When it comes to mixed martial arts, there are many different ways to define “worst.” Maybe you’re looking at fighters with the worst overall records. Or perhaps you’re looking at those who have been badly beaten in high-profile fights. Either way, there have been plenty of bad MMA fighters over the years. Knowing their records, the most significant losses, and when they stopped fighting may be very interesting.
David “Tank” Abbott
While he may not have the worst record on this list, Tank Abbott is undoubtedly one of the most infamous bad MMA fighters in history. Abbott was known for his brawling style and lack of technique. He was also notorious for his poor conditioning, often gasping for breath in the later rounds of fights.
The Tank often criticized his opponents, whom he beat until UFC started signing more skilled fighters. On UFC 13, for example, Abbott had to face off against Vitor Belfort, who was a powerhouse and a skilled fighter. Abbott was severely beaten by Vitor, who outstrike him on the feet.
Despite his reputation, Abbott continued to fight until 2013, when he finally retired at 48. He had 25 professional MMA fights, losing 15 of them. His last few years in the sport were bleak, as he scored 1-5 in his final six fights.
Akebono Tarō is most recognized as the outstanding sumo wrestler who was the first non-Japanese competitor to win the Yokozuna title. After achieving success in sumo wrestling, Akebono began training in kickboxing and MMA for a long time. In that area, he made some impressive displays, not all of them in a positive way.
Akebono’s return to wrestling was the most brilliant move of his career, given that he had only won 1 out of 10 kickboxing matches and 0 out of 4 MMA matches. His figure (466 lbs) and wrestling skills couldn’t keep up with real MMA pros.
Houston Alexander is best remembered for his devastating knockout power and inconsistency inside the cage. Alexander started his MMA career with eight wins out of 10 fights, all of them by KO/TKO. This included a shocking upset win over Keith Jardine – a future UFC title challenger – at UFC 71.
It looked like Alexander was on his way to becoming a top heavyweight contender. However, things quickly went downhill from there. Houston would lose his next 5 out of 6 fights, being finished in all five. His last MMA fight came in 2017, which he lost via TKO in the third round. He has since then retired with a 17-16 record.
Scott Blevins is undoubtedly an exciting fighter to talk about. While many people try to find something positive to say about every fighter, it’s challenging to do so with Blevins. His record is 0 wins and 20 losses, meaning he never won a single professional fight. In addition, he only lasted an average of one and a half minutes in his fights.
Scott Blevins is a prime example of a fighter who didn’t have what it takes to compete at the highest level. Yes, he had the heart and determination, but unfortunately, that wasn’t enough.
It’s regrettable to see a fighter go through something like this, but sometimes that’s how things are. MMA is a tough sport; not everyone is cut out for it.
Pendergarst had an 8-3 record before stepping into the Octagon for his one and only fight against Antoni Hardonk at UFC 65. Unfortunately, he lost that match when Hardonk knocked him out with a leg kick – something that has never happened to any other fighter in the history of the UFC.
After being released by the UFC, Pendergarst continued fighting at smaller promotions but only managed to win three more matches. His last fight was in 2012 after learning he had colon cancer, sadly taking his life later that year. His record stands at 11-18.
Kimbo Slice had a pro record of 5-2. He rose to fame in the early days of YouTube, where he was regularly featured in street fighting videos. He will always be remembered as one of the most popular MMA fighters in history.
In 2009, he made his professional MMA debut and became a star quickly. He had a few highlight-reel KO’s, including a brutal KO of James Thompson at EliteXC: Primetime.
However, Slice’s popularity eventually faded, exposing him as a fraud inside the cage. No matter how good you are in a street fight, professional MMA fighters take fighting to another level. He lost his last fight to Matt Mitrione before being released from the UFC in 2010. He passed away in 2016 at age 42 due to cardiac arrest.
Dada 5000, real name Dhafir Harris, is best remembered for two things: his involvement in one of the worst MMA fights ever and his post-fight drug test results.
