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Egg Shen

Fighters who can't walk away and other various freakshows/crossovers

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Meant to post this a week back but didn't get around to it. Basically wanted to create a thread to discuss and post examples of fighters refusing to walk away from the game amongst other stuff.

There's something morbidly fascinating about seeing once great fighters trying to re-capture that glory one more time. Combat sports are some of the most dangerous on the planet yet the guys involved rarely walk away at the right time when its safest to do so. The recent Chuck Liddell/Tito Ortiz farce was one of the saddest cases in recent memory but its far from the worst. 

Whilst we're at it, also gonna use this thread to list some of combat sports (lets not focus it just on MMA) worst crossover attempts and freak show fights, just general shit worthy of a spot in the combat sports edition of WrestleCrap.

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sad.

Edited by Egg Shen

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here's a sad case...

Heavyweight boxing legend and former champion Riddick Bowe made a comeback as a Muay Thai fighter in 2013. The comeback came 5 years after his last pro boxing fight and around 17 years removed from his prime. Bowe wasn't particuarly old at the time of the comeback, only 45 but his prime came early in his career and was showing signs of brain injury as as early as 1996. Bowe blew his fortune, got caught up in legal battles and reportedly took the Muay Thai fight for $150,000. Decent money but he got battered and was barely mobile. He orginally planned to fight on but this proved to be his last ever fight, thankfully.

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heres the fight...

Whilst on Wiki im reading that Bowe also planned to make his pro wrestling debut with Preston City Wrestling over here the same year as the Muay Thai fight but it never happened. It rings a bell but does anyone else have any info on that?

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Boxing promoters have dug up some right corpses. Fighters who had no right to be in ring, but just couldn't say no. The best example being Ali when he fought Holmes and Berbick. In more recent years, there has been Paul Briggs fight with Danny Green in Australia (Youtube it, it's one of the most pathetic events you will ever see). Some also argue that Nicky Cook should have never been allowed to fight Ricky Burns. Likewise with Haye when he fought Bellew the third time, although I don't completely buy into the theory that Hearn knew Haye was shot and decided to wheel him out anyway. 

There are probably loads of examples of the same sort of thing in MMA. But I can't think of that many. Until recently, Edgar vs Penn 3 was one of the best examples. That fight really didn't need to happen. But Chuck and Tito's recent bout has easily surpassed it in my eyes. I watched it back a few days after it occurred. It was somehow worse on replay than it was on the night. 

I never really saw freakshow fights as being sad in MMA. Probably because I was a massive fan of Pride where freakshow fights were part of the furniture. Even today, they are just something that happens in Japan. It's like their MMA scene lives in a time warp over there, where it is still 2003. But their booking practices don't really matter to the sport in general. (edit: although Sakuraba's fight in Rizin a few years ago was a shambles)

I guess YAMMA Pit Fighting could be mentioned. I have never watched the entire show. But it's lauded in some MMA circles as a cult classic, mostly for the wrong reasons. 

Edited by jimufctna24

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Quote

I guess YAMMA Pit Fighting could be mentioned. I have never watched the entire show. But it's lauded in some MMA circles as a cult classic, mostly for the wrong reasons. 

I have. 

I watched that show the day after it happened. This article recounts it better than i ever could though:

https://www.bloodyelbow.com/2013/4/11/4193546/remembering-yamma-pit-fighting-five-years-later

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Edited by Egg Shen

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Everything BJ Penn since about the Diaz fight in 2011. He actually fought pretty well that night despite getting beat up later on. It’s been really rough watching him since though. And that third fight with Edgar was the lowest point of them all. People have got so used to seeing this shot, disinterested and zombified version of Penn now that it’s become the norm and I think they forget what he was like at his best. It’s not just that he hasn’t got it anymore when the cage door closes, it’s like he’s had a complete personality transplant as well. He resembles nothing of the man who used to lick his opponent’s blood off his gloves after he’d destroyed them. He used to be so aggressive in his attitude. Now he’s so overly placid and laid back that I’m sure sometimes that it’s not even the same man. He was like a pitbull, now he’s like a pitbull that’s been neutered. If you watched him coach TUF 5 in 2007 opposite Jens Pulver and then watched him coach TUF 19 in 2014 opposite Frankie Edgar, it’s astounding how different he is. On TUF 5 he was jokey and chilled most of the time but it always felt like he might snap and rip Pulver’s throat out any second. He was threatening Pulver’s striking coach Matt Pena at the gym and all sorts. Fast forward 7 years to the Edgar season and he showed all the aggression of a friendly old Labrador. It was like he was sedated. 

