1 Aug 2012 06:21:38 AM
(Who wants to be #8?? / Image via Sportsnet.ca)
By Ben Goldstein
In case you haven’t been paying attention — or simply refuse to believe it — the next UFC light-heavyweight title contender will be selected from a crop of four guys who have previously been destroyed by current champion Jon Jones. And I mean destroyed. Obviously, the lucky challenger could wind up taking on Dan Henderson instead, but we’re still talking about a quartet of fighters who have already proven that they’re somewhat less than belt-worthy.
Does the weak contender pool at light-heavyweight represent a low-water mark for UFC title challengers? Hardly. Even if the shot goes to Brandon Vera — a guy who has gone 1-2 with one no-contest in his last four fights — he’d be coming in with a win over a legend like Shogun, which is nothing to sneeze at. So let’s put all this criticism into perspective, and take a look at seven guys who really didn’t deserve a UFC title fight when one was handed to them…
Fought Maurice Smith for the heavyweight title @ UFC 15, 10/17/97
In Tank’s defense, he was coming in on short-notice as an injury replacement for Dan Severn — but still, you’d think the UFC could hustle up a more legitimate challenger for their heavyweight belt. After all, we’re not talking about the Tank Abbott of 1995 who was knocking dudes out then mocking their seizures. We’re talking about the Tank Abbott of 1997 who had already been exposed as hopelessly one-dimensional, and had lost his last two fights against Vitor Belfort and Don Frye. Coincidentally, Belfort was on the UFC 15 card as well, in a heavyweight title eliminator against Randy Couture — and if either of those guys were drafted for the main event in Tank’s place, we might not have been subjected to the sad sight of Abbott stumbling around and wheezing after eight minutes of battle, too exhausted to defend leg kicks.Read More DIGG THIS