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To the Slaughter: The 8 (Or So) Most Memorable Sacrificial Lambs in MMA History

#4: Cody McKenzie (that time he fought Chad Mendes

Cody McKenzie was undoubtedly one of the more charismatic/strange fighters to come out of the TUF house in recent years. He spoke in stonery ramblings instead of dudebro cliches. He maintained the appearance of a wildling-born carny. He even had a signature finishing move, Mortal Kombat style! But his charisma aside, McKenzie was not what you’d call a strong fighter, having gone an uninspiring 2-2 in his first 4 UFC appearances and been submitted by both Wagner Prado and Yves Edwards.

So suffice it to say, when Chad Mendes — as in former title challenger Chad Mendes — lost his UFC 148 opponent at the last minute due to injury, McKenzie’s name was nowhere to be found on the list of potential replacement opponents. He was a lightweight, for starters, and seemed like a pretty steep drop in competition for a guy who had just fought Jose freaking Aldo. But he got booked anyway.

How was this sanctioned homicide allowed to take place? You can read matchmaker Sean Shelby’s attempt an explanation here, but the tl;dr version: The featherweight division was all booked up. Anyways, Mendes obliterated McKenzie with a body shot in less than a minute, and “The AK Kid” was last seen giving pints of blood to make weight and illegally headbutting his way down the WSOF ranks.

#3: Art Jimmerson

There can only be one original, and when you’re talking about sacrificial lambs and/or purveyors in one-gloved fighting capabilities, you’re talking about Art Jimmerson.

We all know the story. Back in the early 90′s, the Gracie’s were looking for a way to display the superiority of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to the world, so they set up a Bloodsport-style tournament pitting fighting style against fighting style and threw one of their own into the mix. That man was Royce Gracie, and his first opponent was Art Jimmerson, an American boxer so confident in himself that he wore one glove into the ring to protect his jab hand while it was massacring Gracie’s face.

Problem was, Jimmerson (and most of the world, for that matter) had no idea what this “Jiu-Jitsu” was or how it worked. So when Royce took Jimmerson down and mounted him in seconds, Jimmerson acted as most men who thought they were about to get raped would: He surrendered immediately.

In retrospect, it’s hard not to see Jimmerson as a (relatively) innocent bystander who was sacrificed for the good of the sport. And it’s a shame he doesn’t get more credit for his role in the early success of MMA, for without him, we might not live in a world where Ken Shamrock and Kimbo Slice come out of a 5-year hiatus to face each other LIVE ON SPIKE TV AT BELLATOR 138. HYEAHHHHHHH!!!!!

#2: Any Japanese Fighter in the PRIDE Days

If the UFC was invented to display the superiority of a Brazilian fighting style, then PRIDE was designed to do just the opposite with the Japanese. Which is strange considering that PRIDE itself was a Japan-based promotion.

The rate at which locally-based and underseasoned Japanese fighters were fed to PRIDE’s top fighters was astounding, as if the promotion was being secretly used as some sick form of population control. Just take a look over the list of PRIDE fighters from Japan, where you’ll find guys like…

-Alexander Otsuka: 3-10 Pride record, was defeated by Renzo Gracie, Igor Vovchanchyn, Ken Shamrock, Guy Mezger, Wanderlei Silva, and Anderson Silva

-Hiromitsu Kanehara: 0-4, fought Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop, Alistair Overeem, and Mauricio Rua in back-to-back bouts. My God.

-Hirotaka Yokoi: 1-4, was submitted by Big Nog, then TKO’d by Heath Herring, Mario Sperry and Rampage Jackson in successive bouts

-Kazuo Takahashi: 0-3, was KO’d by Herring, Vovchanchyn, and Vitor Belfort in successive PRIDE bouts

-Masaaki Satake: 1-6, fought Vovchanchyn, Semmy Schilt and Rampage Jackson in successive bouts. Was violently KO’d on two of those occasions.

-Michiyoshi Ohara: 0-2, entered PRIDE with an 0-0 record and was promptly given Renzo Gracie and Kevin Randleman as opponents.

-Shungo Oyama: 1-5-1, entered PRIDE with a 1-1 record and was TKO’d by W. Silva, Cro Cop, and Dan Henderson. (We call that PRIDE Bingo.)

The list goes on, Nation. When the looney tunes in charge of PRIDE weren’t bringing in freak shows and masked wrestling characters to be publicly humiliated, they were sacrificing their own to the nastiest fighters in their stable. The majority of these fights were hopelessly tilted, sadistic abominations. They were crimes against humanity, is what they were, and anyone who partook in them in any form should be ashamed of themselves.

 

 

PRIDE neva die.

#1: Ranger Stott

Say whatever you want about the general ignorance of a certain fighter’s abilities in the early UFC years, but there’s no way you’ll ever convince me that Mark Kerr vs. Greg Stott *wasn’t* set up out of a personal vendetta against the man known as “Ranger.” There’s simply no other way to justify its existence.

I mean, can you even imagine the discussion the UFC scouts had the moment they laid eyes on this portly everyman boasting a pair of beige swim trunks and a made-up fighting style?

Scout 1: “What’s that he’s doing with his feet when he punches? Is he kick-jabbing?”

Scout 2: “I think he’s trying to flick a bug off his shoe. Either way, it’s hi-larious.”

Scout 1: “I believe he calls this style ‘Rest in Peace’, sir.”

Scout 2: “Perfect. Absolutely perfect. Let’s get him to shoot a promo vid, then match him up with Mark Kerr in the first round. Should be fun for the kids.”

Scout 1: “See, there you go again, Mike. You’re always pushing it too far. I want to see this bozo embarrassed just as much as you do, but Kerr just won the last tournament for Christ’s sake. He’d literally kill this guy in less than 30 seconds. It’s inhumane, Mike-”

Scout 2: “Don’t you dare tell me what’s inhumane, Charles! This guy wants a fight, I’ll give him a fight!! Dammit, he slept with my wife!!!” (*punches wall*)

I suppose now is as good a time as any to come clean. This whole article has just been an excuse to write out that conversation and post what may be my favorite Youtube video of all time. I’m sorry for deceiving you.

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