#10: Rashad Evans serves Tom Murphy on TUF 2
Believe it or not, Rashad Evans used to be a cocky son-of-a-bitch. Finding no challenge from an outmatched Tom Murphy on the second season of The Ultimate Fighter, Sugar entertained himself during the fight by popping, locking, and striking poses until the judges awarded him the victory. The performance also earned him some serious scorn from opposing coach Matt Hughes, but the two eventually put aside their differences and learned to love each other. Now when Rashad dances in the ring, it’s only to pay tribute to the late, great, Redd Foxx.
#9: “Mayhem” Miller mixes clown-and-smile with ground-and-pound
What do you do when Dream gives you a guy who’s nowhere near your level? If you’re “Mayhem” Miller, you have a little fun with it. You start the fight with some kung fu posing, get him down, move to the mount, flash a peace sign for the camera (1:55), then resume punching. Maybe even throw in a double-chop, Sakuraba-style. Why not? The fans love it. What they don’t love is Miller’s faux-retirement. Isn’t it time he dropped that charade? The MMA world is running dangerously low on antics these days.
Though Cote continues to tell himself that Silva was simply “lost” and “confused” in this fight, this moment serves as evidence to the contrary. Late in the second round (10:04 in the video) Silva decided to pay homage to his favorite kung fu movies, exhibiting a little Wing Chun action to show his defensive hand skills. At least Silva seemed to be entertaining himself at this point, even if he was the only one who really got a kick out of it. Too bad the fight ended early with Cote’s knee injury. The Dim Mak couldn’t have been far away.
#7: Brock Lesnar ropes in a Crazy Horse
Many hardcore MMA fans were suspicious of Brock Lesnar’s crossover-act when he made his UFC debut in February of this year, but the former WWE superstar didn’t become a true heel (to borrow a wrasslin’ term) until his domination of Heath Herring at UFC 87 in August. After three rounds of unanswered smothering, Lesnar began celebrating a few seconds early, riding the Texas Crazy Horse like a bronco (see the 20:02 mark of the video), pointing and laughing at him (20:06), then miming a lasso-roping of the demoralized Herring (20:14-20:20). “CAN YOU SEE ME NOW? CAN YOU SEE ME NOW?” he asks the crowd after ripping the mic from Joe Rogan’s hands. Yeah, we can see you, dickhead.
Heads up: Curious about what kind of showboating antics the Big Les will try to pull against Randy Couture? Then don’t forget to come back Saturday night at 10 p.m. ET for our rip-roarin’ liveblog of UFC 91…
#6: Genki Sudo freaks out Duane Ludwig
If you watched that YouTube documentary, you’d know that Genki Sudo’s bizarre behavior was never meant to insult his opponents. To him, showmanship — not showboating — elevated fighting into art. Still, you have to feel for Duane Ludwig, who suffered through Sudo stalking around the cage in the beginning of their UFC 42 fight facing the wrong way. (This, of course, was after Sudo walked out in full Geisha regalia, fanning lotus blossoms into the crowd.) Maybe if the Neo Samurai just got down to business after the bell, he would have won that narrow decision. But then, we wouldn’t still be talking about this fight today, would we?
#5: Frank Shamrock is amused by your palm strikes
Frank Shamrock’s King of Pancrase bout against Bas Rutten in May 1996 was one of the most theatrical matches in MMA history — so much so that some have accused it of being a work. And with the fighters flying out of the ropes (8:22-8:24), and Shamrock saluting the crowd after a defensive reverse somersault (11:51-11:57), you can understand why. But the most memorable moment comes at the 13:40-13:50 mark of this video, where Bas Rutten starts throwing a few Pancrase-approved palm-strikes into Shammy’s mug while fending off a leglock attempt. Shamrock responds with some cartoonishly gleeful mugging, sticking his tongue out further after every impact. Eventually Bas gets so frustrated that he strikes Frank with a closed-fist, which is a big no-no. Rutten eventually won the bout due to cut stoppage, but it was his opponent who provided more entertainment value that night.
#4: Tito Ortiz‘s special t-shirts
Okay, so it’s not actual in-fight showboating, but no list is complete without mention of Ortiz’s t-shirts. They started in his early years with the UFC and were clearly made at the local mall. The first, worn after his victory over Jerry Bohlander, declared “I Just Fucked Your Ass.” The slogans would get only slightly more eloquent over the years, and included such notable phrases as “Gay Mezger Is My Bitch” (after a win over Guy Mezger), “That’s American For ‘Whoop Ass,’ Mate!” (def. Elvis Sinosic), and “Punishing Him Into Retirement” (third victory over Ken Shamrock) Though Ortiz’s last UFC fight was a loss to Lyoto Machida, he wore a “Dana Is My Bitch” shirt to the weigh-ins, and donned an “I Did It My Way” shirt after the decision loss. Classy motherfucker.
#3: Nate Quarry‘s Running Man/Rock Hammer technique
Faced with Kalib Starnes’ patented “avoid fighting at all costs” strategy, Quarry became so frustrated in the final moments of this epic snoozer that he had no other choice than to turn to open mockery of his opponent. First came the high-stepping, but when that elicited no more than an obscene gesture from Starnes, Quarry was forced to pull out his now-signature move: The Rock Hammer. As painful as the fight had been to watch, Quarry’s showboating actually saved it from being a total waste. We’ll never forget what you did for us that night, “Rock”. You either, Starnes.
#2: Frank Shamrock puts Phil Baroni to bed
Yep, it’s Frank again. Eleven years after that Pancrase match with Bas, it’s clear that Shamrock didn’t mellow with age — his showboating just became more creative. A minute into his Strikeforce middleweight title match against Phil Baroni (skip to the video’s 3:22 mark), Shamrock mimed that his opponent was about to go down for a widdle nap; seconds later, a three-punch combo sends the New York Bad Ass to the mat. Baroni survives the onslaught with the help of a pause in the action due to some illegal blows, but Shamrock eventually ends things for good in round 2. Along the way, he works in some of his patented crazy-face muggin’, flashes the peace sign to a photographer while on his back, and roughly shoves the passed-out Baroni off of him (13:16) after sinking in a rear-naked choke. Money’s on the dresser, sweetheart.
#1: Nate Diaz‘s double-bird triangle choke
The younger Diaz brother was getting beaten up for most of his fight with Kurt Pellegrino at UFC Fight Night 13, but an attempted slam in the second round turned into a surprise triangle choke for Diaz (9:45). Of course, being a Diaz he couldn’t simply pull Pellegrino’s head down and finish the choke all boring like some punk. Instead he extended both middle fingers to the world while he waited for Pellegrino to tap. Over in Diaz’s corner, his older brother Nick shed an invisible tear, though he’d never admit to it because he’s not some fuckin’ pussy like you, homey.
Props to “Old, Bald and Irish” for the list idea! If we forgot your favorite MMA showboating moment, drop us a comment and let us know…
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