The 5 worst MMA title challengers of all time

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

February 9th, 2021

The UFC generally does a good job matching champions against worthy contenders, but every now and then, a stiff manages to slip in, and the result is a bloody beatdown.

These five unlikely "contenders" paid the price when they entered the octagon against far superior foes.

5. Nate Quarry

Nate Quarry parlayed his run on The Ultimate Fighter into a title shot with Rich Franklin in 2005 that came way too soon in his career.

Quarry hadn’t done nearly enough to suggest he could compete with Franklin, and those fears were realized as soon as the fight started. Franklin exploded Quarry’s face to end the fight in the first.

After the loss, Quarry became a journeyman before his career ended in 2010.

4. Gan McGee

The UFC couldn’t call a fight “The Battle of the Giants” if it didn’t have a tall challenger to face heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia, so a quick look at the decrepit division circa 2003 resulted in 6-foot-10 Gan McGee’s only title shot.

McGee had just come off a first-round stoppage of 0-1 Alexandre Dantas. As expected, Sylvia provided more than McGee could handle and easily rolled him over in one round.

3. Jose Aldo

Once upon a time, Jose Aldo was a revered featherweight champion and one of the top fighters in the sport.

However, time hadn’t been kind to him, and he was on a 3-5 skid before he faced Petr Yan for the bantamweight title.

There would be no callbacks to Aldo’s glory days, as Yan beat him up and stopped him in the fifth round. Former champions will always be up for another shot at glory, but Aldo served no purpose.

2. Patrick Cote

Some fighters get a shot because everyone else has already been beat. That certainly was the case when Patrick Cote got his shot at Anderson Silva’s middleweight title. Cote was the last piece of lunch money still in the division's pocket.

Cote did not rise to the occasion and opted to avoid a disinterested Silva. The bout ended when Cote suffered a knee injury and went to the ground in agony, as the fight was mercifully stopped in the third.

1. Bethe Correia

There was absolutely nothing that suggested Bethe Correia was ready for her 2015 beating at the hands of Ronda Rousey. Though Correia had a respectable record, her work in the UFC showed she had ways to go.

Instead, she was led right into the Rousey fight, when Ronda was at the top of her game. It took just 34 seconds for Rousey to slice through Correia like hot knife through butter.