The fight in question was a 2016 bout between Dada 5000 and Kimbo Slice at Bellator 149. The fight was an absolute trainwreck, as both men were exhausted and barely able to stand by the end of it. It was so bad that the Texas commission later declared it a no contest.
After the fight, he also suffered cardiac arrest due to several reasons. One of the reasons was poor cardiovascular health, while the other was the use of performance-enhancing drugs.
But that’s not even the worst part. After the fight, it was revealed that Dada 5000 had tested positive for nandrolone, testosterone, and boldenone – all banned substances. He was suspended for two years, and his record still stands at 2-1.
Seth Petruzelli is best known for being the man who KO’d Kimbo Slice. In 2008, he was signed by EliteXC to fight Slice on just two weeks’ notice. He accepted the fight and ended up winning via first-round TKO. That victory turned out to be the highlight of his MMA career.
Seth Petruzelli made his fighting debut in 2000. He went on to win against Keith Fielder, Rocky Batastini, and Dan Severn before signing with the UFC. In his first fight under them, he was beaten by Matt Hamill but still managed to get Fight of the Night. However, he lost again in his second Fight against Wilson Gouveia.
After the win over Kimbo Slice, he was given a chance to fight three times in the UFC. He lost all of those fights before going to Bellator and eventually retiring from fighting altogether. His last MMA bout was in 2013. He retired with a record of 14-8.
Jan Nortje is a former South African pro mixed martial artist who competed in the heavyweight division. He was not a particularly good fighter and had a very lackluster career.
Jan Nortje, nicknamed “The Giant,” is a South African mixed martial arts fighter that has participated in fights against several legends of the sport. He gained notoriety for frequently participating in K-1 events. After his debut versus Gary Goodridge, he would face off against Bob Sapp and Shinsuke Nakamura.
After that, he returned to kickboxing after losing his last MMA fight in 2009 versus Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou. His record stands at 2-6.
Gerard Gordeau is a former Dutch mixed martial artist. He is best known for being one of the first competitors in the UFC.
In 1993, Gordeau was signed by the UFC to compete in their inaugural event. He won his first two fights quite quickly, both via TKO. He was then faced off against Royce Gracie in the opening round and was submitted promptly via rear naked choke.
Gordeau would go on to fight in a few more UFC events, but he could never replicate his early success. He retired from MMA in 1996 with a record of 2-2.
Emmanuel Yarborough was a massive heavyweight fighter who competed in the early days of MMA. He is best known for being the largest fighter competing in the UFC. Be sure to check our list of the biggest/ tallest MMA fighters as well.
Yarborough made his MMA debut in 1994 and quickly became a popular attraction due to his massive size (6’8″ and 800+ pounds). He represented sumo at the UFC 3 tournament, coming into the tournament as the 1994 Amateur Sumo Wrestling silver medalist.
He was faced against Keith Hackney, who was a Kempo practitioner. Keith quickly threw a barrage of strikes at Emmanuel, who tapped out moments later. He last fought in 1998 and retired with a record of 1-2.
Fred Ettish was one of the first MMA fighters to compete in the UFC. He is best known for his Fight against Royce Gracie at UFC 2, where he was quickly submitted via rear-naked choke.
Ettish made his MMA debut in 1993 and quickly gained a reputation as a “submission specialist .” In 1994, he was signed by the UFC to compete in their second event. He faced off against Gracie in the opening round and was quickly submitted. He retired from MMA in 2002 with a record of 1-1.
John Matua was one of the worst fighters in MMA history. He had a record of 1-4 and could barely win a single fight. In his five fights, he was knocked out four times. He was also never able to last more than the first round in any of his fights. Needless to say, John Matua was not a very good fighter.
Ross Clifton was not a famous fighter, but he was easily recognizable because he matched none of the conventional descriptions of a fighter. He was white, 350lbs, and had cornrows–attributes which were more often seen outside the ring than in it.
For most of his career, Ross fought as a Super Heavyweight for various promotions. However, he never found consistent success; when he retired, his record stood at an underwhelming six wins and ten losses. His best-known fight was against Ken Shamrock, to whom he lost.
