The UFC is the most successful MMA promotion on the planet – it’s pretty good at promoting its fighters to maximize the number of views a PPV event can get. To better understand how well the UFC’s promotion mechanism does its job, just take a look at the buzz surrounding Khamzat Chimaev.
However, every once in a while, the UFC’s expectations of a star are dismayed – meaning the promoted rising star doesn’t make it happen. Here, we’ve compiled a list of 10 such stars that come to naught before making any lasting impressions.
10. Alexander Hernandez
Alexander Hernandez was just 26 years old when he played a major role in the UFC. The American, who did a side job as a real estate agent, was soon challenged by Beneil Dariush. And my son showed up – in a minute, he was now a senior lightweight knockout.
The impressive win sent Hernandez on a tirade of bullshit and melted Olivier Aubin-Mercier in the process. After that, he signed up to fight Donald Cerrone, whom he calls ‘aged and withered’. Cerrone smashed him via TKO in the second round, showing him that age equals experience. Since then, Hernandez has been promoted to 3-3.
9. Paige VanZant
Before her modeling career took off, Paige VanZant He was a true fighter – he left his mark in the UFC with stunning victories. A friendly nature also helped. VanZant won 3-0 in promotion in his first three fights before his progress was halted by Rose Namajunas in 2015. From there, the once-exciting fighter never seemed like himself again, enduring three losses and two wins before being promoted. For Bare Knuckle Fighting FC. That didn’t last long either, and he’s now retired from fighting.
8. Giga Chikadze
Giga Chikadze is still one of the most exciting fighters to watch on the roster. From his promotion in 2019 until the beginning of this year, Chikadze had won the featherweight division by a score of 7-0. No wonder he looked at his rival Calvin Kattar and asked for a piece from champion Alexander Volkanovski. However, this would be a fatal mistake as Kattar prepared him for five rounds and the fight seemed close to the end at many points. Now Chikadze takes a step back and analyzes his strengths before going again.
Related- Israel Adesanya to Conor McGregor: Five UFC champions who spread GRACE in defeat
7. Gregor Gillespie
Gregor Gillespie entered the UFC with tremendous enthusiasm – many deservedly, he was a terrific American wrestler. Equally notable was his MMA transition to become Ring of Combat Champion in a very short time. The venerable American went to a long five-game finishing streak. His progress has been stopped by none other than Kevin Lee, who has proven Gillespie to be nothing short of an exaggeration in the fighting world, stopping him with a terrible first-round KO.
6. Hector Lombard
At one point in his MMA career, Hector Lombard had won twenty-five fights undefeated – a feat only a select few could have achieved. He had all the weapons in his arsenal – he could knock out and subdue. He also became Bellator’s first true superstar and broke the record for the fastest knockout in the promotion’s history.
With such stellar credentials, Lombard entered the UFC – only to suffer a split decision loss against Tim Boetsch. While Lombard would win a few more fights, the Cuban would begin a six-fight losing streak before eventually being released.
5. Sage Northcutt
This should come as no surprise to anyone. A star Karate champion, sage He became the promotion’s first “golden child” – he had everything to become the biggest star ever in UFC history. He also had the solid support of Dana White. Northcutt became the youngest fighter on the roster and debuted with a PPV card – a fight that resulted in a finish for him!
Northcutt not only became a young UFC star with a few knockouts, but also became a social media phenomenon – he had all the recipes for success. However, Bryan Barbarena stepped in. Although shaken, Barbarena weathered the storm and shocked the MMA community by sending her “the golden boy.” According to Dana White, despite winning four of the next five, Northcutt was removed from the promotion due to a lack of maturity. He later signed with ONE FC, but fainted so brutally that seven stitches were required to repair a broken skull.
4. Edmen Shahbazyan
Coming from one “golden boy” to the next, Edmen “Golden Boy” Shahbazyan was one of the hottest candidates to enter the UFC in recent years. In his first game in Dana White’s Contender Series, the American managed to send his opponent out in 40 seconds. From there, he recorded four wins, three of which were via finish. At the age of 21, he entered the middleweight ranking with a stunning win over Brad Tavares.
Sadly, his run for the middleweight would have been broken by none other than veteran Derek Brunson, who TKO him in the third round. The hype train has now steadily derailed as it has in the last three years, standing at 0-3 in promotion.
Also Read- WATCH: Khabib Nurmagomedov grieves as he unveils 3 fights he really wanted before retiring in 2021
3. Darren Up
Read this at your own discretion! until darren To some extent it was and still is an absolute fan favorite. From her chatty shopping to her appearance at Sweet Caroline in Liverpool, everything seemed set for Liverpudlian to become the next English champion after Michael Bisping. With wins over Stephen Thompson and Donald Cerrone, it looked like Till could be the darling of the UFC.
However, Till’s title hopes would not come true, whether it was a question of inadequate motivation or an unnecessary overkill. Fast-forward to a championship game against Tyron Woodley, the Briton looked like a fish out of water as the American handed him over with ease. He was then knocked down by the Miami native to surprise the entire London crowd in the opening as the betting favorite against the resurrected Jorge Masvidal in 2019. After that, he is 1-2 in the UFC and his last loss is in the hands of Derek Brunson. So far he is facing Dricus Du Plessis at UFC 282.
2. Ben Askren
Traded by the UFC for Demetrious Johnson, I ask He was signed from ONE FC in 2019 and entered the promotion as an indomitable and undefeated wrestler. The shooting strategy at Dana White worked—the organizer didn’t personally like Askren, but couldn’t deny his credentials. And he showed it with a (questionable) submission win over Robbie Lawler.
But his next fight against Jorge Masvidal proved to the world that the competition in the UFC is absolutely brutal. It didn’t take long for Masvidal to finish the job – he knocked Askren out in five seconds to set the record for the fastest knockout in UFC history. After that, Askren also lost to Demian Maia. He has since retired from the sport and even fought Jake Paul in boxing.
1. Johnny Walker
Johnny Walker was viewed as a freak when he entered the UFC – before battling in his biggest MMA promotion, the Brazilian managed to straighten out anyone who got in his way, whether light or heavyweight.
But ‘it has levels’ as it is said in the fighting business. The fighter, who was once labeled as the obvious candidate to replace Jon Jones at the head of the lightweight division, took notable losses in promotion against Ryan Spann and Jamahal Hill to win 5-4, where his KO was instant meme food.
These are our picks of the 10 best hype jobs to derail at the UFC. The UFC continues to change its course in how it promotes its fighters, but every once in a while it stumbles on this quest. However, it will be interesting to watch the careers of emerging phenoms like Khamzat Chimaev and Bo Nickal, who are totally overwhelming forces and have considerable support behind them.
Also reveals behind-the-scenes footage of Read- Israel Adesanya appearing unimpressed despite losing her title at UFC 281