Remember when you thought that your dad was the toughest guy on the block and you knew he could demolish anybody else’s dad? Until the day he called a grown man an octopus and you lost all faith in him, the same can be said for a few fighters as of late. It is hard to not love some of the names in this article for what the have done in the past for MMA but their current selves are only a reflection of what they were and could still be.
Jake Shields – The Submission wizard and Nor Cal native had a highly regarded win streak over top opponents that spanned more than five years. Life was great until the UFC signed him and he debuted in sour fashion, squeaking out a win over Martin Kampmann. He moved on to get schooled for nearly a half an hour by George St. Pierre and was then finished in less than a minute by Jake Ellenberger last month in New Orleans. He is not an easy fight for anyone; especially if it hits the mat but perhaps the octagon is a little too much for him.
Quinton Jackson –Defeating his rival Chuck Liddell for the second time in his career and claiming UFC gold, it looked as if “Rampage” would hold the belt for a while. However, someone did not show “God’s Street Soldier” how to block a leg kick and Forrest Griffin derailed that train to steal the belt from him. It seems as if Griffin took part of Jackson’s soul since that fight, having only finished one opponent (Wanderlei Silva) while going the distance with lesser ranked fighters (Jardine, Hamill) not to mention robbing Machida of a decision last November. His downfall was sealed in his championship bout with Jon Jones at UFC 135 when he didn’t implement much of anything and was choked out in round four.
Still able to catch opponents with his dangerous boxing, he may be over the hill for the newer, younger and highly trained form of light heavyweight like Jon Jones and Rashad Evans, both of which have handed the Mississippi fighter losses in his career. Back to the drawing board so one day his howl can again signal his bite.
Frank Mir – Winning the heavyweight belt and then suffering from a motorcycle crash that almost ended his career was the known point for Mir over many years. Recently, since his loss to Brock Lesnar at UFC 100, he has taken on the role of a villain, who calls opponents out and makes them seem inferior to fight him. Coming off as cocky and dis-interested in the sport, he has beaten opponents like Cro Cop and Nelson but in disappointing fashions. Preparing for a rematch with Big Nog in December, it is interesting to see how this will play out – will he be humble and take the Brazilian as serious he did in their first meeting? Or will he be cocky and think history repeats itself come fight night? Nogueira reminded us all in Brazil this summer to never count him out and he is always able to stop you where you stand.
Miguel Torres – The most dominant fighter in the bantamweight division won his first nineteen bouts before losing a decision. He then went on to win sixteen more bouts, including the WEC 135 lb title which he defended numerous times. Brain Bowles stopped that reign in the first round with a KO victory and Joseph Benavidez choked any remnant left out of Torres in March 2010. Although he gone 2-1 over his last three bouts, it appears the Chicago fighter needs to go back to fighting off of anger, which gave produced classic bouts and epic finishes.
These four former champions must now polish up their games to regain some of that shine the losses have tarnished.
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