Top 5 Failed Moments For The UFC In 2013
Top Failed Moments in the UFC in 2013
Unlike in 2012, it's extremely hard to find ways the UFC messed up in 2013. In 2012, there was the infamous canceled pay-per-view which caused light heavyweight champ Jon Jones' popularity to decrease, and there was the pay-per-view that was headlined by Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar.
For the most part, 2013 has been a good year for the UFC. There were great title fights such as Jose Aldo/Frankie Edgar, Benson Henderson/Gilbert Melendez and Jon Jones/Alexander Gustafsson. There was also an informal passing of the guard in the Anderson Silva/Chris Weidman fight. The rematch will cap the year off.
Fans also saw the introduction of women into the Octagon when Ronda Rousey took on Liz Carmouche. Then there was the first coed season of the Ultimate Fighter, which proved to be a little better than most expected.
We saw the exit of Georges St. Pierre, the greatest welterweight in MMA to date, after an extremely close battle with rising star and welterweight challenger Johny Hendricks. The new face of the UFC welterweight division will be determined in 2014 when Hendricks locks horns with a resurgent Robbie Lawler.
All in all, 2013 will be hard top in the following year.
With all that being said, there is no such thing as perfection when it comes to business. There are always things that could have been better. There were some individuals who should not have been cut, and there were some fights that shouldn't have been made.
Here are the top five failed moments in the UFC in 2013:
5. The Release of Jon Fitch
The UFC released Jon Fitch earlier in the year and shocked many people in the process. At the time he was released, Fitch had lost two fights in almost seven years. The first of the two aforementioned losses came at the end of 2011, when he was knocked out by Johny Hendricks (you know, the guy who almost beat Georges St. Pierre). The second came in February to Demian Maia (who out Fitch'd Fitch).
Fitch had never lost back-to-back fights at the time of his release and probably deserved another fight in the organization after the Maia loss. The only reason he isn't higher on the list is because he ended up getting submitted in his very next fight against Josh Burkman in his World Series of Fighting debut.
4. The Decision Not to Sign Ben Askren
A 12-0 record as well as being undefeated in Bellator title fights was not enough for the UFC to pursue Ben Askren upon his release from Bellator. Askren is a talented fighter who defeated a lot of talented fighters in the smaller organization (Douglas Lima, Jay Hieron, Andrey Koreshkov). He deserved a chance to fight the best in the world.
Askren relies heavily on his wrestling to get wins inside the cage, and it works. Kickboxers never catch any flack when they train to keep the fight standing to win, so it is a little hypocritical for people to judge Askren on that front. It's certain his style is part of the reason why the UFC chose not to pursue him.
Will Askren ever find his way to the Octagon? Only time will tell.
3. Cain Velasquez vs. Antonio Silva II
The first fight was a massacre. The second bout wasn't much better. Cain Velasquez/Antonio Silva II was made out of desperation after another attempt to grant Alistair Overeem a title shot failed when Silva knocked him out. There weren't too many people who were excited to watch Silva's slaughter a second time.
In the first go-round, Velasquez finished Silva in 3:36. It only took 1:21 the second time. This shows the state of the heavyweight division, or at least how much better Velasquez is over the rest of the field. This is an example of a fight that never should have taken place, but had to take place.
2. Granting Title Shots after Losses
Nick Diaz and Chael Sonnen are two lucky people when it came to title shots in 2013. Both were granted title shots after suffering a loss in their previous bouts. Diaz lost to Carlos Condit in February 2012, got suspended for using marijuana and was then granted a title shot against Georges St. Pierre in March. Most fighters wouldn't even to be within arms reach if that scenario happened to them.
Sonnen was fresh off a loss to Anderson Silva for the middleweight title when he received a shot at light heavyweight champion Jon Jones. Of course, Sonnen lost that fight.
The one man who seemed to have earned a title shot, even after losing his title, was Frankie Edgar. He competed against Jose Aldo for the featherweight title in February just months after losing a second fight with Benson Henderson. Though Edgar lost the fight, he proved he can hang with the champ in the lighter division. Of course, it's certain the other featherweights waiting in line were not too happy with Edgar's immediate title shot.
1. The Release of Yushin Okami
They claimed it was all because he was a gatekeeper. In the latter part of 2013, the UFC decided to part ways with middleweight contender Yushin Okami. The news came after he lost to Ronaldo Souza, a former Strikeforce middleweight champion and a man who was riding a four-fight win streak at the time. Prior to his loss to Souza, Okami was riding a three-fight win streak over Buddy Roberts, Alan Belcher and Hector Lombard.
For most of his career in the UFC, Okami only lost to champions or former champions. Of his five losses inside the Octagon, three came against former champions (Souza, Anderson Silva and Rich Franklin). The other two came against Tim Boetsch (no excuse) and Chael Sonnen (a three-time title contender). To say that releasing Okami was a bad move and a premature one would be an understatement.
Though the move was horrible for the UFC, it may not have been all that bad for Okami. He will more than likely dominate the field in the World Series of Fighting and make a better name for himself in the end. Who knows, we may even see "Thunder" back in the Octagon some day. For now, Okami should focus on being the best middleweight outside the UFC.