MMA fighters generally show a large amount of respect for one another, but every now and then there’s the exception. And then sometimes there’s just an immense amount of hatred. Fights are exciting enough, but a strong feud adds some more spice to the mix. Here are the top 10 grudges in mixed martial arts.
10. Dominick Cruz vs Urijah Faber
This grudge goes back to before these two first fought in the WEC and Cruz signed his name on a poster over Faber’s face. Faber feels Cruz chose him as an enemy and has responded in kind. Both have a win over the other and there’s a burning animosity that surfaces rather often between these two bantamweight warriors. The rubber match may end the feud but something tells me these two personalites will always clash.
9. Frank Mir vs Brock Lesnar
Fighters hate to lose. Brock Lesnar hated Frank Mir because Mir defeated him. Then Brock Lesnar defeated Frank Mir and Mir began to hate him. But it was not the defeat that exacerbated the rage on Mir’s end but Lesnar getting in Mir’s face after scoring the TKO victory and screaming in his dazed face. The trash talk leading up to the fight from Mir really enraged Lesnar and he let it out all out. With Lesnar retired this feud will likely fall by the wayside.
8. Jens Pulver vs BJ Penn
BJ Penn often strikes up a healthy dislike for opponents, but his disdain for Jens Pulver was off the charts. The two didn’t like one another and Penn’s dislike only grew due to the fact that Pulver had a win over him. Finally Penn was able to put away the grudge and work it out after defeating Pulver at the final of their season coaching against one another on The Ultimate Fighter.
7. Matt Serra and Matt Hughes
Matt Serra lets you know how he feels and when it comes to Matt Hughes it often involves a lot of cuss words. Serra and Hughes butted heads on The Ultimate Fighter when Serra was a contestant and Hughes a coach, but things boiled over to epic proportions when they were opposing coaches on the program.
6. Chael Sonnen and Anderson Silva
This is more of a one way attack than anything. Never has a feud been so much the fault of one individual than his counterpart as Chael Sonnen has gone on a multi-year smear campaign of Anderson Silva with some strong words and equally powerful humor. Crossing the line involving comments about Silva’s wife, this feud has translated into setting up the biggest rematch in MMA history.
5. Jon Jones and Rashad Evans
It’s odd to think that these fighters would not fight one another because they were friends, because now they are incredibly disgusted by the other person. “Fake,” “Jealous,” “Selfish,” and a whole sleuth of other names have been called in this soap-opera-esque feud between two of the toughest 205ers in the game. Both fight hard in the cage and outside with one another.
4. Wanderlei Silva and Rampage Jackson
Some things cross cultural and language barriers, and sometimes that’s just good old fashioned rage. These two light-heavyweight warriors fought three times and managed to continue a healthy hatred for one another throughout the whole process. Rampage got the last laugh with a KO, but Wand is still up one in the series.
3. Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz
Former friends who eventually became strong enemies, Liddell and Ortiz duked it out twice and the “Iceman” came out on top on both occasions. Usually Liddell is cool and lives up to his nickname, but something about Ortiz’s personality and trash-talk really irked Liddell and it only fueled this feud further.
2. Ken Shamrock and Tito Ortiz
These two went at it three times and carried some strong ill-will towards each other throughout the whole process. Both fighters have a strong business sense and pro-wrestling type of approach to promoting MMA fights, but aside from the theatrics they really seemed to have a strong sense of mutual dislike which spilled over into more than a few confrontations.
1. Rashad Evans and Quinton Jackson
The Ultimate Fighter has had some intense rivalries between coaches, but the one that seems to stand out most is this one. Both fighters always want to get the last word and psychologically try and beat the other verbally, which ended up turning into some really intense and entertaining television.