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Tag: Jon Fitch

The Top 24 Mixed Martial Artists Who Lost Their First Fight


(Renan Barao: Started from the bottom, now he here. / Photo via Getty)

By Adam Martin

At the UFC 165 post-fight presser last month, UFC president Dana White showered praise upon UFC interim bantamweight champion Renan Barao, calling him one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport and remarking that the media hadn’t given enough credit to his eight-year, 32-fight undefeated streak, which has remained pristine since May 2005.

Barao has only tasted defeat once, and it was in the first fight of his career. The fact that he’s rebounded with the longest current undefeated streak in mixed martial arts — despite the fact that his first loss could have ruined his confidence forever — is absolutely amazing to me, as many young would-be prospects have crashed and burned in their debuts, never to be heard of again.

It got me thinking: What other mixed martial artists lost their first fight but then went on to have great success? I expected to bang out a list of ten fighters, but once I started doing the research, it blew my mind that some of the best fighters to ever compete in the sport, and a number of currently top 10-ranked fighters, actually lost their very first fight.

And so, I compiled a list of the top 24 MMA fighters of all time who lost their first fight. The list is based on accomplishments in the sport, overall skill level, and potential. Enjoy, and if I somehow missed somebody notable, please leave a comment below and explain why he or she should be included.

Honorable mentions: Matt “The Wizard” Hume (5-5), Wesley “Cabbage” Correira (20-15), Ryan “The Big Deal” Jimmo (18-2), Rodrigo Damm (11-6), James Te Huna (16-6)

24. Travis “The Ironman” Fulton (249-49-10, 1 NC)

(Photo via ThunderPromotions)

On July 26, 1996, at the age of 19 years old, Travis Fulton fought Dave Strasser in his MMA debut at Gladiators 1 in Davenport, Iowa, losing the fight via first-round submission. He then went on to win 249 fights, the most wins in mixed martial arts history. Fulton also holds the record for most fights (309) and most knockout wins (91) in MMA history.

Mind = blown.

Was Fulton a can crusher? Yes, yes he was. Or, should I say, yes he is, as he beat some nobody in his native Iowa just this past March. But you don’t win 249 MMA fights by accident, and Fulton deserves a place on this list based on volume alone.

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Times Are Getting Hard, Boys: Jon Fitch Moves Cross-Country to Take Health Club Job


(As if Fitch didn’t have *enough* douchebags trying to get photos with him in public. / Props: Getty)

The past year hasn’t been easy for former perennial welterweight title contender Jon Fitch. After a loss to Demian Maia, Fitch was still ranked by the UFC as one of the division’s very best, but that didn’t stop the promotion from firing him.

After being priced out of his job with the UFC, the top-ten ranked Fitch next fought and lost to Josh Burkman in his World Series of Fighting debut. Now, Fitch finds himself apparently unable to make ends meet through fighting alone and he has packed up his family and moved them from San Jose, California, to Syracuse, New York, to take a job at a mega-gym called Pacific Health Club.

“There are financial things to take into consideration — it’s a salaried job with guaranteed income and health benefits for my family,” Fitch told MMAFighting in a recent interview.

“Those are huge, really. Honestly, California is falling apart. The whole country’s kind of falling apart. But the cost of living here in California is ridiculous, and the taxation in California is ridiculous. I’m not sure it’s any better in New York yet, but I’ve got to start doing something, thinking outside the box trying to keep yourself and your family above water and outside the sinking ship.”

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Yushin Okami Signs With WSOF, Will Hopefully Have a Better Debut Than Jon Fitch


(Oh, so *this* is the “wouldn’t get up from butt scoot” guy? Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.)

When looking back at the past few years of their respective careers, it’s hard not to draw a comparison between Yushin Okami and Jon Fitch. We’re guilty of it. Hell, pretty much every MMA site out there is guilty of making the somewhat obvious comparison, and it’s pretty easy to see why. Both guys were perennial UFC contenders (or so we thought) who were ranked in the top 10 of their promotion’s horribly preferential ranking system at the time of their release. Both guys also possess a style that is oft described as “grinding” or “taxing” or “like watching 2001: A Space Odyssey at half speed while on Ketamine.”

