The Octagon is often – and rightfully – referred to as MMA’s ultimate proving ground. While that can lead to fame and fortune for some fighters, others have failed to live up to the hype in the high-pressure environment.
In this article, we’ll focus in particular on 10 fighters who had already made their mark in the sport by becoming successful champions in other leading promotions. But that soon came undone when they tried to replicate that success in the UFC. Enjoy the list.
Outside of the UFC, Hector Lombard put together a formidable record, going 25 fights without defeat including 17 victories by way of strikes. Along the way, he won CFC’s middleweight title and defended it several times. He then moved on to Bellator, where he also ruled their middleweight division with an iron fist. Lombard won their season 1 tournament and defended it with a decision win over Alexander Shlemenko. With a hulking physique and notorious mean streak, fans were excited when Lombard signed to the UFC in 2012.
But his debut ended in disappointment with a decision loss to Tim Boetsch. A first-round KO win over Rousimar Palhares followed. He then suffered another loss to Yushin Okami, prompting a move down to welterweight. Wins over Nate Marquardt and Jake Shields suggested it had been a good move. Yet it would turn out these would be the last two wins of his UFC career.
In his next fight, Lombard had a decision win against Josh Burkman overturned due to a positive drug test. After a yearlong suspension, he would go on to lose his next six fights in a row. That included being stopped by strikes against Neil Magny, Dan Henderson and Anthony Smith. As a result, Lombard was released from the UFC and has now signed up to fight in bare-knuckle boxing.