Kyle Maynard vs Bryan Fry
Remember how we said Alabama used to be where all the sketchy shit went down? They went legit in 2010 with the formation of their own commission but that wasn’t until after congenital amputee Kyle Maynard fought the four-limbed Bryan Fry on April 25th, 2009. Funny story: ESPN made documentary about the match called A Fighting Chance, and they included several clips from a Fightlinker video podcast. We even made it into the preview (30 seconds in).
You could argue that this is actually an inspirational fight and not a freakshow fight. Can’t it be both?
Mirko Crocop vs Alberto Del Rio
In Mexico and Japan he is known as Dos Caras Jr, son of one of the most famous luchadors to ever strap on a mask. In America, he’s known as former WWE champion Alberto Del Rio. In 2003, PRIDE Fighting Championships put out an open challenge for someone to take on their star Mirko Crocop. Dos Caras Jr stepped forward and his previous MMA experience (he was 3-2 in Japanese promotion DEEP) plus his pro wrestling credentials earned him the job. And what a job it was! Mirko Crocop kicked his head off 46 seconds into their fight, leaving masked fighters on this freakshow list at 0-2.
There’s a lot of debate over whether this fight was a fix or a job or what. Some claim that while Crocop thought it was a real fight, Dos Caras Jr was told to lose and basically let Crocop decapitate him. Nothing fake about that love tap Mirko drops after the kick, that’s for sure.
Kimbo Slice vs Tank Abbott
Kimbo Slice is another guy who could have his own Top 10 Freakshow Fights list … well, perhaps top 5 since he’s only had 6 fights. But they’ve all been pretty freaky in their own way – check out some of these names: jobber Bo Cantrell, gong and dash inventor James Thompson, and Tim Sylvia destroyer Ray Mercer. But no MMA fight was freakier than his 2008 match against original UFC tough guy Tank Abbott. Abbott was barely a mixed martial artist back in 1990s and by 2008 he was a 43 year old taking paychecks to lose to fighters around the world. I gotta hand it to him for this one though – he came to bang. It didn’t work out well for him at all, but it sure made for an interesting two minutes of fighting.
Butterbean vs Zuluzinho
The freakshow fight to end all freakshow fights! Both Zuluzinho and Butterbean made their MMA careers off being freakshow attractions and here they are back in April of 2007 battling it out in Japan. According to the tale of the tape, both fighters tipped the scales at over 400 pounds and lumbered around the ring like elephants on the rampage. But as you’d expect from half ton monsters like this, once they fell they did not get up. Butterbean ended up winning the fight via keylock, which I like to imagine he learned because it is also known as a ‘chicken wing.’
Randy Couture vs James Toney
If there’s a trend you might have noticed during this list, it’s that all these freakshow fights take place outside of the UFC. The Ultimate Fighting Championships have prided themselves on staying away from the freakier fights and leaving that shit to the Japanese and bush league promoters. But somehow back in 2010, James Toney talked his way into a UFC fight with former champion Randy Couture.
How it all came together: Toney started regularly showing up at UFC events talking shit and claiming his boxing was superior to MMA. He earned a meeting with UFC president Dana White after claiming White was ducking him, which led to Toney getting his chance to fight. Dana White seemed just as surprised as everyone else at this development. But Toney was talking mad shit and wanted to fight MMA, so Dana White went ahead with it. After Toney turned down a fight with then-UFC fighter Kimbo Slice, Dana served him up to Randy Couture.
The guy turned up for the fight at a ridiculous 237 pounds and didn’t seem at all prepared for the grappling Randy was obviously about to use on him. The fight lasted all of 3 minutes 19 seconds as Couture took Toney down and choked him out with an arm triangle. The whole thing reeked of a cash grab, which made this next part extra sweet: Toney never saw a penny of his 500k purse because the IRS put a lien on it before it even got paid out.
Toney almost returned to the cage to fight fellow crazy person Ken Shamrock, but unfortunately that fight never materialized. The closest we got was a press conference brawl between the two before the fight was delayed indefinitely.