The UFC is the Biggest MMA Promotion in the World But Not Everything is Sunshine and Roses at the Top… Sometimes They Have Problems With Different People… Here’s 10 They Would Love to Eliminate…
The UFC and especially Dana White have had a lot of problems with fighters and other combat sports personalities in the past. When White is your president, feuds are guaranteed. The man doesn’t even get along with his own mother for crying out loud.
We’ve seen massive fallouts with the likes of Tito Ortiz. There have even been verbal feuds with Oscar De La Hoya and Steve Espinoza from Showtime. They successfully removed the threat of a union by getting rid of lesser-known fighters like Leslie Smith and Kaylin Smith.
But there are some other personalities and fighters in the game that are problematic to them for different reasons. Not all of them are feuds, some are just difficult to deal with. Check out the 10 MMA stars that the UFC would love just to erase from existence.
10. Brendan Schaub
If you followed Brendan Schaub during his UFC days you probably wouldn’t expect him to be as successful in his post-fight career as he’s turned out to be. He’s now involved in a number of very successful podcasts including The Fighter and the Kid, The King and the Sting and Below the Belt, as well as pursuing a career in comedy.
He’s become a respected analyst and was even used by Showtime as an analyst for the Conor McGregor v Floyd Mayweather fight. Schaub is frequently critical of the way the UFC and especially Dana White treats their fighters. You can bet that the promotion would love for him just to vanish off of the face of the earth.
9. Mike Goldberg
‘Goldie’s’ voice used to be synonymous with the UFC. He was their main play-by-play commentator, a position that is usually held by Jon Anik now. Yet, the details of his release from the UFC remain a mystery. Some criticised that Goldberg’s style lacked proper analytical quality, but many enjoyed his passion and enthusiasm.
The main criticism of his release though was the way it was handled. After serving the company for 20 years he was given a month’s notice and there wasn’t even a proper statement from the UFC. Goldberg might not have been a fit for the new era, but the deserved a bit of courtesy. Now he’s Bellator’s main guy and has criticised the UFC since leaving them. They’d love him to shut up, but it’s a mess of their own making.
8. Cris Cyborg
Why did the UFC sign Cris Cyborg? Was it literally just to stop any other promotion getting her? At the moment that’s exactly what it feels like. Before she agreed on a deal with the world’s biggest MMA promotion, she was basically the female Fedor: the best fighter in the world outside the promotion.
They’ve failed to build a division around her and now she’s been destroyed by Amanda Nunes. What will happen after the final fight on her contract? Will she move on to another promotion? The UFC won’t really care that much at this point. Her value has gone down now. Maybe they’d prefer if she never existed.
7. Ariel Helwani
The number one journalist in MMA today, Helwani’s rise has been remarkable. Especially when you consider just how hard the UFC has tried to shut him down. He’s had numerous fallings-out with Dana White and was even banned from attending their press events after breaking the news of Brock Lesnar’s return at UFC 200. This was condemned by other journalists and the UFC backed down.
Like some sort of long-nosed cockroach, Helwani has proven indestructible and now is one of the leading MMA analysts for ESPN today. The UFC just can’t silence him. Now he’s got a strong partnership with the next man on this list.
6. Chael Sonnen
Chael Sonnen was massively popular during his UFC days. His rivalry with Anderson Silva established him as one of the greatest trash talkers in the history of the game. A positive PED test would forever taint his legacy though and he would eventually get released by the UFC. He was once called a ‘potential future president’ of the company.
Now he’s working for ESPN and has fought for Bellator until his retirement earlier this year. He’s been in vocal spats with Dana White, and with such a prominent media position you can bet the UFC would love him to disappear so that somebody friendlier would take his place.
5. Wanderlei Silva
You might think it’s strange that Wanderlei Silva is on this list because he was an absolute savage back in the day and definitely a fan favourite. He’s also legitimately the most successful fighter in PRIDE history, but remember it’s the UFC who developed a massive problem with him.
After receiving a lifetime ban from the Nevada Athletic Commission, Silva requested to be released from the UFC so he could fight in other countries. They refused and Silva accused them of fixing fights. This was a massive deal because if it was proven the UFC would be shut down. Anyway, the NAC backed down but the UFC definitely wants nothing to do with him.
4. Tim Sylvia
A former two-time heavyweight champion, Sylvia is one of the most controversial former UFC fighters out there. He’s also a vocal critic and has recently called out the promotion for failing to give him a place in their Hall-of-Fame.
White despises Sylvia because he basically couldn’t get rid of him. During a horrible period in heavyweight division history, we had one of the grimmest trilogies ever between the American and Andrei Arlovski. Now he won’t shut up. The UFC would love him just to go away.
3. Ricco Rodriguez
Another former heavyweight champion, Ricco Rodriguez definitely has one of the most unique reasons for being on this list. He fought for the promotion back when the UFC was sinking under massive debts and had genuine global competition with PRIDE in Japan.
Rodriguez infuriated everybody when he decided to put the name of the Golden Palace casino on his back in Henna ink while fighting at the rival Mohegan Sun casino. The Mohegan flipped out and tried to shut down the full event. Now the UFC will never mention his name again.
2. Randy Couture
A legendary figure who belongs on MMA’s Mt. Rushmore, it’s unfortunate that Couture doesn’t really have the best relationship with the UFC today. It’s mad, but he was inducted in the Hall-of-Fame five years before he retired. He fell out with the promotion because he wanted out of his contract to fight Fedor Emelianenko.
After a year of stalemate with the UFC, he lost a lawsuit and his heavyweight title to Brock Lesnar. After retiring his feud re-erupted and Dana White basically said that he’ll never work with ‘Captain America’ again.
1. Frank Shamrock
This man should be in the UFC Hall-of-Fame. The first middleweight champion – although it would be considered light-heavyweight today. His fight with Tito Ortiz is an all-time great. He’s continuously been snubbed by the promotion and we don’t really know the reason why.
What we do know is that they do keep insulting each other. Dana White definitely doesn’t like him and Shamrock has come up back with insults of his own. There’s no doubt that he deserves his place in the history books but the UFC is doing its best to erase the public’s memory of him.