There’s no question Silva has established himself as one of the greatest fighters of all time through his excellence in the infamous eight-sided cage. However, he’s also 2-for-2 when it comes to refusing to publicly embrace his lackluster output in bouts with Chael Sonnen and Chris Weidman. In both cases, “The Spider” referred to his performance being affected by a bum rib, recently stating he was only 85% in a title-loss to Weidman. While he may have indeed been hurt, it’s rare to see any Mixed Martial Artist escape the injury bug’s wrath based on the physical nature of the sport, so pointing out the obvious is petty more so than understandable. Granted, Sonnen’s excuses were often as playful as they were serious, but the colorful competitor never met a defeat he couldn’t dismiss with ease. Sure, Anderson Silva submitted him in the fifth frame of an epic 2010 tilt, but according to Sonnen he never realized tapping out would dismiss his four rounds of dominance prior to the finish. Sonnen even went on to produce a replica championship belt and claim he was the true divisional king. Fortunately, Sonnen also isn’t afraid to occasionally admit when he’s been bested by the better man. Jackson’s time in the UFC ended on a sour note after falling out with upper-management. Of course, the way he went about his final few fights in the organization was just as much a reason to leave a look of disgust on fans’ faces prior to Jackson’s departure. From complaining about superior wrestlers “humping” him on the ground to saying he had health issues to accusing Jon Jones of having a spy in his camp to deferring to a lack of motivation, “Rampage” never stuck to one story when it came to explaining away his losses. And, with four losses in his last six fights, he had plenty of opportunity to come up with new material. Diaz is as tough as they come in MMA but he doesn’t like playing by the rules. In his mind, he’s constantly being wronged by judges who score rounds in favor of fighters opting to take things to the mat instead of duke it out while standing. He’s also gone on record as saying the possibility of Georges St-Pierre being a few tenths of a pound over 170 should merit a rematch despite GSP’s relative dominance in the bout. He’s retired in back-to-back instances after falling by decision, unapologetically brushed off suspensions for marijuana use, and can make a conspiracy theory out of anything if need be. To run down the list of injuries Ortiz has laid claim to in the wake of defeat would lead some to believe he’s a bionic man. In fact, the Hall of Famer’s reputation for doing so is bad enough to have fans wondering if he’s already working on a notebook of potential reasons for falling to Quinton Jackson when they battle it out in Bellator next month. Ortiz is one of MMA’s legitimate icons, but when it comes to making excuses most folks would agree he’s the top dog in the sport’s history.
While on the surface it may seem as simple as who scores the most strikes, takedowns, and submission attempts, there are numerous other factors that go into every fight when it comes to determining the individual who eventually exits the ring with a victory in tow. How healthy was each competitor entering the clash? Were there any personal issues affecting performance? Was cheating, poor officiating, or questionable judging involved? The list goes on and on…especially when it comes to a number of
UFC veterans who tend to come up with all sorts of reasons for their failures in the Octagon. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)