The most overhyped MMA fighters of all time

Profile Picture: Danny Howard

March 20th, 2020

MMA and combat sports are prone to the hype bug. The oddities, company prospects, and fishes out of water all can find themselves under the bright lights and inside the octagon, where they can’t hide who they are.

These fighters were defined by hype, but fell short of validation.

Ben Askren

At one point Askren was an undefeated fighter released by Bellator because of his refusal to raise his level of competition. Eventually, Askren made his way to the UFC via ONE FC, where he could no longer hide his deficiencies against top-tier foes.

Askren went 1-2 in the UFC and retired after his loss to Demian Maia last fall.

Vitor Belfort

The former light heavyweight champion’s career will always be questioned, after he transformed from Superman to Clark Kent following the UFC's ban of testosterone-replacement therapy. Belfort was never the same after he backed out of a fight with Lyoto Machida, which came after the ban was announced, and his career went into a tailspin.

Paige VanZant

Marketed as beauty and the beast, VanZant was pushed by the UFC, with the hope it found the new Ronda Rousey. Unfortunately for VanZant, her handpicked opposition did little to prepare her for a humiliating beatdown at the hands of Rose Namajunas.

Though VanZant is young enough to change her narrative, she’ll fall short of the massive expectations she had early in her career.

Kimbo Slice

Before Logan Paul and KSI made YouTube brawlers an unfortunate reality, Kimbo Slice was used to prop up the fledgling EliteXC promotion, before he eventually headed to Bellator and UFC.

Slice served his purpose as a publicity magnet, but his sloppy brawling and lack of technique did him no favors when matched up against even the most middling opposition.

CM Punk

The former WWE champion took forever to make his UFC debut, but unlike former pro-wrestler-turned-UFC-star Brock Lesnar, Phillip “CM Punk” Brooks had no previous combat training, and it showed.

For all the buzz and hype for a fighter with virtually no experience, Punk went 0-2 during his run in the UFC, and he wasn't competitive in both losses. Brooks has since returned to WWE programming.

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