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CagePotato Tribute: The 50 Worst Fighters in UFC History

The One-and-Done Wonders

A single fight. A lifetime of humiliation.

14. Aaron Brink (UFC record: 0-1)
Sole appearance: UFC 28, 11/17/00

I know what you’re thinking — what’s Dick Delaware doing here? Well, before Aaron Brink became involved in the porn game (and later, the crystal meth game), he was a promising young heavyweight who had done fairly well in MMA tournaments on the West Coast. He and Andrei Arlovski made their Octagon debuts against each other at UFC 28, and though Brink took the fight to the Pitbull, Arlovski snatched up a fight-ending armbar (with a little help from the fence) in just under a minute. A tune-up match against up-and-comer Rich Franklin at an IFC event two months later didn’t go his way either, which seemed to ensure that Brink would be competing for small-time promotions permanently; the UFC never had him back.

Brink’s subsequent MMA career proved that you can’t juggle two careers at once and be a drug addict. Luckily, he’s been completely sober for two years, but the odds of a high-profile comeback are unlikely. In May 2012, Brink was submitted by Joe Riggs in a light-heavyweight bout for Rage in the Cage, despite that fact that Joe Riggs is nowhere near being a light-heavyweight. But at least Aaron beat Dan Quinn once, and you can’t take that away from him.

15. Sean Gannon (0-1)
Sole appearance: UFC 55, 10/7/05

In 2005, Kimbo Slice was picking up viral YouTube fame as a bare-knuckle brawler in Miami. So obviously, the UFC decided to sign the white guy who beat him that one time. It was a rare misstep for the UFC talent scouts, who paired the inexperienced Boston police officer against veteran heavyweight Branden Lee Hinkle. Hinkle beat the tar out of Gannon, winning by first-round TKO and ending his MMA career. Four years later, the UFC signed Kimbo, like they should have in the first place.

16. Kit Cope (0-1)
Sole appearance: The Ultimate Fighter 2 Finale, 11/5/05

Kit Cope charmed his way into appearances on MTV’s True Life and Spike TV’s The Wild World of Spike, and in the greatest moment of his career, he convinced Gina Carano to have sex with him. But charm will only get you so far in this sport. Despite his decorated kickboxing pedigree, Cope’s general lack of grappling skills made him an easy target in MMA competition. (His overall record currently stands at 6-7, with six of those losses coming by submission.) In his lone UFC appearance, he faced TUF 1 finalist Kenny Florian and inevitably fell prey to a rear-naked choke. Following his brief UFC stint, he challenged Rob McCullough for the WEC’s vacant lightweight title, tapped due to punches in the first round, then tested positive for steroids. And if he ever leaks that Gina Carano sex tape, the ghost of Shawn Tompkins is going to kick the shit out of him.

17. Sherman Pendergarst (0-1)
Sole appearance: UFC 65, 11/18/06

Sherman Pendergarst is on this list for one reason, and one reason only. At UFC 65, he stepped into the Octagon against Antoni Hardonk, and became the only fighter in MMA history to be knocked out cold by a leg kick. We’re not exactly sure how that’s physically possible, but it happened, and the moment has become Sherman’s enduring legacy in the sport. The UFC shredded his contract afterwards, and you can’t really blame them. Since that fateful night, Pendergarst has gone 3-14 in MMA competition, including knockout losses to UFC veterans Shane Carwin, Tim Hague, Joey Beltran, Houston Alexander, and Razak Al-Hassan — so in a way, he’s still with the UFC in spirit.

18. Josh Hendricks (0-1)
Sole appearance: UFC 91, 11/15/08

Unlike some of the other guys on this page, Josh “Heavy” Hendricks‘s one-and-done dismissal from the UFC didn’t result from him insulting the promotion, testing positive for steroids, or sullying his family name. The Ohio native was drafted to make his Octagon debut against Gabriel Gonzaga at UFC 91, but when the dust had settled on his knockout loss — a 61-second blitz that remains the quickest win of Napao’s career — it was clear that Hendricks wasn’t UFC material. And it wasn’t just because he got his ass kicked in a way that suggested he’d never be more than a gatekeeper. It was also his soft physique, and those weird little bumps he carried all over his body, which might have freaked out the UFC brass and probably didn’t win him any fans among the home viewers. He didn’t “look like a fighter,” to put it charitably. The UFC cut him loose, and now he’s just another footnote on Gonzaga’s impressive resume.

