With the newest issue of the “ESPN Body Issue” set to hit shelves today – featuring none other than UFC contender (by convenience) Miesha Tate – we decided to take look back at memorable publicity stunts from other MMA fighters. Some were one-time incidents, some were entire careers, and one actually managed to be both. Read on for our picks, and please continue to send your ideas for future Roundtable topics to email@example.com.
There was a time when Kimbo Slice was the most popular MMA fighter in the world. That’s not hyperbole. There are actual numbers to back this up.
After Kevin Ferguson — Kimbo’s real name, in case you’ve forgotten — became an Internet legend fighting in backyards, boatyards, and basements, the bare-knuckle brawler decided to go legit and fight in steel cages instead. Kimbo’s first MMA exhibition in June 2007 was a classic freak show against boxer Ray Mercer, which Slice won by guillotine choke in just over a minute. After that, it was a career-defining 12 months in Gary Shaw’s utterly shameless EliteXC outfit, where Kimbo picked up three consecutive wins against Bo Cantrell (who put up no resistance whatsoever), Tank Abbott (a old-school relic just there to pay off his bar tabs), and James Thompson (who was slapped with a standing-TKO loss only because his ear was about to fall off).
Friday night’s Prestige FC 3 event in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, was headlined by portly slugger Eric “Butterbean” Esch (14-10-1) against Sandy Bowman (3-0), a 40-year-old local fighter who Sherdog identifies as a former lightweight who swelled up to 223 pounds for the opportunity. Esch held a 150-pound weight advantage in the cage, but it wouldn’t be of any help that night.
Ten seconds after the bell, Bowman lands a head-kick that topples ‘Bean like a defective Weeble. After some elbows from Bowman from the top, Esch realizes that he ain’t getting up without assistance, and taps due to strikes at 0:54 of round 1.
Instinct Mixed Martial Arts today announced most of the main card line-up of it’s upcoming inaugural MMA event set for October 7 at the Rousseau Centre of Sports Excellence in Boisbriand, Quebec and the card is shaping up nicely.
The main event of the evening will see former UFC light heavyweight Houston Alexander take on hockey enforcer-turned-MMA-fighter Steve Bosse. In the night’s co-main event former number one UFC middleweight contender Patrick Cote will look to improve his post-Octagon record to 3-0 with a win over muay thai specialist Crafton Wallace. The third fight on the card will feature a heavyweight tilt between king of the four-rounders and reality television star Eric “Butterbean” Esch and undefeated 5-0 Quebec boxer Eric Barrak who will make his MMA debut that night.
Keeping those words from the first collection in our hearts, we’ve assembled the second installment of moments in MMA that some of us (mostly the athletes involved) would like to forget. The rest of us, we want to see those moments saved forever, preferably in a graphic format that loops endlessly.
First, get your mind right with a fight video from the dark ages of MMA, when any human with a pair of pajamas and some Tae Kwon Do could try that crazy ultimate fightin’ stuff. It was 1998, and Travis Fulton had already had over sixty fights. His opponent was Jeremy Bullock, a skinny guy that probably really liked Bruce Lee movies. Make sure to watch Bullock’s interview, where he shares his keys to victory with everyone, including Fulton. Also watch the fight, where Fulton shares his love for a good pro wrestling-style chokeslam with everyone, including Bullock. (Reportedly, Bullock thinks Bruce Lee is a fucking asshole these days.)
Once you’re done with that piece of history, come on in and we’ll share more moments of infamy, awkwardness, stupidity, and shame. It’s Fail GIF time, kids; let’s party.
As always, big ups, props, and mad respec’ to the GIF masters and the websites that host them: Chris Bunch o’ Numbers, Uncle Justice, Damn Severn, Zombie Prophet, Caposa, UpstandingCitizens, MMA-Core, IronForgesIron, and MMATKO. If we forgot you, it’s not on purpose.
He made his bones knocking out palookas in the Toughman circuit in the ’90s, before transitioning into an MMA career where he was usually matched up againstother oddly-shaped fighters. But now that he’s older and wiser — and still enormous — all Butterbean wants to do is protect and serve. That’s the premise of a new reality series called Big Law: Deputy Butterbean, which premieres August 9th on the Investigation Discovery channel.
