Here we go, the final Worstie category. This one is the special Bad for the Sport category, ‘celebrating’ the absolute worst MMA-related incidents of the year. Your nominees:
This scandal is like an onion with many layers. On the day that Kimbo Slice and Ken Shamrock were set to headline EliteXC’s third network TV event, Shamrock found out how much more money Kimbo was being paid and demanded a last second raise. EliteXC management refused, and Ken took his frustrations out by performing a few grappling drills. Unfortunately, during the drills Ken took a headbutt to the face which opened a cut under his eye that forced him out of competition.
Scrambling to find a replacement, EliteXC pulled undercard fighter and former Ultimate Fighter contestant Seth Petruzelli up and inserted him into the main event where he dispatched Slice in just under 15 seconds. If that wasn’t bad enough, then Petruzelli went onto a radio show the next day and implied that EliteXC management had paid him extra to keep the fight off the ground.
This sparked off a firestorm of controversy, with everyone from Dana White to ESPN to the Florida athletic commission getting involved and passing judgement. While a preliminary investigation into the matter from the commission cleared EliteXC of any wrong doing, the scandal and continued suspicions resulted in a proposed buyout of the promotion by it’s television parters to fall apart. Two weeks later EliteXC’s parent company closed it’s doors and ceased operations.
A week after losing a razor thin decision (and his title) to Forrest Griffin, Quinton “Rampage” Jackson made good on his nickname by barrelling across town in his custom-built monster truck. During his rampage he swerved back and forth through traffic, sideswiping several vehicles and leading the police on a lengthy chase before finally stopping the vehicle and being arrested.
Upon posting bail for the fighter, friends and family immediately knew that something was up with the former champ. Over concerns for his mental health and safety, they called police again, who took Jackson to a mental facility for observation. It was later revealed that Jackson had not slept for several days and had suffered a psychotic break where he thought he was a god. Rampage is now facing a criminal trial and potential civil suits from the people who’s vehicles he struck during the incident.
The Ultimate Fighter 8
It’s interesting that a show whose success is credited with saving the UFC and making it the powerhouse it is today can now appear as a candidate for the Bad For The Sport award. But that’s the case as the reality show continues to slide downwards in quality and integrity. The biggest complaint from recent seasons of the show has been the lack of prospects featured, but while latest seasons of The Ultimate Fighter has fixed that particular problem, it’s got issues of it’s own.
Junie Browning is the posterchild for unsportsmanlike conduct and the UFC has been under heavy fire for not removing him from the show after throwing glass at another contestant and attacking several others while drunk. After narrowly avoiding being kicked off by Dana White, Junie continued to cause controversy by jumping into the octagon after a fight to challenge the winner. It is still early in the season and it is still unclear what Junie will do next.
But season eight of The Ultimate Fighter has more problems than Junie. A prank war in the house quickly escalated from frozen underwear to fighters urinating on eachother’s pillows and boobytrapping food with more urine and semen. Again, it is unknown how far this will continue to escalate, as one fighter has already claimed he is planning to use feces in his retaliation.
Justin Levens Murder/Suicide
Things weren’t going so hot for Justin Levens. His MMA career had hit skid row, with 8 of his last 10 fights being losses. To add insult to injury, a fight in July for Affliction was cancelled last second due to a bungled TV schedule. That didn’t stop the CSAC from testing Levens’ urine sample, which popped positive for the painkiller oxymorphone at a rate 10 times higher than the legal limit. The CSAC suspended him for 6 months and fined him $1000.
What may have been the last straw for Levens was an impending court date the following week where he and his wife were on trial for aggravated assault. This stemmed from an incident where a man owed Levens’ wife $200 but could only give her $80. According to the alleged victim, Levens punched and kicked the shit out of him until his wife told him it was enough.
Whatever drove Levens over the edge, no one knows. All people know for sure is that on December 11th Justin Levens and his wife Sara McLean-Levens were found dead in their apartment, Sara with a gunshot wound to the chest and Justin with a gunshot wound to the head. While the official verdict has not come out, all signs at this moment point to the fact that this was a murder-suicide perpetrated by Levens.
Honorable Mentions: You could reason that Evan Tanner dying belongs here, as I would definitely consider his loss to be bad for the sport and the worst thing to happen all year. But the Worsties are all about spite and disdain, and we feel that Evan deserves neither. While that might be favoritism or whatever, we don’t care. Run your own asshole awards if you want to, and put him in there. We’ll pass.