Top 10 most under-appreciated Fighters in MMA
In any major sport there will always be the big stars, the breakout performers, and the face of promotions.
On the flip side there are the work horses, the guys that do the grunt work and don't get the fame, the fortune, and the respect.
With that in mind, here is a run down of the Top 10 MMA fighters who are underappreciated and don't get the respect they deserve.
Will Chris Leben make the list?
I'm not sure some of the guys on there deserved it. Hieron should be higher IMO. Tyron Woodley hasn't been around long enough to be 'under-appreciated'. Jim Miller at least gets respect from the hardcores. Bisping, even with all the criticism, is a pretty big star. And as for Evan Dunham, I think people are finally recognizing him after his win over Tyson.
What do you guys think?
Yoshiyuki Yoshida vs. Dan Hornbuckle Not Happening At Bellator 25
Despite recent reports, former UFC fighter Yoshiyuki Yoshida and Bellator season 2 welterweight-tournament runner-up Dan Hornbuckle are not fighting next month at Bellator 25. Yoshida reportedly is off due to visa issues, but could make his Bellator debut in September if the issues are resolved. Bellator is looking for a new opponent for Hornbuckle.
Chas Skelly Off Bellator 28 With Injury
Easy come, easy go. Chas Skelly's planned run with Bellator lasted only a few hours-earlier today he was announced for Bellator 28, where he was to face Georgi Karakhanyan for a likely spot in season 4's Featherweight tournament, and now word has come out that Skelly is now off due to a foot injury. A replacement search is underway.
Herman, Bellator Locked in Legal Battle
Bellator attorney Patrick English confirmed to Sherdog.com on Tuesday that Herman will not be taking the eighth and final slot in the field, as the fighter and promotion are embroiled in ongoing litigation.
Houston Alexander vs. Sokoudjou Set For Shark Fights 13
With Keith Jardine and Trevor Prangley already signed on for the main event of the Texas-based Shark Fights' promotion Sept. 11 event, Shark Fights 13, another pair of high-profile fighters have agreed to fight on the card. Shark Fights officials today announced that UFC veterans Houston Alexander & Sokoudjou will meet in the co-main event. The full fight card for Shark Fights 13, which takes place at the Amarillo Civic Center in Amarillo, Texas, will be announced shortly.
Cole Konrad seventh official participant in Bellator heavyweight tourney
Two-time NCAA wrestling champion Kole Conrad (4-0 MMA, 2-0 BFC) is the seventh official addition to Bellator Fighting Championship's upcoming heavyweight tournament.
Bellator officials today announced Konrad's participation in the eight-man field.
Konrad has already fought twice under the Bellator banner in non-tournament bouts. "King" earned a pair of unanimous decisions wins in his previous two outings.
Brad Morris Steps in for Bob Sapp at Impact FC 2
Brad Morris will replace Bob Sapp and meet fellow countryman Soa Palelei at Impact FC 2 this Saturday in Sydney, Australia.
Sapp fell off the card after being told by promoters it would be too expensive for him to be flown in from Bulgaria to Sydney, MMAjunkie.com reported Wednesday evening.
MMAFighting.com has since learned that Morris has agreed to be the replacement, setting up a rematch from both heavyweight's MMA debuts. On a local card in September 2002, Morris (10-4) lost by TKO to Palelei (9-2).
It wasn't the cost of plane tickets -- Bob Sapp never signed his Impact FC contract
"For three weeks, we tried to get Bob to commit to flight dates and sign a contract. He never actually signed the contract we sent him weeks ago. We needed to have this stuff taken care of weeks ago. You get on the phone with Bob, and two hours later, nothing gets accomplished. Bob is a business guy, too. He knows that sometimes things happen that make deals untenable. You can't just get three plane tickets out Sofia, especially for Bob Sapp. He's 350 pounds; he can't fly coach. Getting all the right connecting flights out of Bulgaria can't just be done last minute. The tickets were getting more expensive, but it was never a price issue. Bob was actually very reasonable about money. It was the logistics and time. None of this would've been an issue if he wasn't in Bulgaria. That made the logistics really hard: there were major visa issues for these guys coming to Australia, they had to be consulate-issued. We just weren't getting the help we needed from Bob to get it done properly."