Clifton ran an MMA school-style training program called the “Grizzly’s Den,” located in Cameron Park, California. Unfortunately, he passed away due to a heart attack at only 32 years old, less than two months after his last fight. Following his death, several media outlets debated whether or not Super-Heavyweight divisions should exist anymore.
Moti Horenstein was an Israeli pro mixed martial artist who competed in the heavyweight division. He was notable for his appearances in the early years of the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Horenstein was born and raised in Israel. He began training in judo at a young age and later competed in international competitions. In 1992, he moved to the United States to pursue a career in mixed martial arts.
Horenstein was considered to be a relatively poor mixed martial artist. He lacked practical striking skills and was often overpowered by his opponents. He also had a habit of quitting fights when he was losing, which led to him being booed by fans on several occasions.
His record stands at 1-6, with notable losses to the legends such as Mark Kerr and Mark Coleman.
Brendan Schaub is a former professional mixed martial artist and currently a podcaster and stand-up comedian. He was born in Aurora, Colorado, and began his MMA training when he was 19 years old. He fought in the heavyweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). Brendan was a runner-up on Spike TV’s The Ultimate Fighter: Heavyweights.
Schaub is considered a poor fighter, with many fans and pundits citing his lack of fundamental knowledge and technique as his most significant weaknesses. In particular, Schaub has been heavily criticized for his grappling skills, often described as “subpar” and “underdeveloped.” He is also one of the least funny comedians working today.
MMA fans might remember Ross Pointon best from season 3 of The Ultimate Fighter. Ross lost to Kendall Grove on episode three by rear-naked choke. Surprisingly he was still invited to The Ultimate Fighter 3 Finale, where he was faced off against Rory Singer.
Unfortunately, Pointon the fight in the first minute via a triangle choke. His last UFC fight resulted in another loss. Still, Pointon kept competing at numerous organizations until 2013, when he retired with a record of 6-17.
Dan Lauzon is a retired American mixed martial artist who competed in the Lightweight division. He was a cast member of The Ultimate Fighter 5. With his younger fighter experience behind him, Dan Lauzon did not have the same success in the Octagon as his brother Joe. He managed to go 4-0 in his first four fights, but Spencer Fisher quickly defeated him in his first UFC fight.
In 2016, Lauzon returned to the UFC with an 8-1 record but lost his next two fights. Since then, he has continuously failed to meet expectations. One of his most notable losses was to Justin Gaethje in 2013. He has since retired from MMA, and his record stands at 17-6.
Alexander Otsuka is one of many Japanese professional wrestlers who decided to change their sport from wrestling to mixed martial arts. He earned his first victory against Marco Ruas after making the transition in 1998.
However, he is better known for losing to sports legends such as Renzo Gracie, Ken Shamrock, and Wanderlei Silva. Otsuka’s 2006 victory over Masada would be his last, finishing with an all-time record of 4-13. He is a model for others looking to make the switch, much like CM Punk did.
Yoji Anjo is a Japanese mixed martial artist and professional wrestler. He is best known for his work in New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) and All Japan Pro-Wrestling (AJPW).
He began his career as a professional wrestler in 1984, competing in NJPW. He would later join AJPW in 1988. In 1992, Anjo made his mixed martial arts debut, competing in Shooto. He would go on to compete in several other promotions, including Pride Fighting Championships and RINGS.
Anjo has been criticized for his poor performances in mixed martial arts and his lack of fighting ability. His score of 1-17-2 (1 NC) is often cited as one of the worst in MMA history. He has been involved in several controversial incidents, including a backstage brawl with Pride fighter Kazushi Sakuraba.
Bob Sapp is a former American football player and professional mixed martial artist. As a professional fighter, Sapp has a record of 12 wins and 20 losses. He is best known for his time with the now-defunct PRIDE Fighting Championships.
There he fought some of the biggest names in MMA, including Mirko Cro Cop, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, and Wanderlei Silva. Sapp is known for his brief stint in WWE as part of their ECW brand. Sapp’s career as a professional fighter has been plagued by controversy.
