What (most of us) know him for: Unquestionably the most embarrassing loss on our list, Eddy Bengtsson is the man who became infamous for being “knocked out” via Ghost Punch by Aleksander Emelianenko. Like a scene from The Sixth Man, (yes, I went there) Aleksander seemed to summon the power of the unbeknownst third Emelianenko brother to knock out Bengtsson less than a minute into their fight, despite completely missing the punch that did so.
What he’s been up to: Even before Eddy could see a replay of exactly how pathetic the fight was, he saved himself the embarrassment of ever having to explain himself again by immediately retiring after the fight. Like…in the locker room. Check out his explanation of just what the hell happened. Among other things, Bengtsson states that he believes Aleks will have a great career in the future, proving that the punch must have somehow done massive damage to his brain.
Where he is now: Well apparently his retirement lasted just a few months longer than Jamie Varner‘s, as Bengtsson returned to the ring in May of this year to score a 50 second kimura win over Istvan Kalmar.
What (most of us) know him for: Performing a move so dumb in his match against Shinya Aoki that Bas Rutten declared, “He cannot sleep for three days.” It was a rough three days for Gardner.
What he’s been up to: Kids, take note: If you ever embarrass yourself like David Gardner did, which would be equivalent to getting a raise and then shitting your boss’ desk, please don’t try and market yourself on that failure thereafter, like David Gardner did. Yes, as a result of the incident, which became a viral sensation, Gardner changed his nickname to “Hello Japan,” or a move equivalent to reminding every future job interviewer you sit down with that you indeed shat on your last boss’ desk.
Where he is now: Amidst a 4 fight skid with just two wins coming in his last ten, including losses to UFC veteran Matt Grice and TUF 13 winner Tony Ferguson. You see kids, this is what happens when you try to make your name off of a major personal failure…it leads to many, many more. But hey, at least he’s cool with it.
And that takes us to perhaps the biggest victim of all…
What (most of us) know him for: It’s tough to imagine in hindsight, but there was actually a time when Bob “The Beast” Sapp made people piss themselves in fear instead of unintentional laughter. We’re talking about a man who managed to defeat the legendary Ernesto Hoost twice in K1 competition, despite lacking the ability to throw a proper punch or kick whatsoever. He even managed to nearly piledrive “Minotauro” through the PRIDE ring for Christ’s sake. But it was Sapp’s face off against Croatian striker Mirko Cro Cop that would truly make him famous, despite his exhausting attempts to do so through other mediums. A little over a minute into the fight, Mirko caught Sapp with a straight left that shattered his zygomatic bone, but it was his reaction to the punch that would forever make his nickname a thing of irony. Rather than falling to the mat like a normal person might, Sapp slowly, limply, laid down on the mat and went into a series of winces and convulsions that would become known thereafter as “crygasming.”
What he’s been up to: The loss to Cro Cop was really the beginning of the end for Sapp. His gong-and-rush tactics quickly became a thing of parody, and aside from a few wins in freak show fights, Sapp would become a punching bag for the likes of Bobby Lashley, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, and famed giant killer Minowaman. But hey, he was in the remake of The Longest Yard that everyone loved. Right? Right? Guys?
Where he is now: Currently on an 0-9 run in kickboxing competition and a 1-5 run in MMA, Sapp was scheduled to fight at K1 Dynamite!! 2010 on New Year’s Eve against Shinichi Suzukawa in a Pancrase style match. But after claiming to be shorted $15,000 by the promotion, Sapp would pull out the day of the event, leading FEG President Sadaharu Tanikawa to label him, “the worst, most lamentable dust man,” and someone who, “should not be considered a normal person.” Sad…but probably true.
Next time, we check up on a few legends of the sport, look down from our high chairs, and laugh at how far they’ve fallen.