The sport of MMA (mixed martial arts) has come a long way since it’s 1990’s inception, striving to become part of the mainstream amongst a shark pool of more established traditions. In the hunt of creating a more polished and branded product, the UFC is the clear leader in the current market. Oddly enough, the Zuffa owned banner has also been home to some of the most controversial happenings in the sport, as have many smaller and lesser known promotions.
Unfortunately for MMA, these happenings often do little more than smear the image of the sport, as entertainment and madness often merge in to one, some of the more sensational and controversial moments in MMA history have come outside the ring/cage/octagon. Some have occurred inside the ring of combat but after the final bell, so we’ve included those pre/post fight incidents too as they haven’t officially been during the fights. It’s not always the fighters to blame either, sometimes the ugly violence at MMA events worldwide is caused by the crowds in attendance.
This list is not for the faint hearted, as things get pretty dark in the top five.
So without further ado, check out the Top 10 Craziest MMA Brawls Outside The Cage……
10. Robbie Lawler beat up by a girl
Before becoming UFC welterweight champion, Robbie Lawler roamed the MMA world searching for a place to call home. One of his earlier bouts was for ICON Sport in 2006, where ‘Ruthless’ fought Faliniko Vitale for the promotion’s middleweight championship title.
After setting a blistering pace early on, both men appeared to tire. Lawler still had one big combo left in his tank as the corner warned him to speed it up, and landed a brutal string of punches that put Vitale out. There was some confusion as the referee hesitated to jump in, so Lawler went from celebrating back to punching, and that seemed to annoy a lady in the crowd.
The woman rushes Lawler, taking him by surprise and landing a combo of her own, before security rushes the ring to keep them apart. No one knew who she was, and a google search asking ‘who was the woman that hit Robbie Lawler’ returns a top result of Rory MacDonald, so I still can’t tell you now.
Anyway, enjoy the bizarre video below, the fight ends at the 11:04 mark….
9. Lockdown MMA riot
A little-known MMA promotion in Manchester, England sparked controversy in 2012 when fans, fighters, bouncers and just about anyone got to rioting and smashing the stadium to pieces.
The ring girls seemed to be having fun, as they watch around 30 blokes batter the booze out of eachother, but the riot did little more than to slow the progress of the sport in England.
There’s little more to say, as the videos do most of the talking:
8. KJ Noons vs. Diaz Brothers
Inaugural EliteXC lightweight champion KJ Noons had just finished Yves Edwards in the first defense of his title back in 2008. His next opponent Nick Diaz, who had already fought and lost to Noons in 2007, entered the cage to challenge the champ. With Bill Goldberg (seriously?) conducting the post-fight interview, things couldn’t have got any weirder or funnier, and then they did.
Diaz calls out Noons with the now-classic line ‘Don’t be scared homie’, to which Goldberg in a confusing statement says ‘We don’t know if that’s true’, and then all hell breaks loose. Diaz goes for Noons and they engage in a crazy brawl, as scripted as it probably was it was still incredibly fun to watch.
Watch the video below as the Diaz brothers leave the cage throwing up gang signs, and get ready to see more of their antics in this very list….
7. Mark Coleman loses his sh*t in Pride
Mauricio Shogun Rua and Mark Coleman fought at Pride 31 in 2006, and created a boatload of controversy following their 49-second showdown. The former 2000 openweight champion Coleman wanted to get this fight to the mat as the superior wrestler and inferior striker, and shot in for the takedown early on.
Rua scrambled as he tried getting back to his feet, but as he hit the canvas he suffered an horrific broken forearm. Screaming in agony as the referee stepped in, Shogun lay helpless and clearly in pain, but that wasn’t enough to stop ‘The Hammer’. The rivalry between Hammer House and Chute Boxe exploded in to the ring as Coleman continued trying to hit Rua, Wanderlei Silva, Phil Baroni and countless officials had to break the action up.
The fun continued backstage, as Coleman attempts to apologize to Chute Boxe, only to get snubbed by Murilo Rua and Wanderlei Silva. Check out the entire video, including the backstage confrontation below, and join us at number 6….
6. Wanderlei Silva and Chael Sonnen On TUF Brasil 3
Cast your minds back to late 2013, when the biggest beef in the UFC was going down between Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva. It was an insane feud that never really came to a head, as both Sonnen and Silva fell to failed or fled drug tests. ‘The American Gangster’ and ‘The Axe Murderer’ were picked as coaches on TUF Brasil 3 at the height of their rivalry, and got things going early on set.
