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The Don's Top 10 MMA Turkeys of the Year


The first 11 months of MMA in 2010 have been wildly successful with a lot of great fights and a rapid increase in popularity. But 2010 has not been without its share of disappointments and bizarre events so with Thanksgiving fast approaching, what better time to roll out the Top 10 Turkeys of 2010 in MMA.

There were many moments that left us scratching our collective heads or simply saying WTF???  From those moments we have selected the Top 10 and will look at those Turkey moments starting with number 10 and working our way to the Top Turkey of 2010 in MMA.


10) UFC 114, May 29, 2010 – With all of the bad blood and trash talk between Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans most people were expecting a knock down drag out war.  Instead we got a tactical masterpiece from Evans that earned him a decisive decision win over his rival but the fight certainly did not live up to the massive amount of hype leading up to the contest.  Michael Bisping’s unanimous decision over Dan Miller in the co-main event was less than inspiring as well.  Throw in Forrest Griffin having to withdraw Little Nog’s questionable decision over relatively unknown replacement Jason Brilz and you have a card that didn’t approach the original expectations especially considering it was on the same weekend as the UFC Fan Expo.


9) Zaromskis vs. Spiritwolf, Strikeforce Challengers 12, November 19, 2010 -- This was a fight that was likely to have action from bell to bell but instead it came to a unsatisfying end just six seconds after it began when Spiritwolf took an accidental finger to the eye resulting in Spiritwolf being unable to continue .  Any fight that ends in six seconds and its not a knockout has got to be disappointing. In addition to the unfortunate ending viewers were subjected to announcer Mauro Ranallo’s claim that the accidental foul did not merit the five minute recovery period.  Ranallo’s claims were quickly rebuffed by Strikeforce official Corey Schaffer who sternly told Ranallo that his assumptions were wrong.  There was more verbal sparring between Schaffer and Ranallo than there was actual fighting.


8) CroCop vs. Barry, UFC 115, June 12, 2010 – Another fight that had the potential to be a stand-up war.  Barry had claimed since the fight was announced that CroCop was one of his idols.  Barry dropped CroCop on two separate occasions early in the fight but let the Croatian off the hook by not following up for the finish.  By the third round Barry was exhausted and succumbed to one of the worst looking rear naked chokes ever by tapping out when CroCop hadn’t even sunk in the hooks.  A hard lesson learned by Barry as he dropped a fight that was his for the taking which earned him a loss on his record and Turkey for 2010.


7) Marquardt vs. Palhares, Fight Night 22, September 15, 2010 – A fight that had the potential to be a grapplers dream when the well-rounded Marquardt squared off with Brazilian leg-lock machine Rousimar Palhares.  Marquardt did his best to fend off the takedown attempts from Palhares but midway through the first round Palhares was able to drag Marquardt to the ground and immediately looked for his patented kneebar but Marquardt slipped out right away.  The response from Palhares was to look to his corner and complain that Marquardt was greased allowing Marquardt to pop up and land a series of punches that ended the night for Palhares.  Palhares gets the Turkey for complaining while the fight is still active and allowing his opponent the advantage.


6) Shine Fights cancellation of the Mayorga-Thomas card, May 15, 2010 – Boxing bad boy Ricardo Mayorga was scheduled to make his much anticipated MMA debut against veteran Din Thomas.  After much trash talking from Mayorga the MMA world was looking forward to Thomas putting the mouth to rest.  The day of the fight a Florida judge barred Mayorga from competing due to a lawsuit filed by boxing promoter Don King and despite numerous assurances from Shine officials throughout the day the whole fight card was scrapped and high profile fighters such as "Ninja” Rua, David heath and Charles Bennett were denied the chance to compete.


5) Couture vs. Coleman, UFC 109, February 6, 2010 – The fact that this was the main event on the Super Bowl weekend card is still baffling to me.  In addition, the fight itself was a long way from competitive as the UFC Hall of Famers were obviously at different points in their respective careers.  Couture dominated from the opening bell but the action was far from riveting.  Couture was able to finish an exhausted Coleman with a rear naked choke and the most offense mustered by Coleman came in his post fight interview as he was being heckled by fellow irrelevant fighter Tito Ortiz.  A bizarre subplot between Coleman and Ortiz along with a lackluster fight earns this a Turkey for 2010.