19. Rolles Gracie Jr. (0-1)
Sole appearance: UFC 109, 2/6/10

As the first Gracie to compete in the UFC since King Royce, there was a lot of pressure on Rolles Gracie — grandson of Carlos Gracie Sr. — to honor his ancestors. Unsurprisingly, his grappling credentials were impeccable. But as an MMA fighter, he was just 3-0 when he was signed by the UFC, and clearly not ready for the big show. Gracie’s debut opponent was intended to be Mostapha al-Turk, who had already been smashed by Cheick Kongo and Mirko Cro Cop in previous UFC fights, and might have been an easy meal for Rolles. Instead, al-Turk was forced to drop out of the match due to visa issues, and was replaced on short notice by a dangerous slugger named Joey Beltran.

Gracie’s downfall turned out not to be Beltran’s striking or experience advantages, but his own shitty cardio. Rolles successfully mounted Beltran and took his back in round one, but couldn’t secure a submission, and by the time Beltran got back to his feet, Gracie was already gassed. His lumbering takedown attempts were easily stuffed in round two, and Beltran finished the fight by sprawling on top of the helpless grappler and punching down on him. After the fight, Rolles’s own cousin Renzo called the performance “embarrassing.” Evan Beltran felt bad for him. And these days, the once-proud Gracie is forced to fight opponents with even smaller gas-tanks than his.

20. James Toney (0-1)
Sole appearance: UFC 118, 8/28/10

Didn’t Art Jimmerson already prove that this wouldn’t work? James Toney may have been a far more accomplished boxer than Jimmerson — and he had the good sense to wear two gloves into the Octagon — but his completely ill-advised MMA crossover attempt gave us a weird sense of deja vu. This time, the UFC legend in the other corner was Randy Couture, who took Toney down and submitted him without absorbing a single punch. Toney was so inept in the ways of MMA that he didn’t even know how to tap out properly; instead, he just waved his hand at the heavens like a Pentecostal preacher. Honestly, we expected more from someone whose daddy was an original death fighter.

21. Vinicius Kappke de Queiroz (0-1)
Sole appearance: UFC 120, 10/16/10

Kappke de Queiroz‘s UFC debut proved that appearances can be deceiving — and very disappointing. After racking up a string of first-round knockouts in his native Brazil, the towering Chute Boxe product took his first steps in the Octagon at UFC 120 against the much-less-impressive-looking Rob Broughton, and performed admirably for a full round before gassing out. Broughton secured the win in the third frame with a rear-naked choke. After the fight, it was revealed that Queiroz failed a random pre-fight drug screening, coming up positive for Stanozolol. Despite his rock-solid alibi, the UFC got rid of Queiroz — which is a relief, considering his name is a liveblogger’s worst nightmare. Seriously, Beezow Doo-Doo Zopittybop-Bop-Bop is only slightly more ridiculous. VKdQ is currently awaiting his Bellator debut.

22. Antonio McKee (0-1)
Sole appearance: UFC 125, 1/1/11

After going to the judges in 16 out of 17 fights from 2002-2009, Antonio McKee earned a reputation as MMA’s most unapologetically boring fighter. Keeping a tattooed Asian manservant named Kenny back at his house certainly didn’t increase his likability factor. But judging from McKee’s interviews, it was obvious that he considered himself God’s gift to combat sports. He was the Muhammad Ali of MMA, as well as the Tupac Shakur of MMA. He was, and we quote, “the baddest nigga on the planet.”

And somehow, the wrestling savant known as “Mandingo” turned in one of his most boring performances ever at his UFC debut, and wound up losing a split-decision to the equally boring Jacob Volkmann. The UFC promptly tossed him out on his ass, and he got all racial on us. Moral of the story: If you’re going to talk shit, you’d better back it up by winning. And if you don’t win, you’d better put on a great show while you lose. And if you can’t do either, please, do not under any circumstances try to bite a chunk out of your opponent’s shoulder.

Jump to…
Page 1: The Pre-Zuffa Punchlines
Page 2: The One-and-Done Wonders
Page 3: The Repeat Offenders
Page 4: The Not-Ready-for-Prime-Time TUF Guys
Page 5: The Barely-Worth-Mentioning Washouts

