10 MMA Fighters in Need of an Attitude Change
Success in MMA hinges greatly on maintaining a healthy and productive psyche.
The world's top pound-for-pound scrappers, like Georges St-Pierre, Jon Jones and Anderson Silva, use discipline and superior intellect to overcome the hardships their extraordinary MMA careers present.
But fighters that consistently make the right decisions, like GSP, "Bones" and "The Spider," frankly don't come around very often.
Here are 10 fighters most in need of an attitude makeover.
Quinton "Rampage" Jackson
10. Josh Barnett
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After winning nine of his last 10 fights, and over 16 years into his career, Josh Barnett turned down a deal with the UFC.
9. Matt Mitrione
After getting wind of his degrading rant regarding trans-gender mixed martial artist Fallon Fox during an interview with The MMA Hour's Ariel Helwani, UFC president Dana White promptly suspended Matt Mitrione.
But accepting a fight with Brendan Schaub at UFC on Fox 8 (via ESPN) allowed Mitrione, a former NFL player, to get excused for violating the UFC's "code of conduct" clause. As a result, the UFC's brass lifted Mitrone's 90-day suspension after just 17 days.
Following his temporary vindication, Mitrione naturally took to Twitter to tarnish his own name and challenge a superior fighter in a lighter weight class in light heavyweight champ Jon Jones.
8. Jacob Volkmann
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Being predictable and vanilla inside the Octagon and being brash and vocal outside the realm of competition is a recipe for disaster.
Just ask former UFC lightweight contender Jacob Volkmann, a former Division I All-American wrestler who unceremoniously received his walking papers after losing two of three bouts between May 2012 and February 2013.
Volkmann put himself on the hot seat following his win at UFC 125 by saying, "someone should knock some sense into that idiot," in reference to President Obama's stance on health care reform.
Then, for his coup de grace, "Christmas" said the following in an interview with Joe Rogan after his win at UFC 141:
Volkmann: “Obama needs a glassectomy. Ask me what a glassectomy is, Joe.”
Rogan: "What's a glassectomy?"
Volkmann: “It’s where they remove the belly button and put a piece of glass in there so you can see what you’re doing while your head’s up your ass."
7. Josh Koscheck
Long considered a viable contender at 170 pounds, Josh Koscheck parted ways with his teammates and coaches at the renowned American Kickboxing Academy and turned his attention to training at his own gym, Dethrone Base Camp in Fresno.
Koscheck left American Kickboxing Academy, the gym he joined in 2006 and blossomed at, after his win over Mike Pierce at UFC 143 in February 2012.
Since parting ways with coach Javier Mendez and teammates such as Luke Rockhold and Josh Thomson, Koscheck has dropped two straight fights for the first time in his career.
Koscheck got edged by Johny Hendricks at UFC on Fox 3 before suffering just his second career knockout loss to Robbie Lawler at UFC 157.
6. Alistair Overeem
Getting popped for elevated levels of testosterone and serving a nine-month suspension through the Nevada State Athletic Commission marked the first in a string of self-induced slip-ups for Alistair Overeem.
Overeem got charged with misdemeanor battery in Las Vegas following his match with Brock Lesnar at UFC 141 after allegedly pushing a woman in the Wynn Las Vegas.
Roughly a year later, "The Demolition Man" allowed heavy underdog Antonio Silva to storm back and KO him in dramatic fashion in the third round of their heavyweight title eliminator bout at UFC 156.
Overeem not only talked up a storm to provide bulletin-board material for a hungry "Bigfoot," the Dutchman also failed to train properly, gassing out in the third round of a fight that he was winning.
5. Ian McCall
Since joining the UFC in early 2012, Ian McCall has descended from No. 1 to No. 3 on the list of the world's top flyweights.
McCall has dropped two of three fights in the promotion, fighting champ Demetrious Johnson to a draw in a controversial bout at UFC on FX 2 in his debut.
Following his setback to Joseph Benavidez at UFC 156, "Uncle Creepy" offered the following self-depricating remarks via Twitter:
I am sorry. I'm official overrated
4. Matthew Riddle
Matthew could easily be riding high on a four-fight winning streak in the UFC's stacked welterweight division.
Instead, Riddle failed a pair of post-fight drug screens for marijuana in the matter of a year, prompting the UFC to issue the Pennsylvania native his walking papers.
Riddle, who had wins over Chris Clements and Che Mills reversed to no-contests, inked a bulky deal with the Texas-based Legacy Fighting Championships in March.
Granted, Legacy Fighting Championships won't offer Riddle the opportunities that the UFC once did. But truth be told, Riddle doesn't deserve to compete in the big show until he cleans up his act.
3. Nate Diaz
Although always outspoken, Nate Diaz has never tested positive for an banned substance on a drug test or missed a pertinent press conference like his older brother, Nick.
But following his devastating loss to Josh Thomson at UFC on Fox 7, Nate Diaz exemplified why he's also in need of an attitude adjustment.
Just days after suffering the TKO loss to Thomson, the first of his career, Diaz did a radio interview on BJPenn.com in which he belittled Thomson, ultimately claiming that the American Kickboxing Academy product made 'lady sounds' in their bout.
Nick let it happen, but Nate certainly hasn't allowed his attitude to overwhelm his career. But not only does Nick have almost two years of age on Nate, he's also taken 11 more fights than him.
2. Melvin Guillard
If bouncing from training camp to training camp, and losing fights in between, makes Melvin Guillard's believe he's evolving, then the 30-year-old New Orleans native will soon hit rock bottom.
Guillard left Jackson's MMA in Albuquerque, N.M., to team up with former stablemate Rashad Evans at the Blackzilians in Boca Raton, Fla.
After going 1-4 under the Blackzilians' guidance, Guillard attempted to rejoin Jackson's MMA, only to be shunned by the coaches and teammates who once considered him family.
1. Nick Diaz
Forget about Nick Diaz's two failed drug tests for marijuana and his failure to show up for a press conference before what would have been the most significant fight of his career at UFC 137.
Diaz nabbed the top spot on this list because of his colorful and rather confusing post-fight interview following his setback to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 158.
I could sit here and make a million excuses about why I wasn't ready for this fight, but the only reason why I'm here right now is I want a rematch. I think I can beat [St-Pierre]. That's what I think. I think I may be a better matchup for Anderson Silva, as well, but we'll see what happens. I didn't have a good first round or a good performance tonight. But I carried out a lot of my plan and what I wanted to do. I just think that I could have been a little better prepared for this fight. I think maybe next time if I did get an extra shot, I think that people would try to help me out a little bit.