Jon Jones, Brock Lesnar, and the Most Hyped Fighters in UFC History
It’s made mediocre fighters look good, great fighters look unstoppable and Kimbo Slice look like something other than a glorified street fighter.
It’s the UFC hype machine.
The UFC does a good job at hyping it’s fighters from top to bottom. Some live up to the hype. Others have failed to live up to what they were built as.
Here’s a list of the most hyped fighters in UFC history.
In his first 14 fights Lyoto Machida was undefeated.
It was easy to understand why he had hype going into his title fight against Rashad Evans. Once he knocked out Evans, “The Machida Era” was in full effect.
Although Machida looked unstoppable, the Era of the Dragon died down in his next fight against Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
Although Machida won their first fight, many thought Rua should have won the fight. Machida lost the title to Rua in the next fight, and lost a close bout with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
Although Machida is back in the title picture, his first run proved that no matter how much hype a person has, no one is unstoppable.
Does he deserve the hype he gets or does he not?
Michael Bisping won season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter in 2006. His overall record is 21-3.
The only problem for Bisping is those three loses have come to former champions.
Although he has yet to fight for a title or defeat a former champ, Bisping’s been one of the UFC’s biggest international draws hailing from England.
American fans hate him, you’d think he was Randy Couture or Chuck Liddell sometimes when the UFC hits Europe.
Mirko Cro Cop
When Mirko Cro Cop first came to the UFC he was looked at as possibly the No. 2 heavyweight in the world.
Cro Cop was riding a four fight win streak and had just won the Pride 2006 open weight grand prix.
In his UFC debut, Cro Cop defeated Eddie Sanchez.
Cro Cop met Gabriel Gonzaga in his next fight with the winner getting a shot at the heavyweight champion.
In a shocking turn of events, Cro Cop lost by knock thanks to a head kick, something he had done to his opponents so many times.
Cro Cop’s hype has since gone, going from one of the world’s best heavyweights to being a shell of his former self.
Todd Duffee’s career started with him going 6-0.
Each of Duffee’s fights ended by knock out. This includes knocking out Tim Hague in just seven seconds, a UFC record.
The win made Duffee seem like he was going to be the next big thing in the heavyweight division.
Duffee lost to Mike Russow in his next bout after dominating most of the fight.
Duffee was let go from the UFC following the loss and lost to Alistair Overeem just 19 seconds at Dynamite!! 2010.
Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou
When Sokoudjou came to the UFC in 2007, he was coming off of two-straight KO wins against Ricardo Arona and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira.
Sokoudjou was supposed to be the next big thing in the light heavyweight division. Instead he lost his UFC debut to Lyoto Machida.
He would go just 1-1 in his next two fights before getting cut by the UFC.
What started out as a promising MMA career, Sokoudjou is now has a record of just 12-9.
Once upon a time Brandon Vera was supposed to be the UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion.
Vera started his career 8-0 and was well on his way to a UFC title shot.
A contract dispute pulled the championship bout away from Vera though. He would go on to be 3-5 (1) in his next nine bouts, including an embarrassing loss to Thiago Silva that was reversed to a no contest.
Love him or hate him, Jon Jones deserves the hype he gets.
At just age 24, Jones has become the youngest UFC champ in the history of the company.
Jones has looked dominant in each of his fights, including his lone loss to Matt Hamill.
There’s no denying Jones’ talent. There’s also no denying that he’s been built as the next big thing in the UFC for some time now.
No matter what happens in his next bout against Lyoto Machida, Jones will have hype for many years to come.
Speaking of the next big thing, Brock Lesnar is perhaps the UFC’s biggest product of the hype machine. Much of Lesnar’s hype stems from his history before he got into MMA.
Lesnar was a star college wrestler before moving on to the WWE.
Once Lesnar became its biggest star, he decided to try his hand at the NFL. Although that venture failed, Lesnar was successful in MMA, becoming UFC champion almost quicker than anybody in the sport.
Lesnar was billed as the baddest man on the planet, and thanks to his size and athleticism, he looked unstoppable.
After nearly losing to Shane Carwin at UFC 116 and losing the UFC heavyweight title to Cain Velasquez, Lesnar showed that he was indeed human.
Don't expect the UFC to stop the Lesnar hype anytime soon though. Although he has had some tough battles the last couple of years both inside and out of the Octagon, Lesnar is still the company's biggest draw.
Whether you believe Lesnar deserves the hype he gets or not, Lesnar has accomplished more in seven fights than many fighters accomplish in their whole careers.
One of the biggest hype jobs in all of MMA is Kimbo Slice.
Slice was well-known for his internet street fights before he entered the world of MMA.
Because of his fame outside of the sport, Slice had a ton of hype coming into it, winning his first three fights, and being responsible for EliteXC having the most views for an MMA company on a network tv station, and going bankrupt.
When Slice was brought into the UFC, it was through the Ultimate Fighter.
Although Slice was not the best fighter on the show, promotions for the show featured him heavily. He was also Quinton "Rampage" Jackson's first pick.
Despite being the most watched fight in TUF history, Slice lost his only fight on the show to Roy Nelson.
Slice would go 1-1 before being cut by the UFC