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 411mania » MMA » Columns

MMA Spotlight 7.25.08: The Top Ten Fighters You Love to Hate
Posted by Reuel Mante on 07.25.2008

Every fighter out there has a story to tell. Some of them rise from an unfortunate childhood to a prominent athlete. Some will come from a religious background and use fighting as a tool to spread good will to all. Others will come from bizarre beginnings only to end up at the mediocre level that they will be forever known or forgotten for. Then there are some who you just don't give a bucket of monkey piss about. Here are the top ten fighters you love to hate that describe the best of all of the above:

1. Tito Ortiz- Started out as a sparring partner for Tank Abbot, ending up as a free agent and quite possibly the most sought after free agent today. Nothing about this guy says you should like him. One dimensional fighting, over hyping every fight he's in, crying like a baby when he loses, and a complete lack of respect for anyone around him. His three year reign as light heavyweight champion will forever be marred by the dodging of top contender Chuck Liddell. Since then, Ortiz has fallen on hard times: dropping a decision loss to Machida, knocked out by Liddell, and drawing with Rashad Evans. If you need any other proof that Tito's fan approval has fallen by the way side, the attending crowd booed his name when Michael Buffer announced his presence at Affliction: Banned.

2. Urijah Faber- Simply a victim of a guy who is so good that fans don't like seeing him win so much. Don't get me wrong, he's an incredible fighter. But I've spoken to a plethora of MMA fans about him and they're getting sick of the WEC champ. Faber's small number of weaknesses and endless cardio has turned a number of featherweight contenders' dreams into nightmares. The question that remains is if Urijah were to lose a fight in the WEC, are the fans going to get behind him when he races for the championship again?

3. Tim Sylvia- Wow, the fans at Affliction: Banned gave this guy no love whatsoever. Surprising? Not really. I mean, he was fighting Fedor. By the way, Sylvia had no chance but I was as surprised as many that the Last Emperor dispatched the giant so quickly. Honestly, did anyone think it was going to down the way it did that fast? Thirty-six seconds and that's it? To say that Tim sucks as a fighter would be wrong and unfair. Sure, he's a bit decision heavy when it comes to wins but a win is a win right? The names of his victims are quite impressive. But here's a guy who suffers from not finishing opponents that fans deem him capable of taking out. Once again, he still wins quite often. So what's the real problem? It's the attitude problem. Most MMA fans have a hard time identifying with him and Tim makes no effort to remedy that. Should that bother him? Even with the loss on Saturday, he's a top ten heavyweight so why should he give a crap?

4. Sean Sherk- Another attitude problem with an even more boring style than the Maine-iac. Flex muscles, rush opponent with punches, take down, ground and pound, and repeat. I've made it no secret in previous articles that I just don't like this guy. But I am happy to know I don't stand alone. If you listened to the audiences at UFC 73, UFC 80, and UFC 84, the chorus of boos that follow this man is incredible. He comes off like such an asshole that doesn't care if the fans hate him but you know it bothers him. What did he do to earn him the ire of MMA audiences world wide? Nothing special really. Just like he is. Nothing special.

5. Josh Koscheck- This guy? Yeah, the Kos has been pretty much hated since the Ultimate Fighter season 1. Here's an athlete who is damn good at what he does and he knows it. At UFC 74, he scoffed at the idea that Georges St. Pierre was planning to outwrestle him. He scoffed at it. As if anyone has the balls to laugh at anything GSP plans to do, Koscheck shrugged it off like it was an insane notion. Combine that confident attitude with the wrestling skills of bear and that funky hair cut and you're looking at a future welterweight champion. Believe me. If you don't, just wait for him to win the belt and he'll throw it in your face. Look at how he was gloating about giving Diego Sanchez his first loss. "19 and 1!" Yeah, a humble man Josh is not.

6. Ken Shamrock- Where do I begin with this jerk? First of all, he thinks he's better than he really is. And I'm not just talking about now; I'm talking about early days UFC or even Pancrase. The guy has no effective stand up and when he was in his prime; there was no drive in him to engage his opponents. Need proof? Watch the second Royce Gracie/Ken Shamrock fight at UFC 5. Oh god, how I wished they would stand fighters back up after inactivity on the ground back then. Secondly, he demands respect when he doesn't deserve it. Just look at the trifecta of terror that was the matches against Tito Ortiz. Tito OWNED the moron the first time and still demanded that he get respect. I believe Ken's words to Ortiz before their rematch were, "…you will respect me." Why? Because you knocked out Kimo? Big whoop! Lastly, Ken is a sore loser. Did anyone see his fight with Sakuraba? My god, how bad do you have to be when you are TKO'd by a past his prime Kazushi Sakuraba? I love Saku, but come on. Immediately, after the referee called the fight, Shamrock was pissing and moaning about how he was okay. Were you fighting back? No. Were you defending yourself? No. Were you sticking your head through the ropes like a ostrich burying its head in the sand? Yes.

7. Tank Abbott- Speaking of old and worthless, I give you the Huntington Beach Brawler! Wow, does this guy suck or what? I mean, he got knocked out by Kimbo Slice. Do I really need to say anything else? Yeah, I do. One thing I vividly remember about Tank is that he danced like an idiot while his favorite wrestling group 3 Count would perform to the delight of no one. Oh how the mediocre fall so quickly.

8. Michael Bisping- This battling Brit has earned quite a bit of heat this past year. A boring fight with Rashad Evans that followed a controversial split decision win over Matt Hamill. If it wasn't the fact that he won against Hamill at UFC 75, it's definitely for the way he handled himself when it came to answering questions about whether or not he felt he deserved to win. Don't get me wrong; were I in the same situation, I'd probably get upset like he did. But it still remains that Hamill was gracious in defeat while Bisping was defiant in victory. Even British fans were reported to have turned their backs on their hometown hero. With his ever growing confidence now that he's starting to dominate the middleweight division, expect a few more faux pas when it comes to addressing the public about how good he really is.

9. Brock Lesnar- Here is the man who's been given the key to the UFC gates for doing practically nothing. At least, that's what many fighters who are under contract with the UFC feel. One win on his record from one fight and already he's getting paid six figures. That's a sweet deal if you ask me. Add that sweet deal with the fact that he was a top collegiate wrestler, made his name in pro wrestling for two years, and has never made a dime doing a commercial or selling a product. So, we've got a natural athlete who is not a household name that made the same money at UFC 81 as Forrest Griffin did at UFC 86. The difference being is that Brock lost at UFC 81. Do you hate him now?

10. Lyoto Machida- Come on, his name was going to come up eventually. It's been proven time and time again, no one likes a fighter that's undefeated throughout his career. Just look at Floyd Mayweather. The only fighter I can think of that maintained an undefeated record and was still loved was Rocky Marciano. But that was 40 years ago. Now, everybody likes to see a fighter fall at least once so they know their human. But is Lyoto human? Will we be allowed to see him in that light? We might not. Machida is so good at what he does he could conceivably be the light heavyweight champion by next year. I'm calling it right now. The Dragon will hold the belt by next year.

So that concludes the top ten fighters you love to hate. In no way is this list in any type of order. A lot of people contributed with their input and I have to say this was not easy to put together. One honorable mention that kept coming back up was Chuck Liddell. I have to say that was shocking. I don't feel that people love to hate him; he just hasn't performed up to par lately. He still is a public figure and fans all over still recognize him.
Do you agree or disagree with this list? Anyone else you can think of? Well, look to next week because another top 10 list will be featured. See you then!


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