Big-time matchups do not always result in big-time fights. Sometimes, as was the case at UFC on Fox 8, the co-main event turns into the worst fight on the card. While the fight between Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger was boring, and the fighters were booed for much of the contest, it was not the worst thing that ever happened in the UFC. It was certainly not the best performance for either fighter, but they both at least tried to fight until the final bell. On the other hand, there have been some extraordinarily weird moments in the UFC that will be long remembered.
MMA fighting is incredibly stressful. The training can be harder than the actual fights. Few fighters enter the cage fully healthy, which affects what techniques they employ in their fights. The UFC itself is a tenuous thing, as one good win can propel a fighter to a title shot (like Gonzaga’s knockout over Mirko Cro Cop did) or one bad loss can end a fighter’s run (like Thales Leites being cut after losing a title fight to Anderson Silva).
All this adds up and leaves some fighters frazzled. Where some fighters, like Chuck Liddell, seem to thrive on the pressure cooker environment, others fall apart. This slideshow points out five weird moments from the UFC and the fighters who let the situation get the best of them.
Anderson Silva vs. Thales Leites
Anderson Silva has great standup. Thales Leites is a great grappler. For Leites to win, he needed to fight on the ground. He could not get Silva to the ground, so he resorted to flopping and hoping Silva would follow him down. Silva chose to stand above and gesticulate. This went on for all five rounds. It was just weird.
Anderson Silva vs. Demian Maia
The Leites fight for Silva was weird. The Maia fight was, well, even weirder. As with Leites, Maia needed to get Silva to the ground but could not. Silva punished Maia standing but stopped short of finishing him. Instead, Silva taunted Maia, repeatedly. It was a frustrating and maddening experience for all concerned.
Randleman knocks himself out
Kevin Randleman was a beast. He was a tremendous wrestler with unbelievable athleticism and the aggressiveness to match. At UFC 24, Randleman was scheduled to take on Pedro Rizzo for the heavyweight championship. In one of the weirdest moments nobody saw, Randleman somehow knocked himself out backstage before the fight. Fans watching never even knew what happened except that they did not witness a title fight that night.
Forrest Griffin (along with Stephan Bonnar) is credited with jumpstarting the popularity of the UFC. He was the first of The Ultimate Fighter stars to win a UFC title. He became a rock star in terms of popularity. He did not handle it well when he lost though. After his loss to Anderson Silva, Griffin ran out of the cage and back to the dressing room before the fight verdict. He did the same thing in his third fight with Tito Ortiz.
Kalib Starnes runs in the cage
Griffin ran, but at least he did so after the fight. Kalib Starnes ran during a fight. During a fight with fellow TUF alum Nate Quarry, Starnes took to literally running away from Quarry to avoid taking any more punishment. It was so bizarre that Quarry started chasing him while flailing his arms around in a crazy way. On the bright side, this weird moment gave UFC fans the most memorable victory speech in UFC history as well, with Quarry calling on the Rocky IV speech in Russia. Fans enjoyed it the speech more than the fight!