When it comes to Thanksgiving, there are some things one can always depend on: a turkey roasting in the oven, the Cowboys and Lions playing football, and people camped outside of Best Buy hoping to save a few extra bucks. These have become as traditional as awkward conversations at the dinner table.
Mixed martial arts has its own set of turkeys to roast this year. They are the people who brought embarrassment to a whole new level through their bizarre actions and questionable decisions. And these turkeys extend beyond the fighters themselves. If MMA has learned anything this year, it is that decisions outside the rings have an effect on the outcome in the ring.
Here are the top ten turkeys in MMA this year:
10. David “The Can” Correa lays on ground entire fight and quits
One thing to keep in mind is that this is a title fight. Really. Correa faced Aaron Downey at Canadian promotion’s Total Mayhem last May, and apparently Downey is the only one who showed up to fight. The shock can be seen on everyone’s face, including the referee. Correa “shoots” for a takedown on multiple occasions but decides that lying on the floor is safer.
9. Anthony Gutierrez doesn’t make weight in The Ultimate Fighter semifinal
Those that have followed TUF this season know that an episode isn’t complete without Gutierrez stuffing his face. His roommates continually warned Gutierrez about his eating habit and his opponent, Cody Bollinger, was eliminated for not making weight. Nevertheless, Gutierrez took advantage of every plate set in front of him.
8. Cliff Thompson vomits during post-fight interview
Apparently, Thompson didn’t leave all he had inside the ring. Following his victory over Doug Usher last June, Thompson was set to speak when he had to go off camera and throw up. Reporter George Kennebrew’s reaction is priceless.
7. War Machine says he raped girlfriend; gets into Twitter battle
The fighter turned porn star hasn’t garnered many fans over the last few years. While War Machine made it to the Bellator semifinals, he is best remembered this year for tweeting about raping his girlfriend. After posting and deleting a tweet stating “real men rape,” he apologized and went about his business of uploading pornographic videos.
6. Fighter does Tito Ortiz’ “grave digger” before match and gets knocked out
One thing this guy forgot about “the grave digger” is that Ortiz did it after the fight. The amateur fighter also drops and raises his hands a la Nick Diaz, lowering his guard long enough to be knocked out. It’s one thing to lose a fight, but getting knocked out while wearing head gear lands on a completely different level of humility.
5. MMA judges take heat from owners, fighters and fans
It isn’t easy scoring a fast paced sport like MMA, but this year has seen the most questionable calls in recent memory. Following George St. Pierre’s victory at UFC 167, Dana White called for judges to receive grappling or jiu jistu training to better understand what they are watching. If the pressure on judges keeps up, we may see one step down like C.J. Ross did after the Mayweather-Alvarez fight.
4. Tito Ortiz injures his neck a week before Bellator PPV
Months of trash talking the UFC and Ortiz couldn’t stay healthy enough for his first Bellator fight. Whether he trained too hard or not in the days leading up to Bellator 106, Ortiz continues to be a walking injury with a mouth that can’t back up his claims.
3. Maiquel Falcao slaps a woman; a brawl ensues
Looks like Falcao never learn that striking a woman is unacceptable under any circumstance. This gas station brawl landed Falcao in the hospital and forced Bellator to void his contract. He takes a bad beating but it could have been avoided by showing some manners.
2. Claudieni Angelo jumps out of ring during time out
This is by far the most embarrassing way to leave a fight. It’s one thing to get injured or knocked out, but Angelo leaves the ring out of cowardice. Angelo claimed it was because the referee did not give time to recover his mouthpiece, but it is pretty obvious he spit it out. For all the great fighters that come out of Brazil, Angelo is the exception.
1. New York lawmakers who will not revoke ban on MMA
When 49 out of 50 states allow MMA and reports say that New York will cut into its fiscal deficit by overturning the ban, it seems like a great idea. Apparently not good enough for the New York State Assembly who has denied four straight requests to bring MMA back to the big apple. The fans want and the state needs it. If only the turkeys that make the laws would regain their common sense.