Over the course of 20 American seasons and nearly 10 international seasons, The Ultimate Fighter has produced a number of good fighters, some of whom have even become champions in the UFC or other major promotions. Unfortunately for every great fighter the show has produced, there have been four or five terrible/embarrassing fighters. These fighters either could not fight the level of competition that the UFC was offering, had issues outside of the cage, or were totally outclassed on the show itself. Even then these guys have become well known and in some cases infamous for their antics on the show.
So with that in mind, this ranking is designed to look at the most embarrassing fighters from The Ultimate Fighter. The rankings were compiled by looking at the fighter’s presence while on the show, their performance in the UFC if they fought in the promotion after the show, and any notable antics that they were a part of either in or out of the cage or on the show. These are fighters who are mentioned in conversations when people talk about The Ultimate Fighter being devoid of talent anymore and that the UFC is really stretching when trying to find fighters to fill out the cast. These are the guys that people feel are many times not trying to be a fighter, but trying to become a reality TV star with how they portray themselves on the show, yet in the end they fail at both and become known for being a joke or a phony.
So please read, enjoy, and let us know what you think down in the comments section. How would you have ranked these differently? Are there other fighters that you felt should have made the list or that one of the entries should be ranked differently?
21 Bonus: Micah Miller
For the 14th season of The Ultimate Fighter, Featherweights and Bantamweights were going to be showcased for the first time and coached by Michael Bisping and Jason Miller. In the elimination round to decide who was going to make it to the house, Cole Miller’s younger brother Micah was set to face off against Steve Siler. Miller was incredibly cocky in his pre-fight interview going on about he had the most experience out of anyone on the show and was a sure thing to win it all, even Dana White felt the same way as he crossed off Siler’s picture before the fight even began. Unfortunately both would be proven incredibly wrong as Siler would dominate Miller en route to winning by submission in the third round, sending Miller back to the regional circuit.
20 Tor Troéng
Coming into the 17th season of The Ultimate Fighter there were reports of a fighter who was on a tear through the tournament, causing other fighters to avoid fighting him at all. Many were quick to assume that it was Tor Troéng, a highly ranked Swedish fighter who had an impressive record. Unfortunately, Tor would lose his opening round fight by knockout and would be relegated to fighting for a roster spot on the season finale. He would win that fight but then lost his next three fights and ultimately retiring from fighting entirely.
19 Kris McCray
In the 11th season of The Ultimate Fighter a new addition was made to the tournament format called the wildcard where two fighters who had lost would be selected to fight each other for another chance to move on in the tournament. Team Ortiz member Kris McCray would ultimately win this match and move forward in the tournament, fighting more matches in a season than any other fighter previously.
He would make it to the finals against Team Liddell member Court McGee but lost by submission. Yet with a Cinderella story like his, it seemed that he would do well inside the Middleweight division. Unfortunately he would lose every one of his matches inside the UFC and be was cut, as it was all for not.
18 Mac Danzig
After winning season six of the show, it seemed like the sky was limit for Mac Danzig. Unfortunately the Lightweight could never get a foothold in a stacked division. He would never be able to string together enough wins to make it into contention, eventually retiring from professional fighting after going a miserable 5-8 inside the Octagon. That is especially depressing considering that before he won the tournament, he had a professional record of 16-4-1.
17 Kyacey Uscola
In the 11th season of The Ultimate Fighter there was an opening round fight between Team Liddell member Rich Attonito and Team Ortiz member Kyacey Uscola. At one point in the fight, Uscola lands a hard knee to the head of Attonito while he is clearly grounded, causing a pause in the fight. Rather than apologize for the knee, which appeared to be accidental, Uscola spent the time Attonito was getting checked out chastising him and telling him to get up and fight. Once it was determined that he could not continue and won via disqualification, Uscola would go on saying he lost all respect for Attonito as a fighter, you know, because he was totally a jerk for not getting up to fight after being nailed with a knee to the head while he was on the ground.
