When the unfortunate news that Joseph Duffy had been forced out of his scheduled UFC Fight Night 76 main event against Dustin Poirier tomorrow (Sat., October 24, 2015) from Dublin, the card was in serious hot water after already losing its previously scheduled co-main event between Stipe Miocic and Ben Rothwell last week.
Irish local Paddy Holohan faces Louis Smolka in the main event now, and while it’s a decent enough fight, it’s clearly not main event material and could rank as one of the worst UFC feature bouts of all-time. What’s more, UFC Fight Night 76 sold out in a record setting one minute, with fight-crazed Irish fans rushing to see any UFC event on their home soil regardless of it featured Conor McGregor or not.
True, the event could still deliver an exciting night of fights for Irish fans, but on paper, it’s just decimated and undoubtedly one of the worst UFC cards ever put together on paper.
It brings to mind some other stinkers of the UFC’s modern era (2005-on) that simply failed to deliver as expected, ultimately doing the opposite and lulling fans to sleep with their snore-inducing inability to deliver.
7.) UFC 147
This snoozefest served as the finale of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) Brazil 1; with former middleweight champion Rich Franklin taking on former Pride great Wanderlei Silva in the main event.
But the event could have been so, so much more, as all-time great Anderson Silva was supposed to take on heated rival Chael Sonnen in their highly awaited rematch of ‘The Spider’s’ legendary UFC 117 win over ‘The American Gangster.’
Vitor Belfort was supposed to take on ‘The Axe Murderer’ in the main event, but was forced to pull out with a hand injury, and featherweight champion Jose Aldo was rumored to headline the card but did not.
So ‘Ace’ took on Wand in a lackluster event that saw him take multiple breaks to stretch his unmentionables in tight pink shorts after a Silva low blow. Wand almost finished him off but ‘Ace’ won a decision, capping off a main card that featured a total of four decisions for one of the more boring cards in recent memory.
6.) UFC on FX 4
A strange card in the injury-destroyed June of 2012, Gray Maynard edged Clay Guida by decision in a puzzling headliner after ‘The Carpenter’ surprisingly ran from Maynard for the better part of five rounds after being one of the grittiest combatants in the octagon before this bout.
Maynard didn’t look all that much better, as his lackluster win over ‘The Carpenter’ turned out to be his only victory in five fights since Frankie Edgar put an exclamation point on him with a come-from-behind stoppage at UFC 136 in October 2011.
This card only drew a paltry 4,652 fans to the Revel Casino in New Jersey, and Sam Stout beat Spencer Fisher in a boring lightweight co-main event. True, Cub Swanson stopped Ross Pearson in a solid performance, but that was the only finish on the main card that failed to deliver.
5.) UFC 119
UFC 119 was highly lambasted as one of the worst UFC pay-per-view (PPV) events in promotion history after featuring four decisions (two split) in five fights, with Frank Mir knocking out Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic in the third round of their absolutely horrific feature bout.
It didn’t help that Sean Sherk edged Evan Dunham and Melvin Guillard slid past Jeremy Stephens before Ryan Bader had a wholly uninspiring win over an aging Antonio Rogerio Nogueira in the co-main event, so by the time that Mir stopped “Cro Cop” with a huge knee in the main event, fans may have already been asleep too long to actually see it happen.
No, they were mainly left wishing they hadn’t spent their hard-earned money on this forgettable card in the fall of 2010.
4.) UFC 174
Set with a potentially explosive lineup from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, in mid-2014, UFC 174 could and should have delivered much more.
Andrei Arlovski was making his return to the octagon versus Brendan Schaub after a strong win streak outside of the UFC, Ryan Bader was taking on power striker Rafael Cavalcante at 205 pounds, and Rory MacDonald met Tyron Woodley in a pivotal welterweight co-headliner.
Sure, not many were all that excited for the Demetrious Johnson vs. Ali Bagautinov flyweight main event, but by the time they started walking out during that fight, which was actually another good victory for “Mighty Mouse,” it didn’t matter. Arlovski hugged “Big Brown” on the way to an uninspired decision win, Bader used his predictable style to take down Cavalcante and win another on the judges’ scorecards, the “Red King” absolutely dominated an over-hyped and loud Woodley, and this event was sunk as one of the worst of 2014 and the UFC modern era.