Sorry, strayed a bit off the subject but Penn’s last few years have been so odd when you compare him to a few years earlier. It’s not the typical fighter decline. He’s like a totally different person. 

From this...

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To this...

AF28F3BB-1A55-492D-A6E1-F03F960C9FE6.gif

Edited by wandshogun09

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Funny that Wand should mention Jens Pulver as he was the first person I thought of when I read the title of this thread.  Should have really called it a day after getting tapped by Josh Grispi in 30 seconds at WEC 41, but came back to fight Javier Vasquez at WEC 47.  Lost again in the first round due to submission then cuts this emotional post fight interview and had the chance to go out on a high of sorts.  Can't walk away and ends up fighting a further eleven times (going 5-6) in a rag bag of smaller promotions (ONE FC aside) against a bunch of folk, the majority of whom I have never heard of.  Finally retires at the age of 39 on a show in Sweden of all places, ending with a career record of 27-19-1.  Incidentally he went a dismal 6-13 from when he made his losing return to the UFC.

Edited by Magnum Milano

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Yeah, Pulver’s a great shout for this thread. He basically embodies what Ebb’s getting at in the OP. He hung around way too long. 

Is Bigfoot retired now? He’s another one. He was never the same after that brutal war with Mark Hunt. Got KO’d over and over again. Whoever the Einstein is in his camp who thought it’d be a good idea to then have him fight Rico Verhoeven in GLORY wants kneecapping. They must be in Bigfoot’s will or something. Let’s take a man who’s been knocked out in 7 of his last 10 fights and put him in Kickboxing match with one of the elite heavyweights in the world. What can possibly go wrong? Bonkers. 

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Pulver should have retired after the first Faber loss in an ideal world. That was a proper passing of the torch moment and it was biggest fight in WEC history at the time. His career nosedived after that, he won a few here or there but he entered journeyman-like status and thats never good for someone who once sat on top of the sport.

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Pulver now admits that he should have called it a day after the first loss to Faber. 

However, at the time, he claimed he could breath new life into his career by changing his training habits. He left Miletich in late 2008 and told anyone who would listen that he was "learning again" under Matt Hume. However, he later admitted that he wasn’t training hard and was going through the motions. He points to how his fight IQ diminished as proof. 

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Andrei Arlovski lost five straight fights before winning his next two.

Hector Lombard is currently on a six fight losing streak and Josh Burkman a five, both I think are still under contract to the UFC.  Burkman, over two stints with the UFC, is actually at 1-10-1 in his last twelve fights in the promotion.

Edited by Magnum Milano

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It's amazing how brilliantly representative that poster in the ear gif is. It's always the first image my brain fires up when I think of the fall of BJ Penn. Him looking like his mind is somewhere else.

Sad he's fighting in a few weeks in the opener of the prelims.

Fedor was looking like another sad casualty fighting on too long for the pay, but Bellator have done a good job keeping him relevant considering how shot he is.

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i cant my head around Lombard losing 6 on the bounce, at one point not too long ago he was amongst the most feared fighters in MMA.

I remember Steve Cantwell losing 5 on the spin and then retiring young back when the WEC Light Heavies crossed over. Cantwell is a bit of a forgotten champ.

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22 hours ago, Egg Shen said:

Whilst on Wiki im reading that Bowe also planned to make his pro wrestling debut with Preston City Wrestling over here the same year as the Muay Thai fight but it never happened. It rings a bell but does anyone else have any info on that?

It was all agreed that he was going to appear in PCW. It was announced towards the end of 2013 that he would appear at the Road to Glory event in 2014. Made it onto the BBC website and everything. Plan was to do a boxing style press conference and I could be wrong but I think he was going to end up against Dave Rayne for the Boom championship

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