16 Jamie Yager
Another fighter from season 11 and also from Team Ortiz was Jamie Yager who had the ability to make everyone in the house absolutely hate him. He would get a cocky attitude after earning some quick finishes and would earn the ire of other fighters for saying how he’d never lose to any of them. Yet in his fight against Josh Bryant, Yager would get pummeled from bell to bell before ultimately losing the match when he did not answer the bell leading into the sudden death round. Not only were his coaches upset with him for giving up like he did, but other cast members were upset when Yager tried to claim he did not quit, but rather he was injured, which was not the case. It was delusion on the level of Tiki Ghosn saying he lost to Robbie Lawler by a cut and not getting knocked out. Yager would then get into an argument with teammate Kyacey Uscola and was challenged to fight him in the backyard. Uscola would be seen waiting for Yager while Yager chickened out and hid, peeking out from a window on the second floor.
15 Kimbo Slice
Easily the most hyped fighter to ever compete on The Ultimate Fighter, Kimbo Slice came into the 10th season of the show with a lot of unreasonable expectations placed upon him. He would lose by TKO to eventual tournament winner Roy Nelson in the first round, but throughout the season it was always teased that he would make a return into the tournament for an injured fighter, thought it never happened. Kimbo would make his UFC debut at the season finale, winning a lackluster decision against Houston Alexander but would be cut after getting knocked out by Matt Mitrione in his next fight. Guess it goes to show you that beating random dudes in someone’s backyard is not great practice for fighting in the premier MMA promotion in the world.
14 Andy Wang
Up next is season five cast member Andy Wang and as a member of Team Penn he would eventually be placed in a fight against Team Pulver fighter Brandon Melendez. Unfortunately, during the fight Wang completely ignored his coach’s instructions and decided to fight against the planned gameplan of using his BJJ skills to win the match. He would get dominated by Melendez and lose by unanimous decision after Penn had completely given up on trying to coach him. After the fight Wang was inconsolable as began crying and wailing inside the cage. Penn would mock him for that claiming it was Wang’s own fault because he did not listen to directions though Wang would go on after the fight to claim that despite everything that happened, “I was a warrior."
13 Michael Hill
One of the biggest complaints about The Ultimate Fighter is that the show has become less about people trying to earn contracts with the UFC and instead become reality TV stars. This probably was never more apparent than in the 16th season of the show, which is seen by many as the worst in the show's history. In fact I almost included the entire cast outside of Neil Magny as a slide for this ranking but I decided on the worst offenders for the list, starting with Michael Hill, who was one of the many fighters on that cast who personified the “poser fighter.” From the nipple tattoo to the in-house drama to the fact that he was one of the many who would stand and bang but instead ground out victories, it was no surprise that he would not even be put on the season finale card in an attempt to fight for a spot in the UFC.
12 Bec Rawlings
During the course of the most recent season of The Ultimate Fighter, a small clique of fighters began to try and impose their will within the house through bullying. The group led by Angela Magaña, went out of their way in an attempt to get their way within the house. This was incredibly apparent as group member Bec Rawlings was preparing for her fight against former teammate Tecia Torres, who she did not want to fight at first because her team and her felt she deserved a bye into the next round after Justine Kish got injured in training.
In vain attempts to get into her opponent’s head Magana and she would try in vain to boot her from their room after she switched teams. The constant badgering was clearly mind games to try and take Torres’ head out of the upcoming fight, but to no avail as Rawlings would lose by unanimous decision. It would not end there as she would continue acting up her villain role online leading up to her fight on the finale against her other target for torment inside the house, Heather Jo Clark, where she would lose by decision again.
11 Len Bentley
In the 13th season of The Ultimate Fighter there were many fighters who seemed to be there for the TV time rather than the learning experience and the chance to earn a chance to fight in the biggest promotion in the world. One such person was Team Lesnar fighter Len Bentley. With his constant complaining, he became a thorn in the side of not only his teammates, but his coach as well. After losing his opening round fight to Ryan McGillivray, he would complain it was because Brock Lesnar was not there to corner him due to Lesnar dealing with a personal issue at home.