4) UFC 119- Mir vs. CroCop, September 25, 2010 – The main event for UFC 119 was scheduled to be the rematch between Mir and Minotauro Nogueira but an injury to Nogueira required a replacement and CroCop immediately stepped in to fill the void.  I was excited about the CroCop-Mir match-up but after some harsh words leading up to the event we were subjected to 14 minutes of weak takedown attempts from Mir and CroCop unwilling or unable to pull the trigger on any meaningful punches or kicks.  The fight ended suddenly late in the third round when Mir landed a devastating knee from the clinch that knocked CroCop cold.  Despite the sudden finish and the fact that it was the only knockout on the card, the UFC brass was so disgusted with the fight that they did not award the "Knockout of the Night” to Mir.  In addition to the less than stellar main event, the other main card bouts also failed to live up to expectations.  Bouts such as Guillard-Stephens, Serra-Lytle and Little Nog-Bader delivered below expectations while the Sherk-Dunham bout provided fireworks but a hotly disputed decision for Sherk in a bout many felt was won by Dunham.  A turkey all the way around.


3) Couture vs. Toney, UFC 118, August 28, 2010 -- Spare me all the talk about Couture defending the honor of MMA in this bout.  This was a freak show plain and simple.  Toney never had a chance to win this bout and The Natural gained exactly nothing from beating a past his prime boxer who was in no way suited to be in the cage with someone with the resume of Randy Couture.  If you didn’t see this one turning out the way it did, it must have been some blind faith in the abilities of a once great boxer.  Toney did his thing leading up to the bout by predicting a knockout of Couture with the hopes of selling people (including himself) that he could win.  In the end, it was just an old boxer losing to a relevant MMA contender.  Let me know when a legitimate, in-his-prime boxer wants to step into the cage against an MMA fighter and I will watch.  Until then, the rest of the match-ups are Turkeys.



2) Strikeforce Nashville post-fight brawl, April 17, 2010 -- Ahhhh, the much discussed melee following Jake Shields’ destruction of Dan Henderson in Nashville.  While this was certainly a black eye for MMA and Strikeforce, most of the blame has fallen upon the Cesar Gracie crew and primarily Nick and Nate Diaz for their part in the beat down of Jason "Mayhem” Miller.  I will contend that there is plenty of blame to go around in this incident. I offer no denial that I am a fan of the Diaz brothers and their Cesar Gracie teammates Jake Shields and Gilbert Melendez, but the blame goes beyond their team.  The Stockton crew does deserve a big portion of the blame but so does the Strikeforce security for allowing so many people into the cage directly after the fight.  This includes the Diaz brothers and Miller who I see as the primary culprit in this situation.  Gus Johnson had barely begun his interview with Jake Shields after perhaps the biggest victory of his great career when Miller interrupted with his ridiculous request for a rematch.  Yes, there have been many situations where fighters have been brought into the cage or ring to promote a future bout but they wait their turn until after the winner has gotten to speak.  Miller deserved to be pushed out of the limelight that should have belonged to Shields but the subsequent beating was truly unnecessary as well. Plenty of blame to go around and plenty of reasons for this to be one of the top Turkeys of the year.


1) UFC 112: Invincible, April 10, 2010 -- A run away winner for the Top Turkey of 2010.  The UFC was looking to put on an unforgettable show for their first trip to the middle-east in Abu Dhabi.  They certainly got an unforgettable show but not for the reasons they anticipated.  The top three bouts on the card were all bizarre in their own way and none for a good reason.  First we suffered though a sub-par kick boxing match between top notch wrestler Matt Hughes and BJJ black belt Renzo Gracie.  The only thing that stopped it from going to a painful decision was the fact that Gracie was completely gassed by beginning of the third round.  Hughes took advantage of the situation and mercifully finished Gracie with just 20 seconds remaining in the fight.  Next came the UFC lightweight title bout between champion BJ Penn and challenger Frankie Edgar.  A lethargic Penn seemed to do enough to earn a lackluster decision and retain the title but the judges saw it otherwise with Edgar taking the crown via unanimous decision.  The fact that Edgar won wasn’t as shocking as the scorecard from Douglas Crosby which had it 50-45 for Edgar which was beyond ridiculous.  And the final insult to all the injury we endured came in the main event between Anderson Silva and Demian Maia.  After a dominating opening two rounds, Silva then inexplicably quit engaging and spent the final three rounds taunting and circling Maia.  Silva continued to chastise Maia for not plodding forward and playing into The Spider’s strength yet when Maia tried to lure Silva into his world on the ground he met with the same scorn from the champion.  The bout became so painful to watch that UFC President Dana White got up and left during the fourth round of the fight.  After the fight White was visibly upset and expressed his anger with Silva during a private sit-down.  The event was so bad that the UFC President vowed to do something to make it up to the fans. The evening of bizarre events earns UFC 112 the Top Turkey
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