3.) UFC 177
This August 2014 PPV from Sacramento, California, simply could not catch a break as former bantamweight champion Renan Barao was forced out on weigh-in day after passing out in a hotel bathroom during his draining cuts down to 135 pounds.
That left the little known Joe Soto to replace Barao versus TJ Dillashaw on short notice, and obviously that fight had none of the luster that the new bantamweight champ’s rematch with the once-revered Brazilian pound-for-pound great who he beat with a shocking upset at UFC 173 four months before.
Olympic medalist wrestler and touted prospect Henry Cejudo continued his trend of missing weight from Legacy FC, puling out of his bout with Scott Jorgensen also due to medial issues and forcing him up to bantamweight for his next fight.
That resulted in an event that featured only eight total fights, with Tony Ferguson laughably taking on hometown favorite Danny Castillo in the co-main event. UFC 177 will almost certainly go down as one of the worst PPV cards in the modern era, and it’s a wonder and shame the UFC had the gall to charge fans $54.99 for this drivel in the first place.
2.) UFC 61: Bitter Rivals
It’s ironic to think that this insanely boring actually set an all-time live gate record at the time for the promotion with $3,350,775.
Unfortunately, the event failed to live up to its own massive hype in every sense of the term. Much of the buzz centered on the heated rivalry between TUF 3 coaches Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock in a rematch of their original meeting at UFC 40, which “The Huntington Beach Bad Boy” won by TKO.
The rematch lasted a far shorter time, as Ortiz finished off the aging “World’s Most Dangerous Man” in 1 minute and 18 seconds into the first round. So that fight didn’t feature quite the contest that its trash talk suggested, but at least there was the awaited trilogy match between heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia and former champ Andrei Arlovski, right?
Wrong, Sylvia and Arlovski threw down in a tentative stinker after “The Pitbull” won their first contest by Achilles’ lock and “The Maineiac” incredibly knocked out Arlovski in the second after getting rocked himself. Sylvia took home a safe and boring decision during an era where he was criticized for fighting “not to lose” by Randy Couture, who eventually came out of retirement to dominate Sylvia for the title.
Either way, UFC 61 deservingly rates as one of the most boring UFC events of the modern era and could certainly even top the list if not for the horrific trainwreck show that occupies the top spot next.
1.) UFC 149
This hot piece of garbage was yet another unsettling product of the injury-ridden summer of 2012.
Before his eventual release form the promotion for repeated marijuana use, Matt Riddle got the main card started off right enough with an impressive arm-triangle choke submission of Chris Clements. Unfortunately, that was all the entertainment the main card really offered from the Scotiabank Center in Calgary, Alberta, as James Head beat late replacement Brian Ebersole by split decision and the cringe-worthy streak was underway.
After Cheick Kongo clinched his way to a snooze worthy decision win over Shawn Jordan and Tim Boetsch somehow won a robbery split over the debuting and surprisingly tentative Hector Lombard, this card was going to be tough to save.
And the interim bantamweight title fight between Urijah Faber and Renan Barao, which was scheduled when champ Dominick Cruz was forced out of his TUF 15 main event grudge match against “The California Kid” with the first in a long series of torn ACL surgeries, wasn’t nearly enough of a main event spectacle to get that lofty goal accomplished.
“The Baron” beat Faber in a tentative bout similar to a bantamweight version of Sylvia vs. Arlovski III, and would later go on to beat Michael McDonald and Eddie Wineland to become the official champion before losing the belt to Faber’s Team Alpha Male teammate TJ Dillashaw in a huge upset at UFC 173. But even though Barao and his Nova Uniao brothers were elated at the result, UFC 149 only extended the brutal streak of terrible events in 2012 that transpired in large part to injuries, and for a supposedly strong PPV this one was the most disappointing in recent Zuffa history.