10 Fighters Who Have Lost Their Star Power

Joe Chacon@JoeChaconContributor IIIApril 1, 2012

10 Fighters Who Have Lost Their Star Power

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    It is the inevitable life of a fighter. The hard work, rise to fame and inevitable decline back into mediocrity. 

    At times, it is painful to watch our favorite fighters go from an intimidating icon to somebody who looks like each fight could be their last.

    The fighter's name can only carry them for so long until fans begin to look at their career objectively and see that the end of the road is near.

    Star power is something fighters obtain during their career, which leads one to becoming a bigger draw at the gate, higher TV ratings, and more pay-per-view buys. This star power also creates a dedicated fanbase, which eventually brings new fans to the UFC.

    Here are 10 fighters who have lost that star power.

Shane Carwin

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    Shane Carwin stormed onto the UFC scene by winning his first four fights in the Octagon. This came after he earned his way into the promotion with eight straight wins (all in the first round).

    Carwin peaked after his interim heavyweight championship win over Frank Mir in March of 2010. He followed that up win by losing to Brock Lesnar at UFC 116.

    He was in line for another title shot, but lost to Junior dos Santos last June.

    Carwin is currently recovering from back surgery.

Forrest Griffin

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    You'd be hard pressed to find many fans who have a strong dislike for Forrest Griffin. Although loved, he is no longer somebody people get excited enough to spend money on a pay-per-view for.

    Griffin's star has fallen due in large part to his inconsistency over the last three years. To his credit, he has also faced the toughest fighters the UFC has to offer.

    Take a look at Forrest's last seven opponents:

    • Shogun Rua (UFC 76)
    • Rampage Jackson (UFC 86)
    • Rashad Evans (UFC 92)
    • Anderson Silva (UFC 101)
    • Tito Ortiz (UFC 106)
    • Rich Franklin (UFC 126)
    • Shogun Rua (UFC 134)

    In those seven fights, he has a record of 4-3. It's not so much his win-loss record that has turned fans away, it's the way he has lost.

    When Forrest loses, he loses bad. It is almost to the point where you think he's going to retire after each fight because of how listless he appears.

    Forrest will face Tito Ortiz on July 7 at UFC 148.

Rampage Jackson

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    Something happened to Rampage Jackson after his knockout win over Wanderlei Silva at UFC 92. His killer instinct and passion for the sport (or maybe just the UFC brand) left him.

    After that win, he managed to beat Keith Jardine, Lyoto Machida and Matt Hamill all by decision.

    He also had losses against Rashad Evans, Jon Jones and, most recently, Ryan Bader.

    His lackluster performance against Bader was the final straw for many of his fans. The anti-UFC campaign he has been on as of late only makes matters worse.

Rich Franklin

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    "Ace" is 3-3 over his last six fights. Much like Forrest Griffin, he has faced the who's who of the UFC.

    At one point, Rich Franklin had a professional record of 22-1, but has tallied a 6-5 mark since.

    Franklin will always be one of the most respected men of the sport, but as far as his star power goes, the light is all but burned out.

Matt Hughes

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    Matt Hughes saw his Hall of Fame career peak in 2006, right before he lost his title to Georges St-Pierre.

    Hughes has lost four of his last seven fights and is currently awaiting a decision from Dana White as to whether or not he will be returning to the Octagon.

Jake Shields

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    As the former Strikeforce middleweight champ, Jake Shields had his star burning bright going into the UFC.

    However, his fighting style did not endear himself to many UFC fans, and was already dealing with being labeled as the king of "lay and pray." And the way he lost to GSP at UFC 129 did not change the mind of many of his critics.

    Shields followed up that loss by losing to Jake Ellenberger five months later in a brutal first-round knockout.

Kenny Florian

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    Kenny Florian's record hasn't taken a nosedive like most of the other fighters on this list. Ken-Flo, however, always seems to work his way up the contender ladder only to lose the big fight.

    If you look through his fight history, it's hard to find one that stands out as a career-defining victory.

    It is apparent that Florian almost has both of his feet outside of the Octagon and into the commentator booth.

    Fortunately, he is very good at that as well.

Miguel Angel Torres

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    Entering his fight against Brian Bowles at WEC 42, Miguel Angel Torres was 37-1 and widely considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

    Three losses and a bad tweet later and Torres is not only fighting for his reputation, but also his job.

    Torres has lost three of his last six fights and will face Michael McDonald in April at UFC 145.

Cheick Kongo

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    Cheick Kongo has always been known for his chiseled physique. However, he has only one big-name win (Mirko Cro Cop) in the Octagon since his UFC career began nearly six years ago.

    His star power rose significantly after his comeback win against Pat Barry last June. Unfortunately for Kongo, he lost that momentum after being knocked out by Mark Hunt.

Fedor Emelianenko

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    There has never been an MMA fighter more mysterious than Fedor Emelianenko

    Perhaps it's the way he has been handled by his management team, or perhaps it's because fans may never know exactly how good he actually was.

    The stoic Russian has faced good opponents throughout his career, but they have not been consistently great. For example, his last two opponents have been Jeff Monson and Satoshi Ishii.

    Fedor went 10 years in between losses at one point and has accumulated 33 wins in his professional MMA career. Fans clamored for him to be in the UFC, but Dana White and Fedor's posse never saw eye to eye on a contract.

    Time has passed, Fedor has aged, and recently lost three fights in a row. The buzz surrounding the "Last Emperor" has subsided, and his star power is gone.

     

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