Bellator had its fair share of highlights in 2013 including another epic effort from Eddie Alvarez-Michael Chandler earlier this month. However, there were a number of moves made on the executive side of things rubbing fans the wrong way such as the signing of over-the-hill UFC veterans and treatment of Alvarez during a contractual dispute, not to mention the botched attempt at putting on a PPV with Tito Ortiz as a headlining player. Rebney’s a good guy and his company provides a necessary service but, based on some of the strange decisions in terms of the organization’s direction, he’s definitely suitable for this list. Diaz only fought a single time in 2013 but not because he was unable to compete more frequently. Rather, Stockton’s favorite son took his ball home again after finding fault with an athletic commission’s allowance of a few tenths of a pound in his tilt with Georges St-Pierre and ultimately losing the bout by way of decision. Diaz has since been offered multiple opportunities to mix it up in the Octagon but, to this day, has said he will only return if granted an immediate rematch with GSP or a chance to clash with Anderson Silva. Koscheck went from divisional player to contemplating retirement in the span of eleven months. His last bout in 2012 was a loss, but came in a closely-contested clash with Johny Hendricks. Unfortunately, he wouldn’t have similar “success” against Robbie Lawler and Tyrone Woodley who both knocked him out in 2013 tilts. Ortiz had a bad year to be sure. In addition to dissolving his longtime relationship with the UFC, he signed with Bellator only to end up injuring himself while training for a promotional debut. He also had a number of embarrassing situations make their way into the headlines based on his disgruntled and drug-fueled ex Jenna Jameson’s behavior. Ortiz even went so far as to have to release security footage from his own home to show the world Jameson was the nut, not him. In January it would have seemed highly unlikely fans would see Silva land on a list like this. However, “The Spider” earned his spot after an attempt to upstage Chris Weidman resulted in him losing his title and historic winning streak. As fans undoubtedly remember, Silva dropped his hands during the main event of UFC 162 to get Weidman to engage him while standing instead of attack with takedowns. Weidman did just that, clipping the Brazilian and then pounding him out to become champion. Overeem looked like a potential UFC champion when he first came into the organization but now he’s on cusp of being cut less than two years later. He entered 2013 on a sour note after failing a pre-fight drug test for enhanced testosterone levels and missing more time due to injury, then capped off the ugliness with back-to-back knockout losses. There’s no question the Dutchman is a different athlete since getting busted, but on the bright side he at least has a very winnable fight on the horizon against Frank Mir. The NAC is considered to be the leading regulatory board in the world when it comes to combat sports. While that may be true, the status is akin to being the best baseball player in Russia. The athletic commission continues to allow questionable judging and officiating fly without any real response to the problem or interest in correcting it. There were also some questionable calls in terms of disciplining fighters, such as fining a boxer $900,000 for marijuana use. Anyone who didn’t follow TUF 18 might be asking, “Who?” Gutierrez and Bollinger were both contestants on the most recent season of the Ultimate Fighter. While both showed potential early on, neither ever truly got to shine based on their inability to make weight on separate occasions. Both were subsequently disqualified from the competition and raked over the coals by UFC President Dana White, and neither is likely to ever make it into the Octagon unless mandated by a ridiculous winning streak outside of the organization. Though it looked close for awhile, the State of New York once again shot down the opportunity to have sanctioned MMA. As a result, New York remains the only State in America where the sport is considered to be illegal despite the ability of the UFC to bring in $125+ million in revenue by promoting cards in the area. “Mayhem” made a name for himself in the ring as a jokester of sorts. However, he was the punch line on countless occasions in 2013 due to his bizarre, occasionally criminal behavior. He was arrested multiple times for domestic abuse including an incident where he allegedly urinated on his beaten girlfriend, and picked a fight with UFC middleweight Uriah Hall after prodding him during a post-event party.
Happy Thanksgiving! Hopefully, you’ve had a chance to sit down with your loved ones and enjoy the holiday or have plans to do such later on in the day. To help pass the time, here’s a rundown of folks whose actions earned them a distinguished spot on this years’ Top 10 Turkeys from the MMA world. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)