Caceres came off the Ultimate Fighter as a raw talent with a flare for entertaining and has lived up to both tags, putting together wins in his last two tilts. However, the streak would feature a trio of victories had he not failed a drug test after bringing home a Split Decision nod last March. He was subsequently suspended for six months and saw a serious hit to his stock as well. Healy is a fan-favorite and for good reason. He’s a regular guy outside of his chosen profession, works his tail off, and lets his performance in the ring serve as his means of self-promotion rather than calling out peers or demanding opportunities. As such, Healy’s hit for marijuana use was particularly disappointing. The infraction cost “Bam Bam” a brilliant win over Jim Miller plus a six-figure paycheck based on bonuses he lost. Interim bantamweight champ Barao has perhaps the most impressive winning streak in MMA at the moment with 30 consecutive triumphs to his credit. However, he’s not undefeated, losing by Unanimous Decision to Joao Paulo Rodrigues de Souza as an eighteen-year old in Brazil. In Barao’s defense, while his foe may not be well known in the States, De Souza is a seasoned veteran with an overall record of 34-14-2 instead of some bum who went on to compile a losing mark in the ring. Gustafsson seems virtually unbeatable these days and hopes to keep the trend going at UFC 165 by taking out champion Jon Jones. Be that as it may, knowledgeable fans undoubtedly remember the lone loss of Gustafsson’s career. Back in 2010, Phil Davis choked “The Mauler” out in the first frame of their fight. The performance was so impactful on Gustafsson’s career he decided to start training with Davis in hopes of improving his grappling ability. It must sting a bit every time Jones’ record is announced with a “1” in the loss column. Though Jones does indeed have an official stumble, the blemish was not related to him being submitted, stopped with strikes, or outpointed on the judges’ scorecards. Rather, “Bones” was disqualified from a match-up with Matt Hamill for a reason many would argue was unnecessary. Jones had already left Hamill in a heap with stand-up when he landed a few 12-6 elbows, forcing the referee’s intervention. With Hamill already hurt from the beatdown he’d suffered immediately prior to the foul, he was unable to continue and Jones was handed the bitter taste of defeat.
There’s no question the
UFC boasts the bulk of the best fighters in the world and making it to the organization is an accomplishment worthy of praise. However, that’s not to say the path is always a smooth one for the elite athletes calling the Octagon home. In fact, nearly every Mixed Martial Artist in the sport has a moment he/she would love to erase from history. For example, consider some of the competitors set to scrap on September 21 at . (Photos by USA Today Sports Images) UFC 165