Simply put, Okami and Fitch share a lot of common ground. That their similarities is a subject that has been elaborated upon more than that one time Court McGee overdosed on heroin is as frustrating as watching the majority of their fights, but I digress. Of course, it won’t help matters that Okami decided to up and sign with World Series of Fighting over the weekend like Fitch before him. Let’s hope his promotional debut — which is set for “around March” – goes a little better than Fitch’s.

In an exclusive interview with CagePotato.com, Okami elatedly spoke on his new home in the WSOF and new beginnings in general, as well as the emotional toll his UFC release had on his physical well-being:

Yes. Hello. Yushin Okami. Thank you. Yes. World Series of Fighting. Hello. Thank You. Yushin Okami. 

Good to be back, Nation! (*hums Kazoo and hitch kicks off stage*)

-J. Jones

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Jon Fitch to Return Against Marcelo Alfaya at WSOF 6, October 26th in Coral Gables


(Photo via Dave Mandel/Sherdog)

Jon Fitch‘s World Series of Fighting debut was supposed to be a cakewalk. The welterweight veteran was more than a 3-1 favorite against UFC washout Josh Burkman, who Fitch had already submitted in 2006. But when the two fighters met up again in the WSOF 3 main event in June, the narrative quickly changed. Fitch was choked unconscious in just 41 seconds — well done, Steve — and Burkman’s career-comeback was now undeniable.

And while the People’s Warrior is currently slated to fight for the inaugural World Series of Fighting 170-pound title against Steve Carl at WSOF 6 (October 26th; BankUnited Center, Coral Gables, Florida), Fitch is once again in a precarious position, fighting just to remain relevant. MMAFighting has confirmed that Fitch will also be competing on the 10/26 card, against American Top Team/Team Nogueira product Marcelo “Grilo” Alfaya (15-6, 1 NC).

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The Unsupportable Opinion: Steve Mazzagatti’s Non-Stoppage of Burkman vs. Fitch Wasn’t the Travesty Everyone is Making it Out to Be

If there’s anyone that Dana White gets pleasure out of verbally tearing down in the media more than Roy Nelson, it’s Steve Mazzagatti, the (formerly) porn-stached, cool as a cucumber veteran UFC official who has given us such avant-garde decisions as “Eye Poke Equals a TKO,” “Flying Head Kick? 40 More Punches to Convince Me” and “Tap 10 Times For Assistance.” The Baldfather has stated on numerous occasions that he doesn’t think Mazzagatti should even be watching MMA — which is all the more astounding when you consider all the crazy shit DW has said and done to try and sell a pay-per-view before — and even gone as far as to unofficially dub Mazzagatti “The Worst Referee in the History of Fighting.” In a world where this was allowed to happen, that’s a pretty bold claim.

As it turns out, Mazzagatti found himself at the center of controversy once again last weekend when he basically handed over his reffing duties to Josh Burkman during his WSOF 3 clash with Jon Fitch. After clipping Fitch early (like somebody here predicted he would), Burkman locked in a tight guillotine that put Fitch to sleep just over 40 seconds into their headlining bout. Burkman then proceeded to roll his unconscious opponent over and stand over him triumphantly before Mazzagatti decided to step in. It was perhaps the first walk-off submission in MMA History, and for some reason, you all are pissed about it.

Although White and Fitch have been involved in a war of words ever since the AKA product was released from the UFC, at the end of the day, it’s safe to assume that White wishes no ill will towards the former title contender. And being that Mazzagatti is higher up on White’s hit list than Fitch, the UFC Prez recently laid into the veteran ref for nearly 10 straight minutes at the UFC 161 post-fight media scrum. It was, quite honestly, the harshest takedown we have seen since Neal Page’s “Chatty Cathy” criticism of Del Griffith.

We’ve placed the full video of Dana’s rant above. After the jump, we’re going flush our last remaining scrap of credibility down the toilet in an attempt to do the unthinkable: defend Steve Mazzagatti. We know, we know.

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World Series of Fighting 3 Aftermath: Josh Burkman Continues His Improbable Comeback, Jon Fitch Continues His Career Implosion, And Jacob Volkmann Just Keeps Doing What He Does


(“Hey, sorry I’m late, the beer line was crazy, did I miss anyth-OH SHIT.” — Steve Mazzagatti / Photo via Sherdog)

By Andreas Hale

July 13, 2002.

