Nominee #3: Conor McGregor
The only dude who could possibly even rival Ronda Rousey in pure scumbaggery is Conor McGregor himself. The UFC’s biggest star has single-handedly changed the sport in 2016, partly due to his amazing performances and partly due to his ability to manipulate the UFC’s business like no other.
McGregor pretty much gets what he wants, when he wants. Yes, a single fighter holds that much power in the UFC. And you can’t really knock him for it, because McGregor delivers. He continues to shatter his own financial records each and every event.
But what did McGregor do in 2016 that just cements his scumbag status? Well, after not getting his way when he refused to partake in media obligations for UFC 200, McGregor did the unthinkable and announced his retirement.
That was the single most shocking moment in MMA this year, and it had everyone talking. Not only did it pretty much kill UFC 200, wasting the hard work of many people who tried to put that event together. But it also made UFC management look like complete fools.
No one believed McGregor was actually retired, everyone knew it was a sham. McGregor toyed with the business and held little regard for anyone else but himself.
Nominee #4: CM Punk
He made a big deal of his debut inside the Octagon and it had everybody’s head spinning. Heavily promoted and epicly hyped, CM Punk was supposed to be the guy who brought professional wrestling back to the UFC. But it was, in the end, all just one big mess.
CM Punk a.k.a. Phil Brooks, made so much of his two-year preparation to become a “real” MMA fighter. He had everyone hanging on his every word and every little clip of him training.
It took Mickey Gall two minutes to make him tap. Brooks never even got to land a punch. While some people can view this sort of thing as a noble effort, there’s no denying it wasted a lot of people’s time.
Brooks could have had a decent MMA career, had he chosen to bring himself up slowly and begin at the lower ranks. But no. He wanted on the main card, against a tough prospect. While it’s great to challenge oneself at times, this just wasn’t one of those times.
All of his fans’ hard-earned money, all of the work put into building his star power, it was all for nought. Talk about a flop!