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2014 Them's Fightin' Words Awards: Worst Fight of the Year


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2014 Them's Fightin' Words Awards: Worst Fight of the Year   

12 members have voted

  1. 1. What was the worst fight of 2014?

    • ROYSTON WEE VS. DAVE GALERA
      1
    • EMANUEL NEWTON VS. ATTILA VEGH II
      1
    • ANDREI ARLOVSKI VS. BRENDAN SCHAUB
      5
    • MIESHA TATE VS. RIN NAKAI
      0
    • HOUSTON ALEXANDER VS. VIRGIL ZWICKER
      1
    • TITO ORTIZ VS. STEPHAN BONNAR
      4


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ROYSTON WEE W-DEC3 DAVE GALERA (UFC Fight Night 34: Saffiedine vs. Lim)
Marina Bay Sands, Marina Bay, Singapore, January 4, 2014

 

Late night MMA viewing at one point signified many things. That there could be a possible passing of the torch, a new star was born, a wild brawl could occur, or a rivalry would become heated as ever. Sacrificing sleep for the potential of watching a fight of the year candidate was a no-brainer if you could last long enough to see it. The only problem with that line of thinking in 2014 is the level of talent involved drastically depends on promotional motivation. Enter Royston Wee and Dave Galera.

 

The sport went back in time alright, but the time machine went a few notches past its intended destination. Instead of going back to the inception of the PRIDE Bushido series in 2003, the two fighters on UFC's first ever Fight Pass show went back to the MMA stone age of 1993. Quite possibly, both men combined for the least skill in a UFC fight since people were making up wacky martial arts like S.A.F.T.A. It also insured the loser would be the worst fighter in the TUF era. Baguio City's Dave Galera probably made Wushu masters sad everywhere. Nevertheless, the Sri Lankans who were executed ceremoniously in the name of putting over Super Fight League's Indian fighters can feel a sense of relief that there is a legit chance they can fight in the UFC.

 

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ATTILA VEGH L-DEC5 EMANUEL NEWTON (Bellator 113: Vegh vs. Newton II)
Kansas Star Arena, Mulvane, KS, March 21, 2014

 

The Bjorn Rebney era of Bellator brought various high and lows. A respectable number of those can be attributed directly to the handling of the light heavyweight division. With a majority of the top fighters at 205 locked up in Zuffaville, Bellator for the most part had to round up its own gang of misfits and rebels for a cavalcade of non-stars in non-descript fights. While its heavyweight division enjoyed endless hilarity, Bellator was stuck with bland fights in the weight class below.

 

A rematch of a fight held several events prior brings us the superlative's first repeat offender: Attila Vegh. Nominated last year for his title winning affront to excitement with Christian M'Pumbu, Vegh put his name back into the hat in his title losing effort against Emanuel Newton. Newton himself exemplifies all the problems with the division. His personality is awkward and doesn't exude any traits associated with charisma. Although he would provide exciting fight endings later in the year, the action before those finishes should be put in its loosest terms. The sweating, panting, and frantic spastic movements, as highlighted in this fight, make Newton a hard sell to viewers and big name opponents. If his fights were cut down to three minutes and joined in progress like matches on old All Japan Pro Wrestling tapes, Newton would look like a million bucks and probably end up actually fighting for a purse of that magnitude one day. As it stands now, he won't have to worry about that anytime soon.

 

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ANDREI ARLOVSKI W-DEC3 BRENDAN SCHAUB (UFC 174: Johnson vs. Bagautinov)
Rogers Arena, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, June 14, 2014

 

Last year, UFC gave the province of Manitoba the pitter-patter filled contest of Alexis Davis vs. Rosi Sexton. They also got to see Jake Shields and Tyron Woodley embrace in what may have been a silent protest against fun. This year’s June offering in western Canada brought us the return of former UFC heavyweight champ Andrei Arlovski. The Belarussian went through a myriad of different obstacles and personal reinventions before being booked against Brendan Schaub. Prior to Joe Rogan’s forcible attempt to get the artist formerly known as “The Hybrid” to consider retirement, Schaub was battling to escape the purgatory of fringe contender status. What better way to help remove that label than beating a former titan of the sport?

 

Instead of two grapplers in Davis and Sexton wrestle-boxing, fans got a bird’s eye view of two big, burly strikers trying desperately not make any legitimate contact with one another. Anything pertinent was reserved for ten seconds out of each round while boo birds came out in force for the remaining four minutes and fifty seconds. There was enough clinching and fence work to make BC’s own Sarah Kaufman blush. Arlovski looked like he wanted to be anywhere but in Vancouver that night, but that wasn’t enough to make judges side with Schaub. I guess we don’t have to figure out the origin of “Big Brown” now.