What’s so significant about that date? It was the last time that Jon Fitch lost via submission. The last time, until his World Series of Fighting debut in the main event of WSOF 3 on Friday night, where Fitch was swiftly put to sleep via guillotine choke by Josh Burkman. Yup, that Josh Burkman. The Josh Burkman who was little more than average during his UFC stint, going 5-5 with one of those losses from being choked out by who? You guessed it, Jon Fitch.

Even though the World Series of Fighting announcer called the Fitch vs. Burkman rematch “years in the making,” nobody who has watched MMA believed that nonsense. It was supposed to be Jon Fitch snuffing out Burkman and then grabbing the microphone and telling the UFC to kiss his grits. You know, with Jacob Volkmann lurking over his shoulder mumbling some nonsense about a fighter’s union. But, as they always say, there’s a reason why they actually fight.

Burkman, meanwhile, continued his surprising run of upending former UFC fighters in the WSOF, as he is now 3-0 in all three World Series of Fighting events with victories over Gerald Harris, Aaron Simpson and now Jon Fitch. But who the hell expected him to beat Jon Fitch? I’ll tell you, nobody…except Josh Burkman. And of that nobody percent, who thought that Burkman would choke Fitch to sleep in 41 seconds? Nobody…not even Josh Burkman.

“Who thinks they are going to choke out Jon Fitch?,” Burkman said through a wide smile after the shocking main event that capped off a fairly ho-hum third outing for WSOF.

Prior to the jaw dropping main event, WSOF trudged along with a string of relatively boring fights that yielded very little excitement for those in attendance at The Joint inside of the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas. After the first few matches, most fans drowned themselves in spirits and had loud (mostly drunk) conversations that could be heard throughout the venue. The first five fights of the night are barely worth mentioning. Dan Lauzon beat up on a John Gunderson who looked lifeless in the cage. Carson Beebe earned a controversial unanimous decision despite being completely outclassed on the ground by Joe Murphy. The other disgruntled former UFC employee, Jacob Volkmann, put such a snoozer of a performance in a unanimous decision victory over Lyle Beerbohm that Ben Askren tweeted “That fight had less strikes than one of my fights!” So, you know, when Ben Askren pretty much calls your fight boring, you are in trouble.

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[VIDEO] Josh Burkman Chokes Jon Fitch Out Cold in 41 Seconds

No one saw this coming. Months after being released by the UFC despite being ranked in their own top ten and having one of the roster’s best overall records, Jon Fitch debuted at World Series of Fighting (WSOF) Friday night against Josh Burkman and got choked unconscious in just forty one seconds.

The fight was was a rematch of the pair’s 2006 UFC bout, which Fitch won via rear naked choke. Burkman was released by the UFC in 2008 but since that time has been on a tear.

After a few moments of feeling one another out, Fitch pressed forward with punches but got caught, first by a short right hand and then a left hook by Burkman. Fitch stumbled and then fell to the floor.

Burkman pounced and locked up a guillotine choke on Fitch, rising back to his own feet to crank on the neck. Fitch, his neck still locked to the right side of Burkman’s torso in the choke hold, worked for a take down instead of immediately defending the submission.

Fitch got Burkman to his back but the underdog held on to the guillotine choke from his half guard. A moment later, Fitch went limp, Burkman let go of his prone body and stood over the former number one title contender with his arms raised in the air.

Check out the stunning video above. What do you say, nation? Does beating a top ten fighter like Fitch now thrust Burkman into the global welterweight top ten rankings?

Should Burkman get a call back to the UFC? Where does Fitch go from here?

Interview with Burkman about the huge win after the jump.

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Seth vs. Jared: UFC 161 and World Series of Fighting 3 Edition


(Buy the entire collection of CagePotato staff fights on VHS today!)

With a veritable buffet of fights going down this weekend in UFC 161 and World Series of Fighting 3, we here at CagePotato decided to dust off a rivalry older than Paraguay vs. Uruguay in attempt to break it all down. CP staff writers Jared Jones and Seth Falvo were more than willing to step up to the plate (and over the bones of their past victims) to wage war on a variety of topics relating to this weekend’s action, so read on and let us know how you think either event will play out in the comments section.