Bentley would begin to even question the former UFC Heavyweight Champion’s right to coach him as Bentley felt he was more experienced and skilled as a fighter. Finally when the wildcard match was announced and Bentley was not chosen by his coach for the fight, Bentley ran over to Dana White to not ask for a shot to fight in the match, but rather ask to fight at the season finale, something that irked White as he felt Bentley should be wanting to fight as soon as possible rather than at a card months down the road.
10 Angela Magaña
While Bec Rawlings was the muscle within “The Skrapettes” clique on the 20th season, Angela Magaña was the brains and de facto leader of the group. From alienating teammates who talked to members of the opposing team to trying to force Tecia Torres and Heather Jo Clark out of their bedrooms to referring to herself as “your majesty,” Magaña is possibly one of the most outwardly vicious fighters on the show, especially after outwardly booing when Torres beat Rawlings in their prelim fight. Eventually her antics and ego would get the better of her as the mindgames she instigated inside the house only harmed clique member Rawlings and at the season finale Magaña would lose to rival Tecia Torres by unanimous decision.
9 Marc Stevens
After a trick played by Georges St. Pierre caused Josh Koscheck to change his picks, Marc Stevens became the first pick of the 12th season of The Ultimate Fighter. Unfortunately, being picked first went to Stevens’s head and he became cocky about how no one in the house could beat him. This image would be utterly destroyed as he was paired against Team GSP's sixth pick Cody McKenzie, a fighter who had won every one of his fights by guillotine choke.
So with that in mind you would think it'd be wise not to put yourself in a position to get locked in said submission. Well, Marc Stevens obviously did not get that memo as he went in for a takedown and immediately got caught in the guillotine, tapping out in just 17 seconds, the fastest win the history of the show. Stevens would be selected to fight in the wildcard match against teammate Aaron Wilkinson, who would also beat Stevens by guillotine, though this time in the second round. After that Stevens would not get a match at the season finale and has since returned to the regional MMA scene.
8 Junie Browning
Seemingly of the same ilk as prior cast member Chris Leben, Junie Browning appeared to like tossing a few back and getting in the faces of those that he did not like. His most notable incident would come after eventual tournament winner Efrain Escudero won his fight against Shane Nelson and Browning took exception to him using wrestling to control the fight. Browning would attempt to jump over the cage wall in an attempt to attack Escudero, but was held back by other fighters and coaches.
Dana White would go on to say if a representative from the Nevada State Athletic Commission had been there, Browning would have lost his fighter’s license. Browning would eventually lose in the tournament to Escudero. In the end Browning’s actions set a bad example that people point to when they demean MMA and label it as nothing but human cockfighting.
7 Joe Stevenson
After winning the on the second season of the show, Joe “Daddy” Stevenson actually did fairly well in the Lightweight division. Unfortunately his luck would run out in his Lightweight Title fight against champion BJ Penn, losing in one of the most one-sided and bloodiest title fights in UFC history. Apparently the will to fight bled out of him that night as he was unable to ever string together a meaningful winning streak after the loss and was ultimately cut after going on a four fight losing streak, sending him back to regional promotions after almost six years of being in the UFC.
6 Colton Smith
The case of Team Carwin versus Team Nelson season winner Colton Smith was an interesting one. First you consider that he is an active member of the U.S. Army so the UFC had a built-in angle to promote the young fighter. Unfortunately, Smith would be the center of some controversy in his fight to get into the house as he would fake touching gloves and instead took his opponent down, a move which was criticized by both coaches.
He would be the subject of controversy again as during the tournament final against Mike Ricci, he would accidentally hit Ricci in the groin but continued attacking his injured opponent as Ricci was trying to signal he was hit below the belt. This would ultimately take away from his post fight speeches where he would dedicate his wins to his brothers and sisters in the armed forces, despite the fact he was seen using somewhat reprehensible tactics in fighting.
The win against Ricci would be Smith’s only win in the UFC as he would get finished in his next three fights. He would be cut shortly after the third loss and would became the second fastest Ultimate Fighter winner to be cut from the UFC after winning the tournament.
