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CagePotato Roundtable #22: What Was the Worst UFC Title Fight of all Time?


(It’s not a UFC fight, but you can’t talk awful title fights without at least referencing Sonnen vs. Filho II. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

Today we’re talking about bad UFC title fights – fights that fizzled out after weeks of hype, bored even the most die-hard fans among us, and left us baffled that the winner was considered the best in his weight class. Since we’re dealing strictly with UFC title fights, notable clunkers like Ruiz vs. Southworth II (Strikeforce), Wiuff vs. Tuchscherer (YAMMA), and Sonnen vs. Filho II (WEC) are ineligible for inclusion. Also, we promise that the only appearance of the name “Ben Askren” in this column lies in this incredibly forced sentence. Read on for our picks, and please, pretty please, send your ideas for future Roundtable topics to tips@cagepotato.com.

Jason Moles

Detroit is known by many names – Motown, Motor City, and Hockey Town to name a few. None of which lend to the idea that the birthplace of the assembly line was also a mecca of mixed martial arts or a place to catch great fights on Saturday. Unfortunately, UFC didn’t care; they took the show to the Great Lakes State in 1996 for UFC 9: Clash of the Titans 2 nonetheless. Ken Shamrock and Michigan native Dan Severn were set to face off for the first world title outside of Japan, the UFC Superfight championship. However, thanks to Senator John McCain, instead seeing an exciting rematch that was sure to cover the canvas in bad blood, fans in attendance and at home watching on PPV were treated to what became known as “The Detroit Dance.” And to this day, it is regarded as one of the worst fights in the history of the sport.

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CagePotato Presents: 10 MMA Fights You Wish You Never Saw

tag team mma
(The problem with American MMA fans is that they don’t understand the tag-team ground game enough to appreciate it.)

BY MATTHEW “THE FIGHT NERD” KAPLOWITZ

We all have that one friend who still just doesn’t get MMA. You tell him how safe it is, he says he doesn’t believe it since you can punch a dude on the ground. You tell him there are rules in place to keep everyone healthy, he says he doesn’t believe it since you can punch a dude on the ground. See a trend developing? No matter what you say, this person just never understands. Part of it might be because of the numerous videos that highlight brutality or generally idiocy in the sport, and of course those are the videos that get traffic — not the ones that showcase good sportsmanship and quality fighting. I blame “America’s Funniest Home Videos” for this obsession with schadenfreude.

These are fights that your friend who hates MMA references to remind you of how horrible he thinks the sport is, and he could have a point with some of these when taken out of context. These fights make you ashamed to be an MMA fan; some for how strangely they turned out due to circumstances, and others for how damaging they were for the whole of the sport. Just a warning to you: This list might start off jovial, but it will take a sharp turn for the serious as we get closer to the bottom. So let’s dive into this cesspool that is teeming with the lowest common denominator and take a look at 10 MMA fights you wish you never saw, and more importantly, that you may wish never existed in the first place.

10. Kimbo Slice vs. Houston Alexander

The man billed as “The Youtube Sensation,” backyard-brawler-turned-MMA-fighter Kimbo Slice made a splash in EliteXC, until he was jabbed to death by Seth Petruzelli in the appropriate finale for that company. No one knew what would happen to Kimbo, and questioned if he would enter boxing, K-1, or return to MMA. We were soon given an answer when the Florida-native popped up on the tenth season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” Now, we would really see if he was UFC material by working his way up against other fighters vying for the top spot.

And hey, turns out Kimbo was not UFC material as he was defeated in the first round of the tournament by Roy Nelson. Still, people swooned over Kimbo saying he was given the hardest fighter in the house. Inevitably, Kimbo was granted a second chance at the TUF 10 finale, getting a fight with equally disappointing Houston Alexander, who had built up a reputation for having great hands and little else. It made perfect sense to book these two together, in hopes that one would knock the other into a time when ProElite meant something other than floundering stock prices.

Instead of fireworks, the match fizzled out and dragged out to a dull decision, with Alexander doing little more than throwing some leg kicks and Kimbo being the one to push the fight. Alexander, who was brought in for this one fight after three losses in a row, was cut and Kimbo was cut one fight later after a beatdown courtesy of Matt Mitrione. The moral of the story here — sure, street fighting is fun to watch, but does that equate to being an MMA fighter? It could if they actually trained. Slice was an example of the hype machine gone overboard, and there is a reason why we have not seen a street fighter pushed like that since.

9. Tag Team MMA

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