When you decide to take up a career as a Mixed Martial Arts fighter, you have the potential to be immortalized for amazing feats. A thrilling knockout or submission, a roaring comeback or best of all, a world championship victory are all things which fighters strive to achieve in order to reach immortality in the eyes of MMA fans. While it sounds wonderful, it obviously isn’t quite in the cards for everybody. If everybody was capable of those tremendous accomplishments then they wouldn’t be so great anymore. You need just as much failure and foolishness in this sport to compliment the fantastic successes. For every Georges St-Pierre, you need an Andy Wang. Twenty bucks if you can remember who that guy was.
And that’s why we’re here today, to remember those instances in MMA where a fighter did or said something that just made you shake your head in disbelief, possibly making you giggle like a little girl at the same time. As a result of that, you’re not going to see this list filled completely with entries of fighters getting knocked out or submitted due to a tactical error made inside of a fight. Sure you’ll a few sprinkled in here and there, but there’s so many ridiculous moments in this sport which occurred outside of the fighting venue sometimes even involving non-fighters that I had to put them in.
Now without further ado I present to you dear reader the 15 most embarrassing moments in MMA history.
15. Rousimar Palhares Premature Celebration
One of the most embarassing things a man can do in their everyday life is to, ahem, climax prematurely. It shows a lack of composure and ends a beautiful moment before it should end. Well, Rousimar Palhares did the MMA equivalent of that at UFC 134 against Dan Miller.
After knocking down Miller with a kick and following up with some ground and pound, Palhares just kind of stopped doing his job. He jumped to celebrate atop the Octagon cage despite referee Herb Dean never stopping the fight. To make it more embarrassing, Palhares almost got knocked out right afterwards but since he recovered and eventually won the fight anyway, so this one stays at 15.
14. Chuck Liddell Gets Knocked Out By Medicine
If anything could be learnt from decades of combat sports is that a championship fighter’s life can be pretty hectic. Training, friends and perhaps most stressful of all, media all take a toll on you and make you feel drained as the Iceman Chuck Liddell found out on his Good Morning Texas interview in 2007.
Appearing to promote the movie 300, Liddell was suffering from pneumonia and hopped up on a sleeping pill and Nyquil. Clearly in no shape to give an interview, Liddell slurred through his answers and had the host look extremely concerned about the health of the champ. While everything was fine with Liddell, the moment itself was still embarrassing for him.
13. Nevada State Athletic Commission vs. Ice
Few competitors inside the UFC octagon are more difficult to put away than the solid form of Dihydrogen Monoxide. Also known as ice.
At UFC 109 in between rounds of the fight between Melvin Guillard and Ronys Torres, a nefarious bag of ice decided to burst open and spill its contents all over the octagon floor. Try as they might, the Nevada State Athletic Commission couldn’t quite defeat the ice. Well, if we can’t expect them to follow their own punishment regulations for drug failures, then how can we expect them to clean up ice.
12. David Gardner Says Hello
If we were still living in the days where a pure grappler were to fight a pure striker, Shinya Aoki might have been a pound for pound legend. His frighteningly good ground work and flair for dramatic submissions makes him a tall order for any man and David Gardner knew that. Doesn’t make this any less embarrassing.
At DREAM 9 Gardner had Shinya Aoki, as I mentioned a wizard on the mat, on his back. Knowing he was done like a thanksgiving turkey, Gardner decided to wave and scream to the crowd “hello Japan!” Literally immediately after, Aoki locked a vice grip rear naked choke and tapped Gardner. Next time Gardner, try to be funny when Aoki isn’t on your back mmkay?
11. Harold Howard Has A Saying…
Just like Donald Trump doesn’t speak for all of Americans, Harold Howard sure as hell doesn’t speak for all of Canadians.
Back in the early, barely legal days of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (not Ultimate Fighting Challenge as Howard states) the company seemed to throw almost anybody in the cage to scrap it out or get thrown to the wolves versus Royce Gracie. Howard tried to give himself a little bit of self-promotion: “We have a saying back home, if you’re coming on (whips off his sunglasses), THEN COME ON!”
As a citizen of the beautiful nation of Canada, I can confirm that such an expression doesn’t exist. We do say “eh” a lot though.
10. Fighters Crapping Themselves Part 1: Yoel Romero
Oh you thought that Romero’s “No for gay Jesus!” moment was gonna pop up on here? Nope, that was merely a Cuban accent fighting with the English language. This however, is clear in any language.
Back at UFC Fight Night 35, Romero took on Derek Brunson and at some point of the fight, viewers at home noticed a particular brown spot on his otherwise purple shorts. It appears that in victory, this “Soldier of God” had to celebrate with soiled shorts. Romero would then claim it was water but come on, that answer is full of s**t and you know it.
9. Chael Sonnen’s Spinning Back Fail-Fist
Remember when Chael Sonnen was thought to be the guy who was going to defeat Anderson Silva? After nearly taking The Spider’s title before being stopped via triangle armbar, Sonnen defeated Brian Stann and Michael Bisping to recieve a second shot at Silva.