He has been accused of fixed fights, acting unprofessionally outside the ring, and using performance-enhancing drugs. Sapp has also been involved in several physical altercations with other MMA fighters, fans, and media members. From 2005 to 2011, he lost ten fights in a row.
Due to his poor record and controversies, Bob Sapp is considered one of the worst fighters in MMA history.
Sean “The Cannon” Gannon is a police officer and former mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter from Boston, Massachusetts. He became famous on the Internet after a widely distributed video showed him defeating Kimbo Slice in an unregulated bare-knuckle street fight.
Sean Gannon is the only man to have defeated Kevin ‘Kimbo Slice’ Ferguson in his widely circulated internet ‘streetfights.’ The fight took place inside the Mat Santos Fighting Academy in Cranston, Rhode Island–Slice’s first time fighting outside Florida. His record stands at one win and one loss.
Cope had an excellent kickboxing background. However, he typically lost in MMA bouts because he didn’t have many grappling skills. His overall record is 6-7, with six losses coming by submission. In his only UFC appearance, he faced TUF 1 finalist Kenny Florian and was choked using the rear-naked choke move.
After his short UFC run, Cope challenged Rob McCullough for the WEC’s vacant lightweight belt. Cope submitted due to punches in the first round and later tested positive for steroids. The only real win of his career was the fact that he managed to “smash” Gina Carano.
Rolles Gracie Jr.
Rolles Gracie Jr. is a Brazilian mixed martial artist and grappler who competes in the heavyweight division. He is the son of Rolls Gracie, Carlos Gracie’s grandson, and Rickson Gracie’s nephew.
Rolles started training in Brazilian jiu-jitsu at the age of three under his father’s guidance. He later began competing in grappling tournaments and had considerable success as a juvenile and adult, winning multiple state, national, and international championships. Gracie made his mixed martial arts debut in 2008 and amassed a record of 8-4. His last fight was in 2015, where he lost against Mariusz Pudzianowski via KO.
Critics have noted that Gracie’s MMA career was primarily facilitated by his family name and reputation as a grappler rather than any notable striking or stand-up skills.
James Toney is a retired professional boxer who competed from 1988 to 2013 and was best known for his ten-year reign as the undisputed middleweight champion from 1991 to 2001. He announced his retirement from boxing in 2014.
After amassing a record of 77 wins (47 knockouts) and ten losses, James Toney decided to give professional mixed martial arts (MMA) a try. In his MMA debut at UFC 118, he was submitted by former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Randy Couture via arm-triangle choke in the first round. He, therefore, retired from MMA with a professional record of 0 wins and one loss.
Despite his lack of success in the world of MMA, James Toney will always be remembered as one of the greatest boxers of his generation.
Tiki is one of three fighters with a record of 0-4 in the UFC. He started his UFC career with a rear-naked choke loss to future American Kickboxing Academy co-founder Bob Cook at UFC 24. The following year, he lost a fight due to a dislocated shoulder against Sean Sherk at UFC 30.
Following three consecutive victories outside of the UFC, Ghosn returned at UFC 40 in November 2002. However, Robbie Lawler knocked him out, and alter complained that the fight was stopped because of a cut.
Against all expectations, Elvis Sinosic shined in his UFC debut. Despite only having a 3-3-1 record at the time, Sinolscico was signed by the UFC after an impressive showing against Frank Shamrock lent credence to his skill and potential.
However, they didn’t favor Sinosic by putting him up against submission specialist Jeremy Horn, whose six UFC fights ended in victories. It was a miracle when Sinosic managed to subdue Horn with a triangle-armbar in the first round of their bout at UFC 30.
Sinosic went on to lose plenty of fights during the next few years. Sinosic is also a rare UFC fighter with a six-fight losing streak.
Kenneth Allen was a horrible MMA fighter. In his entire career, he only managed to win a single fight. That’s right, just one. And that lone victory came against an opponent with a record of 0-13. Needless to say, Kenneth was not exactly feared in the MMA world.
Unfortunately for Kenneth, his career never took off. He lost fight after fight and eventually retired from MMA with a record of just one win and forty-one losses.
