Winning a UFC title can not only be a ticket to fame and fortune, but also a chance to become immortalized in the history of the sport.
However, in this article we’ll look back at 10 UFC stars that didn’t get a chance to reap those rewards after coming agonizingly close to getting their hands on the belt, only to then see it slip from their grasp.
Having essentially trash-talked himself into a middleweight title shot against Anderson Silva in 2010, few people gave the quick-witted Chael Sonnen much of a chance of actually beating one of the greatest fighters of all-time.
However, Sonnen surprised everyone by not only giving Silva a torrid time on the mat with his wrestling skills, but also actually had some real moments of success on the feet too.
By the final round Sonnen was comfortably cruising to one of the biggest upsets in MMA history as he yet again took Silva down and smothered him on the mat.
However, mid-way through the round Silva seized on the slightest of opportunities to lock in a triangle choke and then threw in an armbar for good measure to force Sonnen to tap-out.
It was a bitter pill to swallow, particularly as it left him regretful about being unable to fulfill a promise to his dying father to win a major championship belt.
“At this point, I almost regret it and wish I would’ve kept it as a personal motivation for myself,” Sonnen told MMA Junkie towards the end of his career. “It is a lot of pressure. … I will either win the championship, or I will be a failure.