As we continue to look at UFC fighters that didn’t make it to the big time, we look at five more fighters that had the potential but fell short. In our previous post, we highlighted some Japenese fighters who started off strong but weren’t able to capitalize on their transition to the UFC. We also featured several fighters who had lots of potential but fell victim to their win-loss record. Searching for the best Raleigh UFC training? Contact Gracie Raleigh today to learn why we’re number one!
Brazilian light-heavyweight Rafael Feijao was part of the 2013 StrikeForce roster integration into the UFC. Feijao defeated King Mo Lawal for the StrikeForce Light-Heavyweight title in 2010 and a string of wins before the UFC integration had him poised to rise to the top. However, after a suspension for the use of performance-enhancing drugs (PED) and a series of one-sided losses, Feijao found himself at the end of his UFC run. The most disappointing part of his UFC performance was that he never exhibited performance close to that of what he did in the King Mo Lawal fight, leaving many to wonder if PEDs, rather than his own power, fueled the victory.
Past his prime and overcoming a severe knee injury when he made his UFC debut in 2013, Yamamoto looked like a shadow of his former self against beatable opponents. Yamamoto got poked in the eye during his fight against Roman Salazar in 2015 and the fighter hasn’t returned to the octagon since. Struggling to recover from injury and return to his former glorious form and staying winless in the UFC qualifies this Kid as a bust.
With a considerable record on the smaller circuit, finishing 11-1, Jorge Santiago was on the cusp of UFC stardom. His 2006 UFC run ended in a 1-2 record before his release. The Brazilian met his demise in the heavy hitters he faced in the UFC octagon. Santiago turned his own bust in the UFC into a positive and now has achieved bug success as a coach.
Middleweight Denis Kang had an impressive series of wins in 2006 at the Grand Prix and made his transition to the UFC in 2008. After a series of disappointing losses in the K-1, Kang turned things around with a string of wins ahead of his UFC debut. Falling victim to a guillotine choke from Alan Belcher in his debut and then a massive beatdown from Michael Bisping, his UFC run came to an end with a 1-2 record. Kang was defeated by his own poor defensive fighting skills and his brief run ended as a major disappointment.
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