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Cagepotato Comments

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MediocreThreat- February 4, 2013 at 6:44 pm
Amadolark- August 31, 2012 at 9:12 am
You forgot to mention that Escovedo's "hiatus" was because he was paralyzed from the waist down and needed to learn how to walk again. PS your observations on fighters appear to be by records only, not on the challenge presented by the other fighter.
MGrizP4P- July 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm
Did I miss Thomas Ramirez?
hroobarb- July 14, 2012 at 7:31 am
Ricardo Funch is 0-4 in the octagon.
hawaiianlion15- July 14, 2012 at 12:40 am
Still waiting to hear why BG omitted Jason Thacker from this list...
Grimbold- July 13, 2012 at 9:32 pm
Kalib Starnes?
hawaiianlion15- July 14, 2012 at 12:41 am
Kalib Starnes was 6 to 8 thousand times better than Jason Thacker.
R777- July 13, 2012 at 12:24 am
Also remember that Bobby Hoffman appeared to have won his fight with South African power-lifting champion Mark Robinson with a crisp standing elbow at UFC-30...then failed the drug test.Result was changed to No-Contest.
kutfo- July 12, 2012 at 7:53 pm
How about UFC 47's Wade Shipp & Jonathon Wiezorek? One of them one the fight, but it was so horrible, they were BOTH cut. Also, Kevin Jordan... 0-2, fought Gabe Gonzaga in one of the worst fights ever, only to have his nose turned into a faucet with about 15 seconds left in the 3rd. I think all three should've made the list.
Kimbo Lesnar- July 11, 2012 at 10:53 am
"Kyle complained that Sims actually bit his chest during the match."

Ummmm.... I am pretty sure that it was Wes Sims complaining about Mike Kyle biting his chest in that fight, not the other way around. I recall Wes pointing to the bite mark and saying Mike bit his tit.
Qlay- July 11, 2012 at 8:24 am
Excellent work...I would've had Cal Worsham on there for his "waiting to tap" when he was about to be struck by Tank Abbot.
koushikahmed14- July 11, 2012 at 6:21 am
don't be a Potato.... just listen that you can earn $9767 in one month on the internet. have you seen this website
2Dogs- July 11, 2012 at 5:43 am
Wow, what a read, very funny, cheers
Chromium- July 10, 2012 at 11:26 pm
Jorge Santiago is kind of a bullshit listing here. He lost to two dudes ranked in the Top 20 in his first stint, and more recently two dudes who were each ranked in the Top 10, getting a FOTN award against Brian Stann. He's one of the best free agents out there and has won two more fights since his release, each in under two minutes, and probably deserves another chance.
XENOPHON- July 10, 2012 at 10:30 pm
Good thing I did not read the name Luke Cummo. He got robbed years ago by Joe Daddy. Remember that?
FilmDrunk- July 10, 2012 at 9:11 pm
Oh come on! No love (so to speak...) for Allen "Monstah Lobstah" Beruby? That guy might have been worse than Stand and Wang. For shame, CP.
hawaiianlion15- July 11, 2012 at 2:50 am
Monstah Lobstah got kicked off the show and never actually fought in the UFC, so he didn't qualify for the list. My guy, Jason Thacker, fought at the TUF 1 Finale. He shoulda been one of the first fighters listed... smh.
hawaiianlion15- July 10, 2012 at 8:26 pm
When I first saw the title of this article, I immediately knew that Jason Thacker was gonna be listed somewhere. Much to my surprise, there was no Thacker. Good list, but that is an absolutely glaring omission. Jason Thacker was the worst fighter of the Zuffa era, TUF or otherwise.
dedflesh- July 10, 2012 at 3:19 pm
razak al hassan .. he lost to cantwell .. brutally.
uzitotinbaby- July 10, 2012 at 2:59 pm
Fucking awesome list! And since January? DAYUM! That's longer than it took me to compile my list of underutilized MMA techniques, which I though would make me famous but no one ever wanted to publish.
sevvi- July 10, 2012 at 2:58 pm
That was just awesome. Took me quite some time to read through the list since i just had to klick on most of the links. Good job BG
FightZen- July 10, 2012 at 1:29 pm
Goldstein's opus. I loved it.
Dizzylittlelord- July 10, 2012 at 11:54 am
love these articles. give me more
XENOPHON- July 10, 2012 at 11:22 am
@BG - good, but way too long. Better if read as installments - easier to comment on.
Boo- July 10, 2012 at 11:14 am
Awesome list. I can't imagine how long it took to put this thing together.
Viva Hate- July 10, 2012 at 10:51 am
Damn great list! I laughed, I cried, I googled 50 people who see who is selling used cars. Also, I want a fight to the death between Joe Son and Jeremy Jackson, the winner gets lethal injection, make it happen!
bgoldstein- July 10, 2012 at 10:32 am
@Spitting: LOL! True...
@gargolito: How dare you disrespect the Polar Bear! Dude managed to walk away with a 4-4 record in the UFC.
@smelly: I've been working on this feature off-and-on since January. No joke.
@bpd: Another good call.
hawaiianlion15- July 11, 2012 at 2:53 am
Jason. Thacker. W. T. F.