It takes a special kind of person to be a professional fighter. Who wouldn't want to train five hours a day, spar, be forced to cut weight and then get hit repeatedly on fight night? Naturally, this profession brings out a lot of characters and extreme personalities. There are certainly times where they find themselves in precarious situations with the law.
By now, it's widely known that that the UFC will bury anyone that publicly disagrees with them. But it's a two-way street, as they will also fight tooth and nail for certain people, despite committing pretty despicable actions. In short, if you rock the boat, you will feel Zuffa's wrath (as Ariel Helwani found out this past weekend at UFC 199). But if you're one of the "good old boys" (or girls), the company will have your back to no end.
It's mind boggling to think that MMA pioneer and UFC Hall of Famer, Randy Couture "can't buy a ticket", (in the words of Dana White) to a UFC event. He wasn't even allowed to corner his son Ryan during his UFC debut. This kind of seems like a callous move, considering that Randy was one of his main coaches and Ryan really had nothing to do with this feud. Regardless, they are essentially trying to erase Couture, over a very minor and petty squabble. Meanwhile, employees that have had countless DUIs, fits of public rage and overall stupidity, receive their unconditional support. Basically, very unforgettable actions that the UFC would sincerely like us all to forget! Granted, not all of the incidents that will be named are quite as scandalous. Some are just kind of funny and the UFC would love us to forget about them because they were simply embarrassing.
Fortunately, we're not on the UFC payroll and will not sweep this stuff under the rug. Let's take a gander at the top 15 things the UFC wants you to forget about their employees.
16 Cody Gibson
Sadly for Cody Gibson, TMZ caught this video of him getting socked in the face by a civilian. After losing his fight to Manny Gamburyan at UFC 178, Gibson decided to stay in Vegas for a few more days and hit up some parties. Gibson was doing his best Anderson Silva impression while standing in front of the guy with his hands down. Bad move, as this random guy socked him pretty good. We're sure the UFC would rather this video never got leaked and that we didn't witness one of their talents take one square to the jaw by a drunk dude.
15 Joe Rogan
Speaking of Dana White, he has fought tooth and nail to defend the new Reebok deal. In short, fighters can't wear any sponsors on their shorts and must all wear Reebok gear. In the majority of cases, the fighter is losing money because their sponsors pay them more than Reebok.
The general consensus is that this deal makes the UFC look more professional because everyone is in a common uniform, but the fighters are losing out on big bucks. Georges St-Pierre even stated that in order for him to come back, the UFC would have to make up the money that he'd be forfeiting due to the loss of sponsors. White has put fighters on blast who have been openly critical of the deal, such as Tim Kennedy, Brendan Schaub and Matt Mitrione. It turns out that the voice of the UFC, Joe Rogan, is also not a big fan of the deal. He discussed on his podcast that people have been very critical of the deal and for good reason. He also stated that he'd never wear Reebok and that he's more than happy in his Converse shoes.
The UFC would rather we forget that arguably their most famous employee is not a fan of this Reebok deal that they think so highly of. Granted, Rogan hates on Vegans, politicians, anti-drug advocates and feminists...and everyone still loves him. Why not add Reebok to the list?
14 Julianna Pena
The Ultimate Fighter 18 winner had quite the night! Ultimately, Julianna Pena was arrested on two counts of assault. Pena and her training partner Josh Gow were involved in a brawl at Zola's bar in Spokane. Once everything was broken up and the participants were tossed out of the bar, Pena and Gow tried to re-enter the bar and were denied (for obvious reasons). This apparently sent Pena into a rage as she kicked the owner of the bar in the groin. She spent the night in jail and was released the next day on $2,000 bail. A night in jail doesn't seem that bad considering the damage she caused. As Austin Powers once said: "Listen baby, I don't care if he is a fat b*stard, you don't give a man a shot in the pills...it's just not cricket."
13 Nick Diaz
As much as we love to crap on the UFC's dictatorship values (oh, and we do), one thing we have to give them credit for is the way they have changed the way people view the sport. In the late 90s, MMA was viewed as human cock-fighting, with no weight classes and hardly any rules. The UFC's vision catapulted the sport into mainstream and it's now a world recognized sport. They emphasize the fact that these fighters are athletes and not street thugs.
