MMA: The 13 Dumbest Moments in MMA
Throughout the history of any sport there are legendary moments embedded that will burn brightly in the memories of fans.
Despite MMA's short history there are plenty of these moments...but for each one of these there is one that isn't so glorious or legendary and is kind of absurd or even outright stupid.
What are some of these moments? Read and find out but keep in mind that it is difficult to quantify absurdity/stupidity/dumbness so the slides aren't ranked; what is only kind of dumb to one person may seem really idiotic to another (or not stupid at all).
Art Jimmerson Wears One Glove
This is one of the most infamous moments in UFC history. Boxer Art Jimmerson wore only one glove at his UFC 1 fight against Royce Gracie.
Not much more to say about this one aside from saying it wasn't that smart and its reputation as an indicator of the ridiculousness of the pre-Zuffa era is deserved.
Kimo and Joe Son Walk out on Crosses
Even though this is technically two separate moments it's being counted as one because it's the same offense: walking out carrying a large crucifix and sapping precious energy right before the fight.
It also helped diminish any credibility the UFC had left by that point because it blurred the lines between the UFC and professional wrestling.
Kimo and Son claimed that their mission was to spread the word of god and that they were religious men. This was later proved to be a false claim since Son was eventually convicted for rape.
For all of these reasons, this moment (or these moments) was pretty dumb.
Kevin Randleman Slips and Knocks Himself out
By the time UFC 24 came along, the promotion was struggling. SEG, the company that owned the UFC, was in dire financial straits.
Kevin Randleman had recently been crowned UFC heavyweight champion and was scheduled to make his first defense against Brazilian standout Pedro "The Rock" Rizzo. Hence the event's rather unimaginative title, UFC 24: First Defense.
As fate would have it, the two fighters would not meet at UFC 24. While Randleman was backstage, he slipped and fell on the concrete and was completely knocked out. He was rushed to the hospital, and the fans were left with Tedd Williams vs. Steve Judson as a main event...lucky them.
While this isn't Randleman's fault, it's highly indicative of the absurdity and poor fortunes of the SEG days.
Ken Shamrock Gets Cut on the Day of the Fight
Ross Dettman/Getty Images
Ken Shamrock was set to fight Kimbo Slice at EliteXC: Heat but something happened that day that stopped the fight from taking place.
Earlier in on the day of the fight Shamrock was rolling with a training partner and received a headbut that cut him over the eye, the doctor ruled that he couldn't fight and a replacement was hurriedly found; Seth Petruzelli.
The rest is history (in case you don't know Petruzelli easily disposed of Slice and EliteXC folded shortly thereafter).
Not only was this moment just dumb, it ultimately caused the destruction of a fight promotion!
Ken Shamrock's "Living Death"
Unfortunately, MMA legend Ken Shamrock is part of as many bad moments in MMA as he is good ones.
Another one of the bad ones took place during his "legendary" feud with Tito Ortiz. At the press conference prior to their first encounter, Ken Shamrock claimed he would beat Ortiz "into the living death." Ortiz appropriately responded with laughter. In response, Ken Shamrock flipped a chair.
Beating someone into a "living death" is now sort of a meme/joke on MMA forums.
But poor Ken Shamrock, even after these two moments we aren't done with him.
Ken Shamrock Fights James Toney
Marc Serota/Getty Images
While this one hasn't happened yet, even the news of it is absurd.
First, an over-the-hill MMA fighter taking on an over-the-hill boxer doesn't sound like a great idea to begin with.
Second, when one looks at the rules of the bout which require a stand-up after 30 seconds on the ground, fans KNOW it isn't a good idea.
There is no point in the two men fighting and it serves only to be a freakshow fight that diminishes the image of the sport, speaking of freakshow fights...
Bob Sapp Fights Cartoon Character
In 2008, in Japan's famous end of the year show, "Dynamite!! 2008" Bob Sapp was matched up against a cartoon character; the freakshow fight to end all freakshow fights.
Mind you this was not a fighter who was so lively that he was described as a cartoon character, it was a fighter who wore the outfit and mask of the Japanese cartoon character Kinniku Mantaro.
Inside the mask was Japanese professional wrestler Akihito Tanaka.
Sapp won the fight but when a fighter who already has a reputation as a freakshow fighter beats up a pro wrestler/cartoon character, there really are no winners.
Yamma Pit Fighting Holds Its First and Only Show
Bob Meyrowitz, the owner of the UFC before it was sold to Zuffa, decided to venture back into the MMA business after the Zuffa purchase. Unfortunately for the MMA world, the product of this was Yamma Pit Fighting.
The primary advertising gimmick employed by Yamma was their "revolutionary" cage, which was circular and had slanted edges—supposedly to prevent "lay and pray" and make the fights more exciting. Yamma also returned to the tournament structure.
The card was boring, since it was packed with heavyweight wrestlers with poor conditioning as well as two "masters super fights" in which fighters who had not been relevant in nearly a decade were marketed as though they were still stars.
Even worse, some of the announcing team was kept from the original UFC days.
Having boring fights/fighters, poor production quality, washed up talent and broadcasting from the UFC days sure sounds pretty dumb and it rightfully was a failure. There was never a second show.
The IFL Being Founded
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
It's hard to believe now but people really thought that league of arbitrary fight teams (New York Pitbulls, Quad City Silverbacks, etc.) consisting of some fighters who didn't even live in the city the team was located in could actually beat the UFC.
This league was known as the International Fight League or IFL. It made a splash when it first started but then the new wore off and people realized that a team concept was totally absurd for MMA among other shortcomings such as a lack of high level talent (although some IFL alumni did have successful careers after the organization's demise).
The IFL eventually realized their mistake and tried to make the league focus on fight camps such as Renzo Gracie's gym, Militech Fighting Systems, American Top Team, and others but it was too late and the IFL bit the dust in 2008, lasting only a little over two years.
The IFL Becoming Publicly Traded
An old interview with former IFL chief Kurt Otto
The IFL was doing decently, but it opened up Pandora's box when it became a publicly traded company only 10 months after opening their doors.
The league was never the same after this and it may be a likely cause of their demise since once they became publicly traded, IFL management was subject not to themselves but to shareholders.
An Alternate Wins UFC 3
When UFC 3 started, Royce Gracie was again a shoo-in to win. But what happened that night shocked everybody.
Gracie managed to beat the brutish Kimo Leopoldo but it cost him all the strength he had. He couldn't continue on.
Ken Shamrock also didn't continue, so Harold Howard had to face alternate Steve Jennum (who was fresh and hadn't fought once) in the finals.
Jennum defeated Howard and won UFC 3 only having to fight one fight. Fans were angry and the rules were changed after this. Now, the alternates for each tournament are decided by alternate matches so that alternates would at least have fought once that night.
The UFC Hires James Toney
This one was pretty dumb. Apparently, the MMA world forgot what happened when a pure striker met a fighter who could grapple.
And guess what?
Couture took him down immediately and submitted him. No point in wasting a spot on the card or even the money it took to pay Toney (which was taken by the IRS anyway).
Wanderlei Silva Wants to WHAT Chuck?
At the time of UFC 61, there were rumors circulating that Wanderlei Silva could be joining the UFC. The fight everyone was dying to see Silva take was a fight against then UFC light heavyweight champion Chuck Liddell.
Silva had dominated Pride and Liddell had dominated the UFC. Would the meeting between these two to promote a hypothetical fight be what everyone had hoped?
Only if they had hoped for a colossal embarrassment. Wanderlei, hopefully by accident, said he wanted to "f***" Chuck" rather than saying he wanted to fight him.
This is one of the most infamous quotes in MMA.