5 Kalib Starnes
Ah the running man himself. Originally featured on the third season of the show as part of Team Shamrock, Starnes seemed to have a good shot at winning the tournament after he knocked out Mike Stine in the first round of their elimination round fight. Unfortunately he would constantly complain during training and claim that he was suffering from a variety of injuries. He would ultimately lose in the next round to Kendall Grove after verbal submission due to a claimed injury, which was revealed to be a dislocated rib, though Ken Shamrock had doubts about Starnes's will to fight.
Those doubts would eventually be proven true during his fight against Nate Quarry, where Starnes actively ran away from Quarry for nearly the entire fight, causing Quarry to mock Starnes during the fight by dancing and actually punching himself. Quarry would win the fight by the second largest point margin in UFC history and Starnes would be cut shortly after. What was even more baffling about that fight was that Starnes actually had the gall to call Quarry a variety of names after the final bell and blame Quarry for not fighting.
4 Julian Lane
Out of any fighter who may have deserved the title of “poser” on the 16th season of The Ultimate Fighter it would be Julian Lane. Complete with a pink Mohawk, covered in tattoos, and almost never seen outside the cage wearing his white rimmed sunglasses, Lane fit the mold of a guy who claimed to “trained in UFC.” Unfortunately he would lose his preliminary round fight to Team Carwin member Bristol Marunde in a very lackluster match which saw Lane on his back for most of the fight not doing much in the way of trying to get to a better position.
Then in the tradition of The Ultimate Fighter, the fighters would head back to the house and get incredibly drunk. This would lead to the creation of one of the most infamous lines ever uttered on the show as Lane would begin trying to fight anyone in the house while crying and screaming “let me bang, bro” to friend Michael Hill who was trying to calm him down. Lane actually showed a hundred times more energy in trying to drunkenly fight his housemates than he ever did in his tournament fight, neither of which ultimately displayed him as the badass fighter that he proclaimed to be.
3 Jesse Taylor
In what is probably the second biggest blown opportunity in the history of The Ultimate Fighter, Jesse Taylor would make it to the tournament finals of the seventh season of the show against teammate Amir Sadollah. Unfortunately, shortly after the show wrapped shooting Taylor would go on a drunken rampage on the Las Vegas Strip, breaking car windows and getting into fights with casino staff while shouting that he was a UFC fighter.
Dana White was shown the footage and would ultimately remove Taylor from the finals and tell him to get his life in order before coming back to the UFC. Taylor would eventually make a return to the UFC but would be cut after losing to the fighter who replaced him in the finals, CB Dollaway. Since then he has gone on to have a respectable career in other promotions, which makes one wonder how he would have fared if he got his ducks in a row prior to going to the finale.
2 Travis Lutter
Now the “honor” of having the biggest blown opportunity in the history of The Ultimate Fighter belongs to the Middleweight tournament winner of the fourth season of the show, title “The Comeback,” Travis Lutter. Rather than a UFC contract being offered as the prize, the tournament winners would receive a title shot against the champion of their division since all cast members were current or former UFC fighters. Welterweight tournament winner Matt Serra had already stunned the world by beating Georges St. Pierre to become the new champion so now all eyes on Lutter to see if he could do the same against Middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva.
Unfortunately, Lutter would shock the world in another way by coming into the fight overweight, thus turning his guaranteed title shot into a three round non-title fight. Even worse was that Lutter was holding his own against Silva for a little bit, making it seem like he could win the match but not the title. He would eventually lose by submission and have one more fight in the UFC, a loss to Rich Franklin, before being cut in the shortest amount of time of any tournament winner after winning the tournament.
1 War Machine
This one should have been a gimme. While War Machine had his issues in the house during his time on the show, they were nothing compared to what he was like after the show. From claiming that former Middleweight Champion Evan Tanner had killed himself, despite the medical examiner claiming otherwise, to turning down a fight offered to him by the UFC to his embarrassing run as a porn actor, there are numerous reasons to call War Machine embarrassing.
Yet those do not compare to his most recent run-ins with the law concerning the attack he is charged with against his ex-girlfriend Christy Mack. From her horrifying hospital photos to him being caught laughing during the description of the attack by the judge of his trial, War Machine wins the title of title of most disgraceful cast member from The Ultimate Fighter by a landslide.