis Sinosic and a sub over something called a Bill Mahood, both in 2005. I hate to say it, but all the meaningful stoppages involving FoGrif have ended with him either crying in the corner of the Octagon, or fleeing it altogether. Anything less than an impressive victory over a smaller and past-his-prime Rich Franklin moves Forrest ever closer to being the beloved gatekeeper. In which case, I hear Clay Guida has room in his RV.

#4: Michael Bisping

Michael Bisping is the flagship of British MMA. And with good reason I guess. Who else is it going to be, the two-headed monster of Paul Kelly-Taylor? So it doesn’t give the best impression that your country’s version of Royce Gracie is cool with leaving it in the hands of the judges. For Christ sake, he said his game plan against Chris Leben was to not put himself in danger and come away with the decision. Come on, playa. Bisping could never win another fight and his countrymen would still love him. However, as Ol’ DW will tell you, going global is the hot thing in MMA right now. Bisping needs to start Denis Kang-ing some fools again if he’s going to have a shot at earning fans outside of Jolly Old England.

#3: Jon Fitch

Jesus, Jon Fitch. If I could shake my head in print, now would be the time. There has been some discussion on whether or not Fitch should have a nickname. I’d like to offer “Decision Factory” as a candidate. Thirteen of his twenty-three career victories have been awarded by the judges, including his last seven. Whereas we tend to poke fun at Jake Shields, there seems to be some genuine disdain towards Fitch in the MMA community because of his fighting style. There’s not much to say about Fitch that hasn’t already been said. He’d win against anyone at 170 not named Georges, yet I wouldn’t watch him fight if it were live in my kitchen.

#2: Frankie Edgar

Frankie Edgar’s mom didn’t give him a chance against BJ Penn. He went out and beat him not once, but twice, and the second time it wasn’t even close. It’s impossible not to respect him for that. That being said, eight of his thirteen wins have been by decision. Edgar has proved that his endurance is top notch, and I understand that you have to use whatever advantages you have. But damn homie, outlasting guys with no real attempt to finish them will only take you so far with the fans. Besides, what happens when you run into the guy that won’t let you outpoint him? (I know I’m not the only one that thinks The Answer would get smoked by featherweight champ Jose Aldo.) Edgar is going to spend some time on his back against Gray Maynard. A successful armbar finish against the guy responsible for his record’s only blemish would do more to improve his image than the guy who used a fake ID to get a flaming eagle tattoo when he was in 10th grade.

#1: Georges St. Pierre

There was no question who would be #1 on this list. Simply put, Georges hasn’t been the same since Matt Serra shocked the world. When Matt Hughes tapped him out, he had the “I was fighting my idol” thing to fall back on. But Serra punched him in the face. And he wobbled around and fell. And Serra punched him a lot more. It was embarrassing. And he’s just a different fighter now. In his seven victories since, four have gone the distance. And the three stoppage wins weren’t particularly stirring: an armbar over a disinterested Matt Hughes, BJ Penn’s corner knowing that the last round wouldn’t be any different than the first four, and Matt Serra silently saying “Alright, alright, I get the point, it was a fluke.”

You can’t say that GSP hasn’t been dominant. Alves and Fitch both looked like they tried to make out with a garden tiller. He hit two sub attempts against Dan Hardy that 99 out of 100 fighters would have tapped to. But still. It may be unfair, but we need more from St. Pierre. Now that Chuck is gone (we think), Georges is the face of the company. He’s expected to be what Chuck was. Champion? Check. Highly marketable? Check. Adored by men and women alike? Check.

Cagepotato Comments

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Kuch- November 11, 2010 at 3:10 am
You forgot Antonio McKee.
RwilsonR- November 10, 2010 at 8:39 am
How about we go with Jon "The Judges' Bitch" Fitch?

I mean, he gives us such a wonderful rhyming option with his name, it would be a shame not to go for the low-hanging fruit.
KarmaAteMyCat- November 9, 2010 at 3:52 pm
Its ironic consider Shields has finished most of his fights via Submission that you people talk so much bullshit about him but continue on it's amusing to me.
BryanF- November 9, 2010 at 3:23 pm
How about Jake " The Decision Magician" Shields VS Jon "The Decision Factory" Fitch?
KarmaAteMyCat- November 9, 2010 at 2:10 pm
You sir are great at staying on task. Herp Derp.

