The UFC is the biggest and most powerful organization in the sport today. Baseball players dream of one day making it to the MLB level, corrupt sexual deviants dream of one day running for political office, my meth dealer dreams of me paying him in something other than Pizza Hut coupons, and aspiring mixed martial artists dream of one day making it to the UFC. While these young dreamers have a shot if they continue to work hard and hone their craft, there are a few men out there who will simply never be welcome inside the Octagon.
5. Kimbo Slice. Let’s face it: the Kimbo circus was actually pretty fun while it lasted. Yeah, the whole thing ended in a sissy knockout and the downfall of the number two organization in the sport, but the ride getting there was fun. There were many questions raised, some of which were answered and some which we may never know. Could a street fighter successfully transition to the legitimate version of mixed martial arts? What small animals were hiding in Kimbo’s beard? What the fuck was ESPN thinking? Did “>David Blaine really take that punch to the gut? One question that will most definitely remain unanswered is “What would happen if Kimbo Slice fought in the UFC?” Well, technically we’ll never find out but I think we can all agree that he would get schooled by Dan Evensen or Justin McCully. Kimbo made a bunch of money very quickly in this sport and he will likely be able to continue to do so over in Japan. Dana White will not be hiring him. Not now, not ever — unless Kimbo turns into a world beater in the land of the Rising Sun. That’s about as likely as Tom Cruise finally admitting he loves dicks, so I would say it’s not likely at all.
4. Tom Atencio. Yep, the Affliction President has fought in the cage before and currently holds a record of 1-0. I think it’s safe to say that if you run a rival organization that lures top fighters like Andrei Arlovski away from the UFC, you can say goodbye to any future employment aspirations with Zuffa . I’m sure Dana would like to watch Mr. Atencio fight for his life against a few malnourished lions in the Roman coliseum but I don’t think he’ll be calling him for a spot on a fight card.
3. Matt Lindland. “The Law” last fought in the UFC back in August of ’05. Since that time he has dominated sub-par or aging competition and dropped fights to both Fedor and Rampage. While going up in weight against such top competition was gutsy, he still came out on the losing end of those battles. Most recently he was murdered on pay-per-view by Vitor Belfort at the last Affliction show. Let us also not forget that Matt has publicly called out the UFC for a bunch of shit multiple time, not to mention his participation in the documentary Fighting Politics that apparently engages in a bunch of UFC-bashing (currently making the rounds of the film festival circuit). While Matt heals from the utter assault he received from “The Phenom” and wonders about his fighting future, one thing is for certain: it won’t take place inside of a Zuffa cage.
2. Shannon Ritch. If you’ve never heard of Ritch, it’s likely because he hasn’t fought on a major show since an appearance for PRIDE back in 2002. If you have, it’s likely because he’s a bit of an inside joke to the MMA community: his record stands at an impressive 43 wins with 62 losses. That’s not impressive because of his win-loss ratio (obviously) or the staggering amount of fights he’s been in. What makes Ritch’s record so impressive is when you think about how one person could be so absolutely horrific at something yet persistently continue to do it. As if that wasn’t enough embarassment for one man, Ritch was infamously choked out by a referee a few years back for being a sore loser. You would think that a guy who is so accustomed to getting his ass beat and his dignity stripped from him would at least be a good sport about it since he’s so used to it, but not Ritch. He’s one in a million.
1. Lee Murray. This guy was one of the most promising middleweight prospects a few years back but decided that becoming an international criminal would be a lifestyle better suited for him. After a quick submission over Jorge Rivera in his UFC debut, Murray dropped a decision to current middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva. That was his last fight to date as soon after he helped orchestrate a robbery that was worth in excess of US$93 million. TIME bought the film rights to do a movie on Murray, which will highlight both his role in the robbery and his MMA career. Needless to say, it will be fucking awesome. Despite this, hiring a man responsible for the biggest heist in the history of the UK would not be good for the UFC’s public image and, for that reason, Murray will never step foot in the Octagon again. At the same time, Murray did knock Tito Ortiz the fuck out in a back alley brawl in London a few years ago. Maybe Dana will let the whole bank heist situation slide as a gesture of thanks, though I doubt it.