Rich Clementi to Fight at Bellator 28
10-time UFC competitor and The Ultimate Fighter 4 veteran Rich Clementi will make his Bellator debut in front of hometown fans when the promotion arrives in New Orleans, La. for Bellator 28 on Sept. 9, MMAFighting.com has learned.
Bob Sapp pulled off July 18's "Impact FC," threatens legal action
Gargantuan heavyweight and entertainment personality Bob Sapp (11-6-1) today told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) that he has been pulled from a fight with Soa Palelei (9-2) at "Impact FC 2: The Uprising - Sydney."
Sapp, who is currently in Bulgaria after recently completing work on a remake of "Conan the Barbarian," said he received an email today from the Australian MMA startup informing him that the promotion would not fly him to Sydney for the July 18 fight because the plane ticket is too expensive.
Shark Fights 13: Keith Jardine vs. Trevor Prangley Booked For 9/11
As expected, Keith Jardine has landed on his feet. Less than a month after being released from the UFC following his TUF 11 Finale loss to Matt Hamill on June 19 in Las Vegas, "The Dean of Mean" has agreed to throw hands with another Octagon veteran when he takes on Trevor Prangley at Shark Fights 13 on Sept. 11 in Lubbock, Texas. Shark Fights is expected to make an official announcement regarding the September event in the coming days, including additional names signed for the pay-per-view telecast.
Bellator Adds Neil Grove To Season 3 HW Tournament
Neil "Goliath" Grove - a South African-born former rugby player who fought for the UFC during that organization's visit to his adopted hometown of London last year - will make his U.S. debut as part of Bellator Fighting Championships' upcoming Season 3 Heavyweight Tournament. Grove, who stands six feet, six inches tall and has fought at as big as 280 lbs. in the U.K., has compiled an overall pro record of 8-2-1 since turning pro 3 ½ years ago with all eight of his wins coming via KO or TKO. He earned widespread recognition throughout Europe early on in his career following a highlight-reel 10-second KO of former EliteXC, Pride and Sengoku headliner James Thompson and followed that up with an impressive TKO of UFC veteran James McSweeney. Grove is the fourth confirmed participant in Bellator's forthcoming Season 3 Heavyweight Tournament.
Moosin to Return in October; Kimbo vs. Pudzianowski Possible Main Event
After a successful U.S. debut earlier in the year, the Moosin promotion is scheduling an Oct. 9 follow-up, which will take place in Chicago, MMA Fighting has learned.
Moosin executive Corey Fischer has confirmed the organization's intention for a second show, and said the current plans include bringing back previous headliners Tim Sylvia and Mariusz Pudzianowski, in separate fights.
If Moosin gets their way, they'll come to the Second City with Sylvia fighting 7-foot-2 Korean Hong Man Choi, and five-time "World's Strongest Man" Pudzianowski taking on popular former EliteXC and UFC star Kimbo Slice in feature bouts.
"Tachi Palace Fights 5: Stars & Strikes" official weigh-in results
The full weigh-in results included:
Isaac De Jesus (159) vs. Rob McCullough (160)
Champ David Mitchell (170) vs. Poppies Martinez (170) - for welterweight title
John Alessio (169.8) vs. War Machine (173.2)*
Champ Cole Escovedo (135) vs. Michael McDonald (134.6) - for bantamweight title
Lenny Lovato (154.6) vs. Gabe Ruediger (154.4) - for vacant lightweight title
David Kaplan (159.4) vs. Dominique Robinson (159)
Stephen Abas (132) vs. Joey De La Cruz (134.2)
David Bollea (155.2) vs. Cody Gibson (150.8)
Drew Bittner (135.8) vs. Francisco Loredo (136)
* - War Machine was 2.2 pounds over the contracted weight of 171 pounds. CSAC officials informed MMAjunkie.com that War Machine was fined 20 percent of his purse and the bout will take place at a catchweight.