 

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MIESHA TATE VS. RIN NAKAI (UFC Fight Night 52: Hunt vs. Nelson)
Saitama Super Arena, Saitama, Japan, September 20, 2014

 

When the derision about UFC’s move back to Japan surfaced, a respected pundit like Jordan Breen brought Zach Arnold on to angrily discuss how Japan was Zuffa’s vanity project. Sometime later, it became clearer that UFC was trying to get Asia on board as a destination for the Fight Pass vehicle and more coverage in Asian markets. Avid watchers of the sport got plenty of fights they didn’t want (Hi, TUF China!), but there were valid reasons to tune in and see where fluidity and progress was finally appearing. 

 

However, we all know everything that glitters isn’t gold. One of those things being the women’s bantamweight division, which has been an albatross besides a handful of fighters not named Ronda Rousey. While Rousey’s star power merits a division, shaping the division outside the few contemporaries orbiting around the current champ is thoroughly troubling. The case in point pertaining to this is the signing of Japanese softcore fetish porn starlet Rin Nakai. The buff wonder from the land of the rising sun has made waves in Pancrase, but has been an oddity ever since videos from the official Pancrase YouTube account became readily viewable. A few years ago, submission phenom and ascribed weirdo Shinya Aoki shamed her for being the toy of creepy fantasies everywhere. Nakai was thought of everything but a UFC fighter. On the other hand, that can also describe more than half of the active roster now.

 

With some benefit of the doubt, Nakai stepped into the octagon with Miesha Tate on the Hunt vs. Nelson card to eliminate trepidation. God bless her heart because Nakai tried her best to not look like the freak show fighter people would typically make her out as. The problem was that she instead looked like a green Joshi pro wrestler confused that the more experienced worker (the woman called Cupcake) was sandbagging her on each and every move.  A slow, tepid bout simmered as Nakai got brushed off on every takedown and Tate pawed away from distance. Tate obviously won on the scorecards, but nobody won in hindsight. Well, maybe those who had the viewpoint of the UFC having a Manifest Destiny like obsession with Japan.  The feverish cries of Mr. Zach Arnold can still be heard. “Give me SmackGirl or give me death!”

 

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HOUSTON ALEXANDER DRAW-3 VIRGIL ZWICKER (Bellator 129: Bradley vs. Neer)
Mid-American Center, Council Bluffs, IA, October 17, 2014

 

There is nothing I can say that can be more poignant than the above picture. Nothing.

 

Tito-flip-off.png
TITO ORTIZ VS. STEPHAN BONNAR (Bellator 131: Tito vs. Bonnar)
Valley View Casino Center, San Diego, CA, November 15, 2014

 

Hey, I can talk about Justin McCully showing up in a mask for no clear, definitive reason at all. I can talk about how the buildup to a fight that was going to be a disgusting mess anyway was probably cultivated by the mind of Vince Russo. I can even talk about how it’s a shame the fans were more elated for a shitshow than Will Brooks taking all the steam of the Michael Chandler Dave and Buster’s funded hype train. None of that probably could encapsulate how much this thing inappropriately described as a “fight” makes me want to regurgitate.  I can only say this object I despise so much was something I imagine being worse than death. Yeah, lets go with that.

 

2013 WINNER: RORY MACDONALD vs. JAKE ELLENBERGER

 

Award voting will close 12/30 at 3:15 p.m. CST

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I'll just vote for Ortiz vs. Bonnar for all of the obvious reasons.

 

Nothing about the fight and I mean nothing about the fight was actually good. Not even the build up to it which some weird wrestling fans brought into thinking was good was actually in reality really good.

 

In fact that was the worse build up I've ever seen for a fight.

 

People actually buying into it being a real feud only made it that much worse.

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Wee vs. Galera was my personal fav before Tito Ortiz and Bonnar put on one of the saddest display of two people who can't fight past a certain level. It just makes Vegh vs. Newton 2 sadder because Newton will always play the background to incredibly shot fighters even though he's champ.

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I went with Arlovski vs. Schaub solely because Arlovski should have left Schaub laying on the canvas in round one.

 

This, by the way, is the greatest thing I've read online today:

"They also got to see Jake Shields and Tyron Woodley embrace in what may have been a silent protest against fun."

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