You sound scared homie.
Baul_Tampax_Galey_Sucks_Kos- November 9, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Good luck cutting those four pounds, its really gonna help when you relieve Karma from eating your cat. But while you're chin deep in pussy just remember one thing: while it may take skill, endurance and strength to hold down an opponent for an entire fight, it also takes skill, endurance and strength to eat out your own cat.

And homey, I ain't scared.
FaH Q NL15- November 9, 2010 at 12:42 pm

OK, 1, racism is hilarious, 2, if the fans wanna see finishes, that means dana does too. Im partial to the ground wars where mother fuckers completely control their opponent. I love seeing people look up at their corners pissed off that they just got taken down again. But if fans (dana) wanna see finishes. Fighters (not so much for gsp) should probably get it in their head that, if given a possible opportunity, they need to go out there and give the fans what they want. Finishes do a fuckload to fighters careers.
RaginAsian- November 9, 2010 at 12:40 pm
I cry when I watch Extreme Home Makeover.

When Paige is on, my penis cries. Happy tears.

(I'm talking about semen)
Elentius- November 9, 2010 at 12:28 pm
GSP is certainly not number 1. I am not just saying this because he is my favorite fighter, but because you have to look at the fights from an entertainment perspective. I really want to sleep when Jon Fitch and Jake Shieldzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz... uh sorry. Oh yeah when they fight I am bored because they do not try to end the fight and are not complete fighters.
cecils_pupils- November 9, 2010 at 11:41 am
@Hank Mardukis - haven't ya heard? McKee finished his last 2 fights, one by sub the other by TKO.
Sakuraba3900- November 9, 2010 at 11:33 am
" Kind of ethnic-looking bleach blonde arch enemy?"

fucking gold lol
Hank Mardukis- November 9, 2010 at 11:11 am
Antonio McKee (he's under contract with the UFC, didn't you hear?)
LOKI- November 9, 2010 at 10:59 am
I approve of your #1! the parenial P4P mainstay should have more ways to win than the top control special.

All that magick oil and Georges can still only finish dudes in his mouth.
nicey- November 9, 2010 at 10:44 am
GSP at #1 is the only reason one needs to determine this article, and it's "author", are ruh-tards.
ProtectYaNeck- November 9, 2010 at 10:26 am
Apparently the person who wrote this didn't watch Edgar's fight before Penn vs Edgar I. Besides why would anyone desperately need a stoppage?
RwilsonR- November 9, 2010 at 10:24 am
I just finished reading this, and I thought that if Jake Shields followed your advice and did submit his tape to Extreme Fighter Makeover, that would be his first submission in over two years.
KarmaAteMyCat- November 9, 2010 at 10:12 am

Like I said fighters don't care what you think they're gonna go in there and do what they need to do to win within the rules(Congo Aside). I don't think you know how much hot air this article blows for no reason at all. I think the saying is the words fall on deaf ears. If they are staying just busy enough to keep the fight on the ground then I guess that's just to bad for you and the people who think like you. I respectfully disagree that grinding out a fight and holding down your opponent takes no skill in fact it takes a great amount of endurance and strength to pull that kind of win off specifically when fighting the best in the word. Perhaps if you wish to watch purely striking I could suggest HBO or Showtime at around 11pm on weekdays. It's old news and its not gonna change. I'm done on this thread I have to go cut four pounds before the days over keep it real and Don't be scared homie!
cecils_pupils- November 9, 2010 at 10:03 am
RwilsonR = thread winner with this gem:

I just finished reading this, and I thought that if Jake Shields followed your advice and and did submit his tape to Extreme Fighter Makeover, that would be his first submission in over two years.
KidDinomite- November 9, 2010 at 9:47 am
This is a controversial topic so I'm gonna be short and sweet. A lot of guys say that winning is what matters and not the entertainment factor. Well if there's no entertainment and all the fighters are winning by decision by laying on opponents, eventually people aren't going to watch anymore.
Baul_Tampax_Galey_Sucks_Kos- November 9, 2010 at 9:45 am

If you didn't strike a nerve before, you have now...... shiny Tapout shirts have become the scum of the earth.... what was once an upcoming exciting sponsorship of elite mma fighters is now a company that is upheld by fat wannabe's with just enough facial hair to think that they look tough and hope that someone will see them in they're new "shiny" shirt and think that maybe because of their big-boned build they're a fighter. So sorry to disappoint but nooo Tapout shirts over here.

