What WEC or Strikeforce fighter was the biggest flop in the UFC?

Today we're going to have a little fun. Yes, it will be at the expense of a few fighters and their egos. Sorry guys.…

By: Tim Burke | 8 years ago
What WEC or Strikeforce fighter was the biggest flop in the UFC?
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Today we’re going to have a little fun. Yes, it will be at the expense of a few fighters and their egos. Sorry guys. But after all the bitching and moaning about Yoel Romero and with all the controversy surrounding the main event of UFC 189: Mendes vs. McGregor, I wanted to lighten the mood a little bit. So here’s what I came up with.

Our esteemed Mr. John Nash suggested that I try to figure out who the most underestimated fighter from the WEC or Strikeforce was – essentially, who came in with no hype and blew up in the UFC. Robbie Lawler. Fabricio Werdum. That sort of thing. Instead, at the insistence of my co-workers that looooove to watch me write negative things about fighters and then read all the hate mail I get, I’m flipping the script and going with the biggest flops from WEC and Strikeforce.

Let the flaming begin. Oh, and there’s a poll so you can chime in!

Note – Despite a certain Filipino managing editor’s insistence, you will not find Brandon Vera on this list. SO THERE ANTON!

Alistair Overeem – B-but he just beat Roy Nelson! Turned him all lobstery and stuff! Yeah yeah, we get it. When he came in at 353 pounds and clobbered Brock Lesnar in his debut, expectations were sky high. Then Bigfoot clubbered him. Then Travis Browne did too. Oh, and remember when he ran from the drug testers? And his wages got garnisheed? Then BEN ROTHWELL put him down? I remember! You do too! He has put the pieces back together to a degree by beating Struve and Country, but it’d take a title win to regain the luster he once had.

Scott Jorgensen – Did you know that Jorgensen has lost six out of his last eight fights, yet somehow still fights for the UFC? He competed in the last WEC fight ever – a title shot loss to Dominick Cruz. But he was still a top-flight bantamweight coming in, and picked up two wins right away. Sure, he lost to Renan Barao next, but everyone was losing to the MONSTER. Okay, Eddie Wineland viciously KO’d him after that, but Wineland hits hard. His submission win over John Albert was more competitive than it needed to be, but whatever, a win’s a win. Loss to Faber. Drop to flyweight. Loss to Makovsky. Ruh roh. Loss to Formiga (which he rightly disputed, but still). He beat Danny Martinez, but then couldn’t make weight against Wilson Reis and lost that too. So…yeah. I didn’t intend to write a career retrospective there, but whatever.

Brian Bowles – I’d love to write his autobiography. Brian Bowles: A Tale of Broken Hands and Druuuugs. After winning the WEC bantamweight title from fellow nominee Torres, he was stopped by Dominick Cruz in his last WEC fight. Well, Cruz didn’t actually stop him. His own broken hand did. But still. Anyway, he returned in the UFC a year later and actually picked up a couple of wins before the wheels fell off the Bowlesmobile. Urijah Faber choked him out at UFC 139, then his T:E ratio was at Shlemenko levels in a brutal loss to Skeletor George Roop 18 months later. A final indignity was a litany of drug charges thrown his way, one for possession of diazepam (decent foreshadowing there). That was his third arrest too. Sorry Brian.

Nick Diaz – Oh this one’s gonna be fun. Get your emails fired up, kids, Tim’s gonna bag on your guy! Nick has more suspensions than wins since his venture over to the UFC four years ago. Has he fought tough guys? Sure. Has he been competitive? Most of the time. Has he paid his taxes? Hell no. But he has still ONLY WON A SINGLE FIGHT IN FOUR YEARS. Against Puffy Penn of all people (copy this article and run it, BJPenn.com – I dare you). Condit 1, 2, 4! GSP 12345678! Silva…uh, whatever rounds he won. Now Nick will be on the sidelines for nine more years for somehow failing a weed test despite the limits being tripled. I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you Diaz lovers, but he’s been a bust in the UFC. That 209 # got disconnected. I still think the guy is awesome (despite what I just wrote! Sorry Nick!) but there is no way you can spin his UFC career and make it look decent. I’m sure you’ll try though!

Steve Cantwell – The man was a WEC light heavyweight champion. He stopped Brian Stann to get that belt. HE BROKE A DUDE’S ARM IN HIS FIRST UFC FIGHT. IN FRONT OF THE TROOPS!  Then, mysteriously, all his skills vanished. All that was left was a chin to hit. It was like he had fighter amnesia. He dropped five straight bouts, the last two at middleweight, and never fought again. I don’t know where he is today, but maybe Chuck Mindenhall can track him down in the forests of California somewhere and ask him what the %#$@ happened. I’ll send money to his Kickstarter.

Jason Miller – I was a big fan of Mayhem Miller back in the day. The entrances, the clowning – I was entertained. But then it got sad. His move to the UFC resulted in two lackluster losses, and he’s spent a lot of time since then dealing with unfortunate situations of his own doing. Most of this list is jokey and fun, but I don’t have it in me to joke around about whatever is troubling Mayhem. It feels too cheap. I hope there’s some solace for you somewhere down the road, homie. But yeah, your UFC run wasn’t good.

Gilbert Melendez – Before you get all mad, I tried to leave him off the list. I really did. Anton really thought he belonged though (you can reach him at @antontabuena – please be gentle, he’s a sensitive guy). I thought Gil beat Ben Henderson. Anton did not. He then actually gave Diego Sanchez a fun fight, but in the lowlight of his career to date, got dropped by DIEGO SANCHEZ. He then tried to get paid by Bellator, but ended up on a reality show nobody watched, and got beaten by Anthony Pettis. Most recently, he forgot that Mexico City is high in the sky and blew up quicker than Buff Bagwell while losing to Eddie Alvarez. Is a 1-3 UFC record worthy of accolades? Oh, and never forget – HE GOT DROPPED BY DIEGO SANCHEZ.

Roger Gracie – 97-time jiu jitsu champion. Unbeatable on the mat. Tim Kennedy doesn’t get submitted. Then beats Roger up. BYE BYE ROGER. When you go from UFC main card to James McSweeney in Pasay City, I’d say you didn’t live up to expectations.

Miguel Torres – It actually began while still in the WEC with the loss to Bowles and a follow-up loss to Joseph Benavidez, but he was still considered a threat when he came over to the UFC. He won his first bout, then arguably got robbed against Demetrious Johnson at UFC 130. He even beat Nick Pace. But then his penchant for saying stupid stuff on Twitter crept up, and he was subsequently obliterated by Michael McDonald at UFC 145. That was enough to send him packing, and he’s never been the same since. I must admit though, I do miss his mullet. Mike Pyle has nothing on Miguel Torres.

Josh Grispi – Now best-known (and rightfully so) as a  wife-beating monster, Grispi won four fights in a row in the WEC and was expected to be Jose Aldo’s first UFC title defense. But out of nowhere, the wheels completely fell off. A broken jaw saw him sit out a few months, then he lost four straight fights. The last one was to Andy Ogle. Yeah. Then he decided to train his dog to bite his wife among other horrible acts, making one officer say that the treatment of his wife was “the worst case of domestic abuse I’ve ever seen.” I hope you get eaten by a bear, Mr. Grispi. A really big bear.

Make your pick in the poll!

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