Brad Blackburn Off Tachi Palace Fights, War Machine Replacement
That's right, War Machine fans-you've got one last chance to see your man fight before he's off to jail for a year. Brad Blackburn, who was to have faced John Alessio at next week's Tachi Palace Fights 5 event, is now off due to injury. Machine will be the replacement, and will go for his 7th win in his last 8 fights before he reportedly is off to San Diego for a year in jail because of suspiscion of assault with a deadly weapon.
Zoila Frausto vs. Jessica Pene targeted for Bellator 25 on Aug. 19 in Chicago
Two weeks ago, budding female prospect Zoila Frausto wasn't even a part of Bellator Fighting Championships' upcoming 115-pound female tournament.
Now – courtesy of a devastating knockout of Rosi Sexton – Frausto is in the tournament and already training for a planned matchup on Aug. 19.
The "Warrior Princess" today told MMAjunkie.com Radio (www.mmajunkie.com/radio) that the promotion intends to match her up against Jessica Pene (7-0 MMA, 1-0 BFC) at Bellator 25.
Pulver, Sylvia Return at ‘War on the Mainland’
Former UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver will meet Diego Garijo in a featured matchup at Powerhouse World Promotions “War on the Mainland” on Aug. 14 at the Bren Events Center in Irvine, Calif.
Pulver has lost five consecutive fights, leading many to speculate he might opt for retirement. The 35-year-old was released by World Extreme Cagefighting following his submission loss to Javier Vazquez at WEC 47 in March. Though he remains one of the sport’s most popular figures, Pulver has not survived the first round in any of his past four appearances. Still, his resume speaks for itself, highlighted by wins against former two-division UFC champion B.J. Penn, one-time WEC featherweight titlist Cole Escovedo, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 2 winner Joe Stevenson and former Shooto welterweight titleholder Caol Uno. More than half (13) of Pulver’s 22 career victories have come by knockout or technical knockout.
In Garijo, he faces an unproven commodity. A Total Combat and Bellator Fighting Championships veteran, he has not competed since he submitted Saad Awad with a first-round rear-naked choke at Bellator 10 in June 2009. Based out of The Arena Mixed Martial Arts gym in San Diego, Garijo trains alongside former EliteXC lightweight champion Karl James Noons, 2007 Abu Dhabi Combat Club Submission Wrestling World Championships winner Rani Yahya and 2004 Olympic silver medalist Stephan Abas. In five professional appearances, the once-beaten Garijo has never gone the distance.
In the main event, two-time UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia will lock horns with the well-traveled Paul Buentello.
Rosi Sexton Out Of Bellator Women's Tourney, Frausto Possibly In
The future got a lot less "Rosi" for Rosi Sexton last night. Not only did Zolio Frausto highlight-reel KO her at Bellator 23, but Frausto also KO'd her out of next season's Bellator Women's Tournament. Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney says Sexton will sit the tournament out as a result (Sexton also got a 60 day medical suspension) and Frausto will be considered as a replacement, but she's not guaranteed to be in.
Fight Doc weighs in on Hamills staph
Aside from Court McGee being crowned "The Ultimate Fighter 11" champion, the biggest news coming out of this past weekend's UFC event was Matt Hamill's clearance to fight despite an active Staph infection.
Hamill appeared at The Ultimate Fighter 11 Finale weigh-ins on Friday with a noticeable lesion on his lower back, and following his win over Keith Jardine on Saturday, he and Nevada State Athletic Commission executive director Keith Kizer confirmed the infection.
In his latest "Ask the Fight Doc" installment, MMAjunkie.com medical columnist Dr. Johnny Benjamin wonders how that was possible and why so many others were unnecessarily put at risk.
In my opinion, the NSAC was victim of a poor medical decision. Furthermore, every athlete (including Hamill) and referee that entered the octagon – with or after Hamill – was unnecessarily exposed to a potentially very serious and deadly infection by the "licensed doctor" who cleared him to compete.