The cameras were rolling as Wandy and Sonnen got down to it, although it was more than likely all for show, things did get very out of hand. Both teams of fighters joined in, and Sonnen ended up getting stomped and punched from all angles.
The on-camera fight was media-sensationalized, and represents the only time we’ll ever get to see Sonnen and Silva in actual combat.
Check it out, and join us for the madness in the top five….
5. Strikeforce Nashville brawl
Yep, the Diaz brothers are here again. Coming in at number five is the notorious clash at the Strikeforce Nashville show in 2010 between Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller and the entire Cesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu crew.
Shields had just dominated UFC legend Dan Henderson to defend the Strikeforce middleweight championship, and Miller hopped the cage to confront Shields about getting the next title shot.
Nick Diaz obviously felt insulted, obviously the same stunt he pulled on KJ Noons had fallen out of his memory bank, and he launched a riot-starting right hand at ‘Mayhem’.
The brawl will go down as one of the most infamous moments in sports history, it also killed CBS in terms of major MMA coverage.
Check out the madness in the video below….
4. Nurmagomedov vs the Diaz bros.
This one is still fresh in the memory banks, as last weekend (Saturday August 1st, 2015) UFC lightweights Khabib Nurmagomedov and Nate Diaz, with brother Nick in tow, collided in the crowd during the WSOF 22 (World Series Of Fighting) main event in Las Vegas, Nevada.
‘The Eagle’ and the Diaz brothers, among many others, were captured throwing beers and punching/kicking each other outside the cage. The fight ironically took place during the announcement of Diaz’s team mate Jake Shields during his gritty welterweight title fight with Paul Harris.
What makes this even more insane is that the fight spilled out in to the street, pretty much making this one of the most controversial, immature and shocking MMA brawls ever.
Check out the Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Nate Diaz full fight/riot video below and brace yourself for the craziness of the top three….
3. Brazilian fans go nuts for Renzo Gracie vs Euginio Tadeu
Old vale tudo rivals Renzo Gracie and Euginio Tadeu faced off at Pentagon Combat way back in 1997 in Brazil. This was one of the craziest moments in MMA history by far, as the fans made this one to remember.
The fans edged closer to the cage throughout the 15 minute duration, until they were clambering up the fences and pretty much attacking the fights. Ryan Gracie had seen enough and struck one of the fans in the face, chaos erupted and chairs, bottles and punches were thrown during an insane crowd melee.
The cope turned up to calm the situation, but by that point the inside of the stadium was a wreck.
Check out the video below and prepare for the top two!
2. Jon Jones vs Daniel Cormier at the UFC 178 media day
Former UFC light-heavyweight champion Jon Jones and his fierce rival Daniel Cormier shared one of the most publicized feuds in the sport’s history, most certainly the most controversial in UFC history, and it all came to a head at the UFC 178 media day in August 2014.
‘Bones’ and ‘DC’ squared off for the media in Las Vegas, Nevada, but Jones got a little too close for comfort. The champion put his head against the challenger’s and all hell broke loose from there onwards.
Cormier shoved Jones’ neck, Jones went in for a big punch and a takedown, and at one point Cormier took his shoe off and threw it at Jones.
The brawl led to countless other memorable encounters between the two enemies, including a sensational ‘hot mics‘ out-take where Jones threatened to kill ‘DC’.
Check out the video of the notorious brawl below, and skip to the number one craziest MMA riot ever….
1. Australian gang war
This is perhaps the last thing you would expect to see at a mixed martial arts event, but it happened in 2006 at Xplosion 13. The show apparently had a large number of rival bikers from The Finks and Hell’s Angels in attendance, and the results were violent and bloody.
This controversial riot happened when MMA was pretty much non-existent down under, the UFC was yet to hold an event there, and really are lucky to have been welcomed there after such a brutal happening on Australian land.
Punches were thrown, as were steel chairs, knives were drawn and gunshots fired. The injury list had multiple minor wounds from fist fights and chairs being tossed, right up to stab wounds and gunshots to the stomach, legs and throat.
Undoubtedly the craziest MMA brawl of all time, and hopefully we’ll never have to witness one like it again. Check out the security cam footage of the notorious Hells Angels vs Finks brawl below.
Thanks for reading!