Wanderlei Silva, Mirko Cro Cop and 10 PRIDE Fighters That Flopped in the UFC
Hardcore mixed martial arts fans can often be heard debating whether the UFC or Pride was the superior MMA brand.
Obviously, given that the UFC purchased Pride, it was the superior brand in terms of finances and general exposure.
But that's not what the fans are debating; they're disputing which organization had the better talent.
Now, there's no doubt that there are a lot of fighters who at one point competed in Pride and have been hugely successful in the UFC. Fighters such as Quinton Jackson, Mauricio Rua and Anderson Silva come to mind.
However, there has also been a large amount of fighters who were supposed to be able to compete with the UFC's elite, or at least be gatekeeper quality competitors, but have totally flopped within the organization...
Honorable Mention: Antonio Rogerio Nogueira
Antonio Rogerio Nogueira is two 2-2 so far in the UFC, so he can't quite be called a flop.
However, he liked unimpressive in one of his victories over Jason Brilz. Many fans thought that he should have lost the fight.
Since the fight with Brilz, he has lost two straight and if he loses for the third straight time against Rich Franklin at UFC 132, there's a good chance he'll be cut from the UFC.
Kazuhiro Nakamura wasn't one of Pride's elite, but he was a well respected fighter.
In his time with Pride he competed against many of the organization's elite and defeated the likes of Kevin Randleman, Igor Vovchanchyn and Yuki Kondo.
In 2007, Kazuhiro moved over to the UFC and posted an 0-2 record, long to Lyoto Machida and Rameau Sokoudjou.
He was then released from the UFC.
Ryo Chonan is one of very few fighters on the planet that can say he owns a victory over Anderson Silva. Chonan submitted the longtime UFC middleweight champ in Pride, with a third-round submission.
While in Pride, he also earned notable victories over Carlos Newton and Roan Carneiro.
After joining the UFC in 2007, Chonan put up a record of 1-3 in the promotion.
His only victory was by split decision.
Marcus Aurelio was a title contender is Pride's lightweight division and owns a victory over arguably the greatest lightweight in Pride's history, Takanori Gomi.
When he crossed over to the UFC, it became apparent that Marcus couldn't hang with the best the UFC had to offer.
After losing decisions to Clay Guida, Hermes Franca and Tyson Griffin, Aurelio was released by the UFC.
He did manage two victories in his time with the promotion, but they were against mediocre competition.
Akihiro Gono had a very good run in Pride. He won the majority of his fights and defeated tough competitors such as Gegard Mousasi and Hector Lombard.
Gono had a successful debut in the UFC, submitting Tamdan McCrory. However, he would lose his next two fights to Dan Hardy and Jon Fitch and was subsequently released.
Takanori Gomi is the most successful lightweight fighter in the history of Pride. He was a Pride lightweight champion and had a record of 13-1 with the promotion.
When he joined the UFC, it was clear the company thought Gomi had the potential to be lightweight champion.
In just his first fight, they pitted him against two-time title challenger Kenny Florian.
Takanori failed his first test with the promotion, losing by third round rear-naked choke.
Since then Gomi has gone 1-1, knocking out Tyson Griffin and being submitted by Clay Guida.
Gilbert Yvel wasn't overly successful in Pride. He lost many of his fights, granted a lot of them were against very stiff competition.
However, in between his time with Pride and his time with the UFC, Gilbert managed to put together a solid streak of wins.
The UFC brought him in with the hope that he could add some depth to the heavyweight division, which has been one of their weakest for some time.
Yvel went 0-3 with the UFC before being released, losing to Junior dos Santos, Ben Rothwell and Jon Madsen.
Heath Herring was a long time gatekeeper in Pride's heavyweight division.
He lost consistently to elite fighters, but did manage to trounce some stiff competition.
Like Gilbert Yvel, Herring was brought in to the UFC with the hopes of adding some depth to the heavyweight division.
Herring faired better than Yvel, going 2-3 in a stretch of five fights.
However, he didn't do as well as many thought he would and has not fought for the UFC (or anyone else) in three years.
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
Rameau Sokoudjou didn't spend much time with Pride, but he made a huge impact in that time.
Rameau had only two fights with the promotion, but they were both knockout victories over highly regarded fighters in Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Ricardo Arona.
There was a ton of hype surrounding him when he made his way into the UFC, but his welcoming party was spoiled when Lyoto Machida submitted him with an arm-triangle choke.
Rameau won his next fight, but only because his opponent injured his leg.
Sokoudjou was knocked out by Luiz Cane at UFC 89 and after that was handing his walking papers.
Mirko Cro Cop
Mirko Cro Cop was thought to be a future UFC heavyweight champion.
His career in Pride was legendary and he had a reputation as the single greatest kicker in MMA history.
Mirko had a successful debut in the UFC, defeating Eddie Sanchez by first-round TKO.
After that he lost two straight and took some time off to fight in other promotions.
Mirko returned at UFC 99 and since then has gone 2-3, bringing his overall record with the promotion to 4-5.
Wanderlei Silva was 22-3-1-1 in Pride.
In the UFC, he is 3-6.
Silva may be a legend in Pride and one of the most popular fighters in the UFC, but he has proven time and time again that he can't hang with the UFC's elite.
In 2010, Wanderlei showed some hope by defeating respected middleweight contender Michael Bisping by unanimous decision.
However, any hope of Silva making a run for a UFC belt was dashed away when he returned to action at UFC 132 and lost to Chris Leben by first-round knockout.