Having said all that, along comes Nick Diaz! Nick and his brother Nate are throwback fighters that will start scrapping at the drop of a hat. At UFC 57, all the way back in 2006, Nick Diaz and Joe Riggs had a very violent clash in The Octagon. Riggs won the decision, but both men were banged up and needed a trip to the hospital. At the hospital, the two combatants ran into each other. According to Diaz, Riggs gave him "a look" and then all mayhem ensued as they had a second fight at the hospital.
An unsanctioned hospital brawl, with blood and I.V bags flying everywhere is hardly the look the UFC desires.
12 Rampage Jackson
Technically, he's a Bellator employee but we're not letting old Rampage off the hook on a technicality, Up until last year, he was still fighting for the UFC and is only back in Bellator due to legal issues in his contract.
Back in 2008, Rampage was involved in a wild car chase that could have been deadly. He hit two cars during the chase, and continued to drive wildly despite a blown tire and talking on his cell phone. As police were chasing him, he proceeded to drive on the sidewalk and narrowly swerved to avoid pedestrians. Thankfully, police finally managed to detain Rampage.
11 Matt Hughes
An athlete (or anyone for that matter) usually tries to make themselves sound awesome in their autobiography. Matt Hughes is an extremely rare case because he did the exact opposite in his book, Made in America. He comes off as a bully, as he admitted that he and his brother would actively look for fist fights at parties. He also recounted a story about how they ganged up and beat up their father on one occasion.
The sport of hunting is also a debatable topic. Not only is Hughes a hunter, but he kills animals such as zebras, cheetahs and wildebeests, and then posts pictures of himself next to their corpses. The issue is that Hughes is currently in charge of the UFC's "Code of Conduct." It's hard to justify him having a job where he's in charge of proper conduct when his own ethics have come into question.
10 Chuck Liddell
Chuck Liddell is undoubtedly one of the faces of MMA. Even the most casual of fans remember the blue shorts and Mohawk as he transcended the sport. Nowadays, Liddell is the Executive VP of Business Development with the UFC. That's quite the fancy title for The Iceman!
The UFC, however, would probably rather that we forget that this "executive VP" fell asleep during an interview with Good Morning America, the morning after a bender.
9 Anderson Silva
The UFC constantly promotes Anderson Silva as the greatest of all-time. There's some validity to that assertion, but it's still very debatable. Regardless, in their eyes, Silva is the undisputed king.
For years, the UFC denied that there was a performance enhancing drug problem. It finally got so blatantly obvious that there was indeed a drug issue that the UFC brought in independent drug testing (USADA) on their own buck. Since then, we have seen insane body transformations. Fighters that were once superstars, can now barely compete without "the juice." There's also been some heavy duty suspensions laid out over the past year, to those who are caught using substances that are on USADA's banned list.
The UFC wants us all to forget that Anderson Silva was caught using both drostanolone and androstane. He then served a year suspension for the infringement. This begs the question; was he using these substances throughout his whole career? These are questions the UFC brass would rather we not ask about their G.O.A.T.
8 Jeremy Stephens
Jeremy Stephens was arrested for nearly beating a man to death with one of his buddies outside of a bar in Des Moines, Iowa. The alleged assault happened in 2011, but the arrest only took place in 2012. You might be asking yourself, what took so long, Batman?
Well, the report stated that Stephens could only be arrested if he was in a surrounding state. He was living in San Diego, so this obviously wasn't possible.
But once he stepped foot in Minnesota for his scheduled fight with Yves Edwards at UFC on FX 5, He was immediately arrested. What's even more eyebrow raising is that Dana White did everything he could to get Stephens out of jail so he could participate in the event, though he ultimately failed. That's far from a great look for the UFC.
6 Arianny Celeste
The ring card girl? Say whaaaaaat?!
Yep, Arianny Celeste spent some time in jail (she even has a pretty mug shot to back it up). This transpired over a domestic violence dispute where Celeste kicked her boyfriend in the nose and allegedly threw two vases at him once they got back to the Wynn hotel in Vegas. Celeste does deserve some credit here as a loyal UFC employee, because once she was released as she posted the $3,000 bond, she immediately made her way to the MGM Grand and showed up to fulfill her Octagon Girl duties for UFC 146. The fact that she still showed up for work after all of this is rather impressive, but the UFC would still rather we forget about it.