Mounting Silva in the first round, it looked entirely possible that Sonnen could do what he did the first time once again. A gigantic miscalculation came however when Sonnen attempted a spinning back fist and instead completely wiped out and fell to his butt. Once down, Silva blasted Sonnen with a knee to the body and finished him off shortly thereafter. So close yet so far for the Gangster from West Linn, Oregon.
8. Dennis Hallman Rocks A Speedo
Ever since Georges St-Pierre started the trend of wearing super tight shorts rather than board shorts, we’ve seen nearly every fighter switch over to the style GSP started rocking around UFC 74. Thank the lord nobody began wearing speedos like Dennis Hallman did at UFC 133.
After losing a bet to two other fighters, Hallman was forced by rules of the bet to wear the speedo you see before you in his match versus Brian Ebersole. Not only did he look ridiculous, but he lost his match via TKO in the first round.
7. Paul Buentello Doesn’t Know How To Self-Promote
Some fighters just have that innate ability to grab people’s attention wherever they go. Conor McGregor, Ronda Rousey and Chael Sonnen have all shown a power over audiences which draws people to them. Paul Buentello is not one of those people.
In an attempt to build a catchphrase for himself after knocking out Justin Eilers at UFC 51, Buentello signaled to the crowd to follow him on his catchphrase: “Don’t fear me… (waits for crowd to miss their cue) fear the consequences!” Buentello asked before that if he had any fans, well unfortunately for him, he got his answer.
P.S. that catchphrase SUCKS!
6. Wanderlei Silva Loves Him Some Iceman
Comfortable with my sexuality, I can say that Chuck Liddell is a good-looking rugged man. You can definitely see how he was able to party it up in Las Vegas with various lovely ladies. However, I don’t want to f*** Chuck. A certain Axe Murderer does though!
Back when PRIDE was still around, a fight between Light-Heavyweight champions Wanderlei Silva versus Chuck Liddell was being planned out if Liddell could retain his title in his next defense. In order to hype the fight at UFC 61, Dana White brought Silva and Liddell into the cage. However, throughout the course of his speech Silva mixed the words “fight” and “Chuck” to instead say “f***”. Hmm… how does an Axe Murderer make love to a man of ice anyway?
5. Kimbo Slice’s Hype Goes Bye Bye
Kimbo Slice, a.k.a the biggest example of unwarranted hype in MMA history. Never anything more than a sloppy heavy handed brawler, Slice still managed to trick a lot of people into thinking he was going to be the next big thing. Thank goodness Seth Petruzelli shattered that illusion for them.
At Elite XC: Heat, the unknown Petruzelli filled in for an injured Ken Shamrock to fight the touted Slice and with a single punch knocked down Slice. A few ground and pound shots later and Petruzelli destroyed Slice’s hype and unknowingly dismantled the entire Elite XC promotion.
4. Ronda Rousey Wipes Out Versus Holly Holm
It’s still recent so this may not be a hugely embarrassing moment if she wins the rematch but as of right now, Ronda Rousey’s loss to Holly Holm is a giant black mark on her career.
While the fight as a whole was a horrible nightmare for Rousey, there was one moment in particular that perfectly incapsulated the entire fight. About 40 seconds into the second round, Rousey lunged for a left hook and Holm ducked to her own right side and Rousey dropped to a knee and hit the fence. The bull and the matador, as acted by Holly Holm.
3. Fighters Crapping Themselves Part 2: Tim Sylvia
I swear I’m not picking on Tim Sylvia by always putting him on my negative lists, it’s just that there’s so much material to go by. I really try to not be a crappy person like this, but I can’t say the same of Tim Sylvia.
Yup just like Yoel Romero earlier on the list, Tim Sylvia also crapped his shorts inside the octagon way back at Ultimate Fight Night 3 versus Assuerio Silva. Apparently suffering from an illness and as a result lacking control of his intestines, Sylvia punched, kicked and crapped his way to a title shot. While he crapped his shorts, at least Sylvia didn’t crap the bed.
2. Gray Maynard Knocks Himself Out
You just come off the Ultimate Fighter reality show and want to make a good impact in your official UFC debut. The last thing you want to do is make a fool of yourself and knock yourself out. But that’s fine Gray Maynard, don’t take my advice.
After stunning Rob Emerson with a series of punches in their fight at the TUF 5 Finale, Maynard picked up Emerson for a double leg takedown, slammed him damn near through the mat and forced a tapout due to injured ribs. Apparently he slammed him a little too hard because Maynard’s head hit the canvas and the blow knocked himself out as the opponent tapped. Pretty embarrassing for an accomplished wrestler like Gray Maynard, just saying.
1. James Toney’s MMA Career
In what was clearly the most embarrassing showing by any fighter to enter a UFC octagon, James Toney showed just how desperate some former stars are for some attention and money.
After running his mouth on the sport of Mixed Martial Arts and the UFC Hall of Famer Randy Couture for months, it was finally time for James Toney to put up or shut up at UFC 118. And oh my what a glorious failure it was.
Within 15 seconds, Toney found himself on his ass and shortly thereafter found himself mounted by Couture. “The Natural” pounded on Toney’s head until he was bored and decided to end it with an arm triangle to put the boxer out of his misery.
Quite simply, what an embarrassment. Goodbye James, don’t let the cage door hit you in the ass on the way out.
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