Anyway, yes you are right..... grappling is ONE (not "the one") fundamental of mma that makes it go round and round.... blah blah blah. But when one fighter gets all Gray with another fighter and tries to Fitch them in the ass from the missionary position for 3 rounds or more, you have to draw the line between some healthy grappling and some straight up man love. Just like shaking it more than 3 times in the restroom is considered playing with it, laying on top of a man for an extended period of time must be considered gay. At least bi-curious.

I mean, this is the UFC right? The biggest MMA promotion in the world, so if grappling appears to be your only "fundamental" maybe you should take your ass to a grappling tournament and come back to the UFC when you've developed other facets of your game.

Finally, you were right about one other thing. The button at Wild Wings must be real! Because you cared enough to reply, didn't ya?
Fried Taco- November 9, 2010 at 9:42 am
@Get Off Me - I'm not so sure GSP is really trying to finish his fights. He's a good striker, and a good wrestler, but he's not a knock-out artist and he doesn't really go for submissions. The point made above is that since the Matt Serra loss, he has had four decisions and three stoppages. In his 14 fights previous to the Matt Serra loss, he had only 3 decisions.

So lately he has one submission over Matt Hughes, one TKO for against Serra with his knees, and one TKO when BJ's corner threw in the towel between rounds. I can understand the decisions over wrestlers like Fitch and Koschek, but Dan Hardy? That should've been a finish.

So what I'm saying is not that the fights are boring, but they are predictable. GSP goes in there with his game plan, executes it to perfection, and all 5 rounds end up looking just about the same. And I start nodding off because it's past my bedtime.

Oh, and just FYI, I don't agree with GSP as number 1. Not even that he needs to be on the list. That's like putting him as number 1 on the list of fighters who need to have a better body, ahead of guys like Roy Nelson.
KarmaAteMyCat- November 9, 2010 at 9:37 am
No,No don't get me wrong the article was presented well and everything I just disagree with the fighters you choose to out in the article. I mean it's whatever end result I just disagree with this whole You need to entertain the fans bullshit because the thing is if you piss them off enough like all the Ex-GSP haters and Silva Haters who tune in just to see them lose. Side note I wouldn't fight your mom she might kick my ass. Keep it real
Diaz Cartel- November 9, 2010 at 9:34 am
People should try and understand that most MMA fighters on this list tries to finish their fights (except for Fitch, and Maynard). It just means that their opponents are tough S.O.B's. GSP shouldn't even be on this list. He outclasses his opponents in the cage every time he steps in. Although he became less aggressive after his loss to Serra, this is because he doesn't want to make the same mistake again. That means his style has evolved which is important if you want to stick to the fight game and remain champ for a long time.

For guys like Fitch and Maynard, they are what you call "grinders" in MMA. It's a strategy on winning a fight. It takes a great deal of skill, strength and endurance to showcase this ability. They pretty much kill of their opponents' spirit by neutralizing their attacks and making them look shit in the cage/ring. If this was the case, then how come you didn't put Chael Sonnen on this list, huh?

Also, I don't get all the Jake Shields hate. Most of his wins are by submissions. It's only because of his fight with Miller that he was branded as a boring fighter. If you are a true martial art enthusiast you should appreciate this style of fighting. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competitions are similar and are longer than your typical MMA match.
Douchebaggery- November 9, 2010 at 9:25 am
GSpizzle is numero unizzle? he doesn't need anything, "desperately".

what else does he need to prove
siksik6- November 9, 2010 at 9:21 am
See, l told you these things are polarizing. Goog is giving me props all serious n'shit, and Karma wants to fight my mom for giving birth to me.