Octagon: The walk of fame

The Octagon has seen many fighters but fair few manage to become famous. The ones who bring in a lot of expectation around them and then they fail, go through a huge bashing on various online platforms. Since the day Ronda Rousey was knocked out cold by Holly Holm many underdogs have gone on to produce victories producing huge upsets and have managed to claim huge glory. The underdogs have been on quite a rise and hence people have gone on to understand that inside the Octagon anything can happen.

Some of the fighters do manage to win their respective bouts but cannot win their fans because of their sloppy performances. Sometimes they lose and are attacked by various people on social media. In fact, 2016 has gone on to become a year of upsets for UFC and has made predicting fight outcomes far more difficult than it ever was.

Let’s take a look at some of the most disappointing performances in recent times, fights which left permanent black stains on the career of some of the most popular fighters.

5. Cat Zingano vs. Ronda Rousey, UFC 184

Ronda Rousey vs. Cat Zingano

Cat Zingano had established herself as a badass in UFC. She held victories over some of the toughest women in UFC like Miesha Tate and Amanda Nunes. She had finished 8 of her 9 opponents, she displayed a nasty level of striking and had an amazing ground game. She was dubbed as the strongest opponent of Ronda Rousey. This all resulted in people having a great expectation from Zingano.

Rousey went on to claim that she was indeed her toughest opponent. The match had a great hype, everyone was sure that this match would be a great back and forth, people expected a close result and people even expected a rematch. But on the day of the fight people were disappointed.

The match lasted for 14 seconds. Zingano tapped out in the very first minute of the very first round. This was a great disappointment as the match was hyped and was supposed to push both fighters to their extreme limit.

4. Jon Jones vs. Ovince Saint Preux, UFC 197

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Jon Jones was set to return to the octagon after more than a year. The former UFC light heavyweight champion was set to clash against Daniel Cormier to win a championship he never lost. But Cormier was removed from the fight as he had a foot injury and was replaced by “OSP”.

Now “Bones” was meeting “OSP” in the Octagon at the main event of UFC 197. Most suspected Jon would win but fans expected him to win by finishing “OSP”. The fight turned out to be boring and Jon did not deliver his best. This fight even raised people’s eyebrows as Jon usually brought excitement to the Octagon. Some fighters even said that Jon should be grateful that Daniel was injured because if he went on Daniel the similar way he would have lost. In fact, some media outlets would praise “OSP” for his performance as he did manage a few skillful strikes and went the full five rounds with the best pound-for-pound fighter on the planet. Jon too went on to say that his performance was rusty.

Jon’s disappointing performance has been one of the most talked about things. Jon may have not lost the fight but he did lose respect in the eyes of some fans and fighters.

3. Paige VanZant vs. Rose Namajunas, UFC Fight Night 80

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Paige VanZant was one of the most talked about UFC strawweights. She had proven herself as a strong fighter and her good looks just made her popular. She looked stunning when she went one on one against her opponents and had manged to have a super fan following. She had her golden opportunity at UFC Fight Night 80, where she was set to clash against Rose Namajunas in the main event. This was the most important fight of Paige’s young career, she was the favorite and most expected her to win the match.

Well, fans of “12 Gauge” suffered a huge heartbreak as Paige not only lost but was brutally thrashed. She lost the heavily one-sided fight by tapping out to Namajunas in round 5. Paige was punished brutally by “Thug”, disappointing many fans and fighters.

2. Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz, UFC 196

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This match has been one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. Conor McGregor had been unstoppable in all his UFC bouts. He had thrashed every single one of his opponents. His striking without question was deadly and chiselled. His knockout over Aldo in just 13 seconds made him popular beyond the Octagon and his trash talk was legendary. All these factors resulted in him having a huge fan base and brought the UFC huge profits. At UFC 196 McGregor was supposed to lock horns with UFC lightweight champion, Rafael Dos Anjos. Conor was trying to become a two division champ, a feat no one had managed to achieve.

But fate had something else written for “The Notorious One”, days prior to the match Rafael was removed from the match as he suffered. He was replaced by former title challenger Nate Diaz. With days to prepare for an opponent like Conor everyone was sure Diaz could not win. But Conor disappointed many people as he tapped out to a vicious Rear Naked Choke in the second round of the fight. He performed good but his fans wanted him to win and the fact that Nate had only days to prepare, made McGregor look weak and his KO over Aldo looked like a lucky hit.

1. Ronda Rousey vs. Holly Holm, UFC 193

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The biggest upset in the history of MMA took place at UFC 193. Ronda Rousey had established herself as an unstoppable beast by knocking out people and making them tap by her signature submission arm bar. All her title fights usually came to an end in the very first round. Her victory over Bethe and Cat had resulted in her being called a badass by many fighters. Apart from that her popularity had extended beyond the octagon. She had worked in various movies, apart from that she had written her own autobiography which was a bestseller.

When it was announced that Rousey was locking horns with Holly Holm most assumed that “The Preacher’s Daughter” would either get submitted or knocked out, but Holly showed people that no one is invincible. She knocked out Rousey with a savage head kick in the second round of their fight. She then punched Rousey for good measure before kicking her. The world was stunned by the fact that a fighter like Holm defeated Rousey. As Rousey fell so did her popularity as she was criticised by many people including Lady Gaga and Donald Trump.

Let’s see what has fate written for these celebrated fighters as they move on to a very new phase of their career.

Let your views and opinions be known to the world as you comment below.

But always remember, everybody must fight.

Let the game of belts continue.

-Paarth Pande

(@paarthpande)

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