Nothing generates interest like a little bit of controversy. Sometimes it happens by accident, but more often it is a result of two fighters simply not liking each other and wanting to get under the other's skin.
Fans love it when two fighters genuinely dislike each other. It creates for some good back stories to the actual fight. It can even make some of the mid-card fights overshadow the actual main events.
Not all fighters create controversy by simple trash talk. The athletes have found numerous ways to create a stir that causes MMA fans to head to the nearest computer. Nevertheless, these fighters create controversy and with it, an overwhelming interest in their careers.
In the twilight of his career, Tito Ortiz has made his career by being one of the most controversial guys in the sport. If he was still relevant in the sport, Ortiz would no doubt be near the top of anyone's "fighters I hate" kind of lists.
From his rivalry with Dana White, disrespecting nearly everyone affiliated with The Lion's Den, "avoiding" Chuck Liddell, to his anti-climactic beatdown of Ken Shamrock. If you can think of a way to piss someone off, odds are Ortiz has done it.
Recently, Ortiz has become a "champion of the people," and it seems that Ortiz has grown out his bad-boy phase.
Since being introduced to UFC fans on season one of The Ultimate Fighter, Josh Koscheck has been the word controversy personified. His rivalry with Chris Leben single-handedly made that season.
Koscheck didn't stop with Leben, he went on a tear telling everyone how he felt about everybody. The often brash fighter has made numerous headlines by calling out his opponents and just by getting under everyone's skin.
Another add-on to Koscheck's resume was the run of his "flopping." There were a series of bouts where Koscheck either acted like he was hit illegally or severely overreacted.
Michael Bisping was always semi-disliked in America for simply being a cocky English fighter. Then his bout with Jorge Rivera at UFC 127 occurred.
Prior to the fight, Bisping did several edgy promos but then crossed the line when he directed a homophobic slur at Rivera. The hatred between the two seemingly sprung up overnight and promised to deliver an intense bout.
Bisping went from being an annoyance to public enemy number one after illegally kneeing Rivera while he was on the mat and not showing any remorse. Not content with something as simple as a rule violation, Bisping walked over to Rivera's corner and spat at the ground.
Jason "Mayhem" Miller has become one of the most popular, most talked-about fighters in all of MMA. And that is where the controversy surrounding Miller begins.
Although he's fought some tough competition, "Mayhem's" record against top opponents is absolutely dreadful. Yet through his colorful personality and flashy entrances, Miller has obtained superstardom without really accomplishing much in the MMA world.
The beaming feature in a "Mayhem" controversy highlight reel would definitely be the Nashville brawl with the Cesar Gracie crew.
One of the sport's most popular fighters, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson is also one of the most controversial.
The trouble for Jackson in the UFC began when he lost the title matchup against Forrest Griffin. Following a close decision loss, Jackson took his truck for a little joyride that ended with "Rampage" in legal trouble.
Jackson has recently caused quite a bit of controversy due to him backing out of his scheduled fight with Rashad Evans and an inability to control his weight. I know it was the first time Jackson had missed weight, but he keeps letting his weight get out of control, which causes him to have some rough cuts to 205 pounds.
Paul "Semtex" Daley is no stranger to controversy. It seems his fighting career is built on it just as much as his punching prowess.
The main incident in Daley's career was the sucker punch at UFC 113 against Josh Koscheck. Unable to get any offense going against a heated rival, Daley decided to take a swing after the bell had rung. The incident effectively ended Daley's UFC career.
While the Koshceck fiasco is the highlight of controversy caused by Daley, he's also made a hobby out of missing weight.
Nick Diaz seems to enjoy causing controversy almost as much as he loves being in a fight. The man's MMA career is highlighted with impressive performances, but he's been hampered by all sorts of issues.
First and foremost, there's been the drug issues. Even though Diaz has gone through the proper legal channels to have marijuana in his system, he simply can't follow the rules set by the athletic commission.
When you add in the missed press conferences and the two infamous post-fight brawls Diaz has been involved in to go along with a colorful personality, you get one of the most controversial figures in MMA, let alone all of sports.
Jon Jones went from rising popular prospect to one of the most despised men in MMA in just a single year. He had one of the most successful years of any MMA fighter but still hears plenty of boos when his name is mentioned.
For many, it's Jones' personality that has put him on their bad side. His cocky attitude has been proclaimed as being "fake" by his haters and just simple confidence by his fans. Then there's his ongoing saga with former teammate Rashad Evans.
Originally agreeing to not fight each other, their relationship quickly went downhill after Jones admitted he would fight his teammate if Dana White had requested it. Jones' quick rise to title contention combined with Evans' injury eventually caused "Sugar" to leave his longtime home at Greg Jackson MMA.
Chael Sonnen was just a great wrestler who was on his way to the top of the middleweight rankings—and then UFC 117 happened. Realizing the UFC desperately needed Silva to sell big on a PPV, Sonnen went hyper-drive with his trash talk.
It wasn't just the first round of trash talk that made Sonnen the controversial figure he is today. His failed drug tests following the bout at UFC 117 is what peaked him as one of the most hated fighters in the game today. Just to add a little more sugar to the haterade mix, Sonnen was popped for money laundering.
Apparently, Sonnen has grown tired of insulting Silva and has now turned his attention to Silva's wife. What will he say about Silva's kid next week?!
Perhaps no man has had as much success while still managing to be completely polarizing like Georges St-Pierre.
When St-Pierre was dominating foes on his way to a UFC title, he was one of the most popular fighters in the sport. Widely considered the future of the sport, St-Pierre became the face of the UFC franchise.
Still incredibly popular, St-Pierre's detractors are growing in size after each fight. GSP's safe fighting style has been compared to "snuggie-like" due to his dominant top control.
While dominant in victory, GSP's fighting style has lost him many fans who perceive him as boring. Hopefully St-Pierre returns from his ACL injury and is as strong as ever in order to silence his critics.