Just like the Sweet Science, MMA is a beautifully violent sport. Spinning heal kicks, flying knees, and armbars, MMA has it all. MMA is brutal, there’s no doubt about it, but it is still considered to be a form of competition and deserves as much respect as is given to any other sport. And like any other sport, we get to witness the ugly side of the sport.
Here are 5 of the dirtiest fighters in MMA history.
In November 21st, 2009, Koscheck scored a controversial submission win over striker Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson. In the first round of the fight, Koscheck appeared to have been struck by two knees while he was on the ground. Which at that point Johnson was warned for the illegal knees to Koscheck’s head. But TV replays of the incident clearly showed that the knee strikes thrown by Johnson didn’t connect with Koscheck’s head.
Koscheck took the advantage and faked an injury to catch a break in the middle of the 1st round. Johnson was getting the upper hand on Koscheck in exchanges and seemed to be on his way to finishing Koscheck with his powerful strikes. But, Koscheck’s fake injury gave him time to recover from the onslaught. Then in round 2, Koscheck went on to poke Johnson in the eyes repeatedly. Urging the referee to step in and give Johnson time to recover from the eye pokes. But the damage had already been done.
Yoel ‘Soldier of God’ Romero is a former World champion wrestler and Olympic Silver medalist in freestyle wrestling. He is one of the most explosive athletes to have ever competed in the sport of MMA. With only 2 of his MMA victories that didn’t come by way of KO.
Romero also has a habit of breaking the rules and then, feigning ignorance. He is infamously known for “Stoolgate,” On September 27th, 2014, Yoel Romero faced Tim Kennedy. Before the start of Round 3, Romero stayed seated on his stool even after the referee signaled for him to get up and fight. Romero’s corner-men also failed to leave the Octagon well after the 1-minute break had ended, giving Romero even more time to recover.
Another example of Romero’s behavior is his UFC 205 fight against Chris Weidman, where Romero drenched himself in water making him a slippery. This left Weidman frustrated and as soon as the 3rd round started Romero clipped Weidman with a huge flying knee, knocking him out.
Rousimar Palhares is skilled in BJJ. His grappling techniques have seen him defeat several notable opponents including great grapplers such as Jake Shields and Jon Fitch.
Palhares trained in BJJ from a very young age and reached the pinnacle of BJJ, taking the 2nd place in the 88 kg category at the Abu Dhabi Combat Club in 2011. However, he is also hated by the MMA community owing to his habit of holding on to submission holds after the fight has been stopped.
At UFC 111 Palhares beat Tomasz Drwal by way of heel-hook. However, he was suspended for 90 days after he was caught holding the submission way after his opponent tapped out. Palhares had refused to let go of the heel-hook even after the referee stepped in and stopped the fight.
We’ve saved the worse for last. MMA is a full-contact sport where participants regularly find themselves hurt badly. But fighters don’t make it a point to severely or permanently harm an opponent.
Save this fella.
Gerard Gordeau is the owner of one of the most offensive and gruesome fouls in MMA history. In 1995, Gordeau had his last professional MMA fight in Vale Tudo Japan against Yuki Nakai. Nakai grappled with Gordeau throughout the bout. He wanted to get the fight to the ground and submit him. Naturally, Gordeau was on the defensive. Getting frustrated with the fight, Gordeau took his thumb to the eye of Nakai, leaving Nakai without sight in that eye permanently. Even so, Nakai still got Gordeau to the canvas with a heel hook and made him tap out.