“Mayhem” Miller’s strange antics were always part of his charm, giving way to playful entrances and silly soundbytes. However, the Ultimate Fighter 14 coach’s behavior took a turn towards the dark side in 2013 including a number of bizarre interviews and, even worse, arrests for domestic violence. In the most recent instance of his incarceration Miller is alleged to have attacked his girlfriend and urinated on her. A submission specialist with raw-but-improving skills, Magalhaes appeared to be entering his prime after stringing together six straight wins including an Armbar of Igor Pokrajac in his return to the UFC after a few years on the regional scene. Magalhaes was then badly outpointed by Phil Davis in April, showing he still had some growing to do, but appeared poised to get back on track with a match-up against 41-year old Anthony Perosh in his native Brazil no less! Fourteen seconds into the fight, Magalhaes was staring up at the lights and Perosh was celebrating a knockout win. Understandably, “Pezao” was released and back fighting on smaller shows. The 6’5” Herman appeared to be a legitimate heavyweight prospect before signing with the UFC, boasting a 20-2 mark with nineteen stoppages. Unfortunately, “Pee Wee” proved to be little more than show, as he went 0-3 in 2012 and suffered a 17-second knockout loss last July. Throw in a suspension for marijuana use, and Herman has a long way to go before getting another shot in the Octagon. Madadi was on the rise after choking out Michael Johnson in April to pick up his eighth win in nine efforts. Today, he’s sitting in a Swedish prison after playing a role in a heist aimed at stealing some high-dollar handbags. He is scheduled to be released from behind bars in late 2014. Few fans can forget Fitch’s relative dominance in the Octagon. The hard-nosed grappler beat a number of the welterweight division’s top draws during his eight-year run in the UFC. However, his grinding style wasn’t a hit with everyone including a few folks upstairs who decided to cut him unexpectedly after a decision loss to Demian Maia. Were that not bad enough, Fitch was then promptly choked out cold by Josh Burkman last June in a WSOF appearance, showing the American Kickboxing Academy staple may now be a shell of the man who once strung together eight straight victories under the UFC banner.
The sport of MMA is an up-and-down endeavor with competitors typically being defined by their recent runs rather than overall contributions in the cage. A Mixed Martial Artist can be a breakout star one year and looking for employment the next; a potential-laden prospect one year and yesterday’s news the next. It’s a harsh business and, for more than a few fighters, 2013 has been a period of time many would like to forget. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)