(Props: David T. Cho)
Being an MMA fan ain’t easy sometimes. Hyped-up fights turn out to be snorefests, scandals damage the sport’s legitimacy, incredible parlay bets get wrecked by incompetent judging, forcing us to explain to our kids once again that Santa Claus most have lost our address this year. On today’s CagePotato Roundtable, we’re discussing the fights and moments that made us want to give up on MMA entirely and follow [*shudder*] baseball for a while. Let us know your own lowest fan-moment in the comments section, and if you have a topic for a future Roundtable column, send it it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It’s crazy how life goes full circle: When I was ten years old, Doug Flutie was my favorite NFL player. I begged my dad to buy me Flutie Flakes for breakfast, so that I too could grow up and be a successful, albeit undersized quarterback for a small market football team. My dad refused, which explains why I’m now a writer (You’re welcome, Andrew Luck). After all, I was too young to remember the real Doug Flutie, the Heisman Trophy winning Boston College quarterback who helped make the USFL somewhat relevant. Flutie may have still been a talented quarterback — especially for his age — but he had clearly lost a step by the time I started watching football.
Thirteen years later I was on the phone with my dad, talking about one of the most lopsided fights he had ever seen. I spent the entire conversation trying to convince him that the small, pudgy guy he just watched get destroyed by a no-name oddity was at one point the most dangerous fighter on the planet. As you may have guessed, I’m specifically referring to Fedor Emelianenko vs. Antonio Silva. But really, Fedor’s entire Strikeforce run can be summed up the exact same way. Perhaps Fedor was too old, perhaps the heavyweight division had simply caught up to him, or perhaps it was a combination of the two. But one thing is clear: By the time that Fedor made his way to Strikeforce, he was no longer the untouchable fighter that he had once been.
Even in his lone victory, a second round knockout against Brett Rogers, he was arguably losing the fight before connecting with the fight ending right hand. And Brett Rogers is no Apollo Creed; he’s barely a pimple on the ass of Vodka Drunkenski. He’s a gatekeeper in every sense of the word — just legitimate enough for EliteXC to have kept him away from a “prime” Kimbo Slice, but not legitimate enough to pose any threat of beating a true contender. We had all the warning signs that Fedor was going to be a bust signing after this fight, yet we chose to ignore them because hey, he won, right?