What’s the over-under on Rashad Evans’ “50 takedowns” claim? Also, have you ever heard a worse hook to draw PPV buys

Jared: Call me crazy, but I’m taking the under here. Specifically, 4. As Henderson recently stated, Evans has looked a little “shy” on the feet ever since he was knocked out by Lyoto Machida in the midst of delivering one epic tongue-lashing at UFC 98. My prediction is that this fight goes down in a similar, albeit less dominating fashion as Evans vs. Davis. Rashad was able to nail 3 takedowns in that fight, and that was against a guy he was absolutely eating up in the standup department.

A fear of Henderson’s patented H-Bomb is going to result in a Rashad Evans who is timid on the feet (like he was against Lil’ Nog) and who will look to wear out his older foe with his superior speed until Hendo tires out around the 3 minute mark of the second round. It is then when Rashad will truly start looking to impose his will on the ex-Strikeforce champ in the form of the takedown. Truthfully, I hope it doesn’t ever come to that, as I am using the precedent set forth by Vitor Belfort to predict that Hendo lands a TRT-fueled flying knee to Evans’ dome as he shoots for his first takedown.

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World Series of Fighting 3: Fitch, Burkman, Volkmann, Beerbohm on Weight for Tonight’s Event


(Fitch vs. Burkman face-off video via YouTube.com/MMAWorldSeries. Skip to the 2:10 mark to see Burkman zip his entire body inside a jumpsuit. Wow. He is just the *master* of mind games, isn’t he.)

The 18 fighters competing at tonight’s World Series of Fighting 3: Fitch vs. Burkman event successfully weighed-in yesterday at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. The main card — which also features Jacob Volkmann‘s promotional debut against Lyle Beerbohm, and undefeated prospect Justin Gaethje facing off against Brian Cobb — will be broadcast on the NBC Sports Network starting at 11 p.m. ET. Check out the weigh-in results below (via MMAJunkie), click past the jump for a WSOF 3 “Countdown” feature on Jon Fitch, and let us know if you’ll be watching tonight.

MAIN CARD
Josh Burkman (170) vs. Jon Fitch (171)
Steve Carl (169.5) vs. Tyson Steele (170)
Lyle Beerbohm (155.5) vs. Jacob Volkmann (155.5)
Brian Cobb (155) vs. Justin Gaethje (156)

PRELIMINARY CARD
Jerrod Sanders (146) vs. Jeff Smith (146)
John Gunderson (154.5) vs. Dan Lauzon (156)
Carson Beebe (135) vs. Joe Murphy (135.5)
Kendrick Miree (185) vs. Krasimir Mladenov (185.5)
Brenson Hansen (146) vs. Josh Montalvo (145)

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World Series of Fighting Announces Four-Fight Lineup, Ticket Dates for WSOF 3 in Las Vegas


(Knocks out a former UFC star, still can’t get his friends backstage passes. No respect, I tells ya. Photo via Dave Mandel of Sherdog.) 

On the heels of a successful second event in March, upstart promotion World Series of Fighting has officially announced the date, location, ticket dates, and TV lineup for WSOF 3 earlier today. Featuring a main event rematch between Josh Burkman and Jon Fitch for the promotion’s inaugural welterweight title (a ballsy decision considering Fitch’s somewhat…ahem…polarizing style of fighting), WSOF 3 is set to transpire Friday, June 14th from the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tickets for the event are set go on sale April 19th and start at just $29.00.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, “Thirty bucks for a rematch between to mid-tier UFC castaways? My mom will never float me the money for such nonsense!” Well, tell those shyster parents of yours that WSOF 3 will also feature the likes of Tyrone Spong, Rolles Gracie, and Justin Gaethje as well.

On the heels of a straight vicious performance in his MMA debut at WSOF 1, Spong will face off against Angel “The Dream” (Author’s note: Uh-oh) DeAnda, an 11-2, 5’8″ light heavyweight currently riding a four-fight win streak over a bunch of guys you’ve probably never heard of. DeAnda’s last loss dates back to 2010, where he was knocked out by one-time XARM competitor (and former UFC fighter, we’re being told) James “Why Me?” Irvin in under two minutes. Expect something similar to happen to this poor bastard here as well.

The rest of the announced lineup for WSOF 3 is after the jump. 

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