The show follows Eric Esch (aka Butterbean, King of the Damn Four-Rounders) and his partner Deputy Adam Hadder as they patrol the streets of Jasper, Alabama, tracking down crystal meth labs and unsanctioned rib-eating contests. Will the 400+ pound ‘Bean be forced to scale a chain-link fence during a pursuit? Will Steven Seagal come in for a guest-spot? These are serious questions that need to be asked now.
ATTENTION PAUL BUENTELLO: Please do this at Bellator 48. PLEASE.
“The only great failure in life is the failure to try.” -Some old wise man, probably with a large beard
Fail is sort of like porn. You can’t really define it properly, but you know it when you see it. And brother, we’ve seen some fail watching our favorite sport. It can happen anytime, from walking out to the ring, to celebrating your victory (see above), and anytime between. We here at CagePotato hold MMA and fighters in our highest regard … but we still like to point and laugh every once in a while. Allow us to present to you our first (in what we assume will be many) installment of MMA Fails.
As Japanese MMA seems to slowly dwindle away from the glory days of the sport, hardcore fans like myself shed a tear for our great loss. It wasn’t just knowing those obscure 135-pounders whose names had syllables our gaijin tongues could barely pronounce, or the fact that it was the land where stomping and soccer-kicking a human being in the face was perfected into a sweet science. More than that, it was the stars that were produced that we came to know and love, whether they were fighting someone on their level or tearing open a tomato can — and that is where this list begins.
Blatant mismatches aside, JMMA gave us so many beautiful fights with men like Fedor Emelianenko, Mirko “Crocop” Filipovic (go tell your favorite TUF noob that his last name is not Crocop and relish in their confusion), Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Ikuhisa Minowa and Kazushi Sakuraba. For every epic bout that went into the history books for their unbelievable drama, we had other fights that we remember for less than pleasant reasons. Yes, the freak show fights! What would a JMMA event be without a match worthy of a 1930′s carnival? The big question here was how do I rank something that is mediocre to begin with? Well, I’m as clueless as you are, so let’s get started on this journey down “Freak Show Lane,” across the street from “What Were They Thinking? Boulevard”…
10. Daiju Takase vs. Emmanuel Yarbrough
Pride 3, 6/24/98
This was the first freak show fight in Pride history, and earns a place on this list for that merit alone. It pit 169 lb. Daiju Takase against 600 lb. Emmanuel Yarbrough, who most fans will recall was clobbered into submission by Keith Hackney and his broken hand at UFC 3 (Yarbrough has no luck in any event associated with the number three). The sumo plodded around the ring tossing his hamhock arms at Takase, while the smaller Japanese fighter fled and slowly wore down Yarbrough.
Takase makes the mistake of going for a lazy single leg on Yarbrough, which results in the large fighter flopping onto his belly and absorbing Takase into his flesh. As Stephen Quadros lamented, “This is horrible! This is like “Jaws!” Eventually, Takase slid out from the greasy underside of Manny, and in an ending eerily similiar to his UFC 3 fight, Takase went to town with clubbing hands to his exhausted opponent’s face, leading to a tapout in the middle of the second round.
Usually when a fighter or his management put out a highlight reel or a mini-documentary that they have the final say in producing, the final product is equal parts bias, hype and bullshit. There are exceptions of course, but nine times out of ten the best videos come from passionate fans who have no vested interest in the fighter, besides being entertained by them.
The Minowaman video above is no exception.
If you aren’t familiar with the story of "The Giant Killer," Ikuhisa Minowa is a Japanese fighter who began his career with a dismal record of one win in his first ten fights before turning things around and becoming one of Asia’s biggest MMA stars.
hotsaucemonster [winner]: and i guess at that moment i realized that perhaps it was me that had the nasty ass stank breff the whole time
Dana_Plight [first runner-up]: "Every guy I went to high school with, except for one, is dead. Someone poisoned the grape soda at the high school reunion. The one survivor was diabetic, he couldn’t drink grape soda…and that’s why you shouldn’t join a gang."
Maine Blazer [second runner-up]: James Toney sees two rednecks.
hotsauce, please shoot me your address and I’ll send you something nice. Dana and Maine, you guys are eligible for some CP shirts (see the end of this post). We’d also like to take some time to pay tribute to some of the week’s other comment-section power-players…