Why does he have so many losses on his record? Well, he often fills in for other fighters at the last minute. He is often matched up against much more experienced opponents.
Sean Salmon is another fighter on our list of the worst MMA fighters. The former UFC fighter won only two out of thirteen fights in the Octagon. He was even KO’d in just fourteen seconds by a relative unknown in his final fight. Salmon’s career record stands at an 18-21
In 2007, Salmon was given a chance with the UFC against Rashad Evans. In the second round, Salmon suffered a vicious highlight-reel head kick knockout from Evans. Salmon lost against Alan Belcher in the first minute of the fight via a rear-naked choke.
After being released by the UFC, he fought for several short-lived organizations before retiring after winning 12 consecutive bouts. It’s safe to say that Sean Salmon’s MMA career was unsuccessful. He will definitely go down as one of the worst fighters in MMA history.
Joe Son was a mixed martial artist and professional wrestler. He was best known for his time with the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he competed in the heavyweight division.
Son was born in Seoul, South Korea, on March 16, 1968. He immigrated to the United States with his family when he was two years old. Son began practicing taekwondo early and eventually earned a black belt in the sport.
In 1992, Son made his MMA debut at UFC 12, losing to Dan Severn via submission. He would go on to compete in various promotions throughout the 1990s, including PRIDE FC and Pancrase.
In 2007, it was revealed that Son had been convicted of rape in 1992 and had served time in prison. He was subsequently released from the UFC, and his mixed martial arts license was suspended. His record stands at 0-4.
Giant Silva is a former Brazilian professional wrestler and mixed martial artist. He is best known for his time in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF) from 1997 to 1999.
Standing at an impressive height of seven feet two inches, Giant Silva was one of the tallest MMA fighters in the world. Silva began his MMA career in 2003. He would compete in some of the most prestigious organizations, such as PRIDE and the UFC.
However, despite his size and success in other ventures, Giant Silva’s MMA career was largely unsuccessful. He compiled a record of just two wins and six losses. Silva’s last MMA fight was in 2013, winning via kimura.
Peter Sobotta was a German-Polish MMA fighter who competed in the welterweight and lightweight divisions. On the UFC 99 preliminary card in Germany, the Polish-German welterweight lost the fight via a unanimous decision against Paul Taylor. Sobotta went on to lose the next two of his UFC fights.
In his last fight against Amir Sadollah, Sobotta absorbed 46 leg kicks.
At the time, Wang was a BJJ black belt under Egan Inoue and had a 5-6 record in mixed martial arts. All but one of his fights were decided when he joined TUF 5.
In the season’s opener, Wang was up against Brandon Melendez, who had an eight-inch reach advantage. However, coach BJ Penn stated what would be the logical outcome and eventual pre-fight instructions for Wang to take down Melendez and work his jiu-jitsu.
As well as pleading with him during the Fight, Andy seemed insistent on having a striking match, leading to him being dominated till a decision loss. Wang was bawling at the top of his lungs. Penn mocked him in an uncharacteristic display of viciousness. His record stands at 8-9.
Shannon Ritch is another fighter on our list of the worst MMA fighters. He has fought in some of the most prominent MMA organizations, including the UFC, Bellator, and Strikeforce.
Shannon’s career began in 1996, and he has fought 151 times. In his nearly 20-year career, Shannon has only managed to win 58 MMA fights. That means that he has lost 89 times. Shannon Ritch is genuinely one of the worst MMA fighters of all time. However, he does have a spirit of never giving up.
Jay Ellis is one of the worst MMA fighters of all time. His record is an abysmal 16-106, and he has been KO’d in all 12 fights. Jay Ellis is nothing more than a punching bag for other fighters, and it’s time for him to hang up his gloves and retire.
. In 2014 when Jay Ellis had a career record of 13–56, he even battled Colby Covington, the interim UFC champion. Jay Ellis lost that fight by triangle choke in the first round. It was one of the most one-sided fights in MMA history and cemented Jay Ellis’s status as one of the worst fighters in the world.