5 Anthony Johnson
For a long time, Anthony Johnson came off as a soft spoken, mild mannered individual. Lately we are finding out that this is far from the case.
Since 2009, three different women have come forward and claimed that Johnson became physically violent with them. The UFC launched a private investigation to review the matter, which means absolutely nothing. Anytime the UFC investigates one of their fighters, they are found clear of any wrong doing (see Thiago Silva and Travis Browne).
An angry Facebook rant was more evidence that Johnson clearly has some anger issues, particularly with women: "To the ugly girl in the gym built like a bag of dry dog food, this is for you. If you get in my way or any other athlete's way again, I'll throw your yoga mat across the gym AGAIN."
All this anger over a gym squabble and he felt the need to rant about it on Facebook and make himself look petty. Johnson clearly has some issues he needs to work out.
4 Jon Jones
He may be the best pound for pound fighter in the world today, but Jones has a rap sheet of incidents that the UFC wishes we'd forget about. Let's take a gander, shall we?
He crashed his Bentley and received a DUI in 2012. He then tested positive for Cocaine before his fight with Daniel Cormier in 2015. Last but not least, later that year, he was involved in a hit and run where he ended up injuring a pregnant woman: “Get in my car and I remember being at a red light and I had my music going. Texting on my cellphone. And I see the light turn green, and I assumed it was my green light, but really, it was a green light for people that were going straight in traffic, and I was actually turning. So, I just stepped on the gas when I saw the green light and I found myself driving right into oncoming traffic.”
It surely could have been a lot worse and it seems like Jones is doing better now, and claims to be sober for over six months. But it's still deplorable behaviour that will not soon be forgotten.
3 Travis Browne
Travis Browne's case is a slippery slope because he's been accused of two things.
He was accused of domestic violence by his now ex wife, model Jenna Renee Webb. She posted some pretty gnarly pictures of the injuries from the alleged assault on her Instagram page. Browne's camp first attributed the bruising to a CrossFit injury, which was very tough to believe, considering some of the bruising was on her face. Reporter Ariel Helwani also just revealed on Monday that when Browne was on his show The MMA Hour, he told him part of the story "off the record" before they actually went on air. Whether or not he committed the assault is inconclusive, but it was clearly not a CrossFit injury. The UFC held an investigation (yes, another one) and deemed there wasn't enough evidence and would like us to quit talking about it.
The other accusation that Webb through out there was that Browne had been having an affair while they were still married. This wouldn't be that ground breaking, as affairs aren't that taboo. It's who he was having the affair with that garnered all the attention.
2 Ronda Rousey
Ah yes, Ronda Rousey was "the other girl." Days after Browne's ex made the claim, pictures were snapped of the new couple (we can't imagine how terrified the photographer must have been). Shortly thereafter, the two admitted that they were an item. So, what's the big deal?
Many young women look up to Rousey, and why not? Sure, she can be erratic, delusional and fly off the handle for no apparent reason, but at the end of the day, she transcended a sport and single handedly brought women's MMA to the UFC. Nobody can ever dispute her accomplishments despite her bullish behaviour.
The issue is that the UFC portrays Rousey as a role model and being the enabler in an adultery is not a good look for their poster girl.
1 Dana White
The Baldfather himself takes the top spot. He's even admitted that this nasty instance is his biggest regret since he's taken over the UFC. For you readers that are puzzled as to how the owner can be considered an employee, White is a minority owner and works for Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta.
In 2009, Dana White didn't take too kindly to an article that journalist Loretta Hunt wrote. The article was criticizing the UFC's policy as to how many people a fighter can credential to come backstage with them on fight night. What really set White off was the fact that she included quotes from anonymous sources, and that's when his infamous rant got ugly: "First of all, whoever gave you that quote is a p**** and a f***ing f*****, and a f***ing liar...and everything else, whoever gave you that quote," He ended it by saying: "F*** you, Loretta Hunt, you dumb b****."
Well then...it goes without saying that most presidents of a company don't go on profanity laced tirades like that. But the main issue with White's ugly rant is that his words were insulting women and people's sexual orientation.
White did apologize to everyone that was offended (except for Hunt). To this day, he wishes we could all forget that ugly moment in time.