The UFC is home to many passionate fans who are not afraid to express their opinion and some fighters find themselves as undeserved targets of vitriol.
MMA fans lost it when Tyron Woodley won the UFC welterweight championship at UFC 201. For some apparent reason, people didn’t like seeing him knocking out Robbie Lawler, which was his job. Since that day he has been booed and viciously trolled on internet, from some bizarre places too, which includes the twitter handle of UFC Fight Pass posting a GIF of him being knocked out.
This attitude of fans is not unheard of. Time and again MMA community have trolled and insulted fighters on social media, despite it not being their fault. One of the major reasons for this is the UFC hype train.
The moment a fighter gains significant main stream media attention, the UFC starts showering them with favors, portraying them as invincible, and making them look larger than the sport. Thus, when one of the prized and hyped athletes loses, people point to all the hype and start insulting not only the fighter but also his past achievements.
Fans consistently forget that it was not the fighter responsible for the hype train, it was the UFC which built the aura around him/her. Any sense of deserved hype from quality victories is lost in the hate as well.
Another reason is the lack of building-up opponents. This flaw can be credited to the hype train as well. Often, title challengers are portrayed weak, if you take a close look at the promos the challenger is never credited for their performance or achievements, with the exception of the excellent promo for Jake Shields vs. Georges St. Pierre. They typically fail to showcase if a fighter has earned the right to fight for a world title and play up the trash talking aspect.
This results in fans who are attracted to the fighter more than the sport. The fans are willing to call victories flukes and insult the fighter on any occasion and platform they can. Putting it in simpler terms, fans blame fighters for the failure of UFC promotion team.
Here are three undeserving targets of this hatred:
Sage Northcutt was trolled viciously after his loss to Bryan Barberena. People claimed he was all hype and no talent, and not only insult his capabilities as a fighter but also his always-positive personality, as if it is a bad thing.
Sage was not only undefeated prior to facing Barberena but had also finished all his opponents in under two rounds. Yes, he was hyped but that was clearly not his doing. For a fighter that is just 20-years-old, he is very talented on the feet.
The UFC is the home to the best MMA fighters on the planet and racking up a record of 3-1 in one of the most stacked divisions is more than an achievement worth bragging about for a guy who hasn’t even graduated college yet.
Now let’s get to the reason people hate Sage: Envy. Considering his age Sage has achieved a lot. While his good looks did give him a push, if he were just a pretty boy he would have lost almost all his fights.
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Sage got into the UFC through Dana White’s scouting show Lookin’ for a Fight, and now he is earning more than half the ranked fighters in the UFC. Most importantly though, he is good at what he does.
Most people at his age don’t even have a clear vision of what they want to do, but Sage not has his sights set, he has also begun his journey to achieve his goals. It has been said that talent and dedication leads to success. That success will lead to envy.
Another factor why people hate Sage is the way UFC has built him and giving him an unfair push. Sage is talented but does he deserve the push he is getting? An honest answer would be no. A perfect example of him being overpaid was seen at UFC 200. He was paid $100,000, which was the most on the FOX Sports 1 prelims that included names like former world champions TJ Dillashaw and Johny Hendricks.
You cannot treat others unfairly just to promote one guy. The UFC’s actions have resulted in fighters holding a grudge against him, thus ensuring that their fans hate Super Sage.
DC has not received much love since winning the UFC light heavyweight belt. The 37-year-old holds a record of 18-1, with his only loss coming to pound-for-pound great Jon Jones.
Cormier is also a two-time Olympian and has won many wrestling titles, including a bronze medal at the world championships. Excluding his loss to Jones, Cormier holds a perfect record of 18-0 with 11 stoppages. DC also won the Strikeforce Heavyweight Grand Prix and holds quality victories over the likes of Dan Henderson, Anthony Johnson, and Alexander Gustafsson.
However, the loss to Jon Jones has overshadowed his laundry-list of achievements so brutally that people have labeled as DC as someone who does not deserve to hold a UFC belt. A “paper champion,” if you will.
Cormier won the belt after Jon Jones was forced to vacant it after being caught in hit and run case. At that time Jones was scheduled to face Anthony Johnson, but Jones was caught in legal warfare and Cormier was selected to face Johnson.
He took the fight on a short notice and was a slight underdog in the fight, but Cormier managed to fight against the odds, winning the fight by forcing Johnson to tap out to a vicious rear naked choke in the third round.
Many people believed that Cormier did not deserve to be champion due to his loss against Jones, people even called the victory over Johnson a fluke. Cormier managed to shut up his haters by defending his belt successfully against Alexander Gustafsson. However, the loss to Jones still loomed over him.
He had the opportunity to avenge his loss, but luck was not on his side. The first opportunity came at UFC 197, but DC pulled out due to injury. This was followed by a golden opportunity, the chance to main event the historic UFC 200. Everything was going according to plan until Jones tested positive in a USADA test. Thus, the match was cancelled, and instead DC faced long time MMA legend Anderson Silva.
Throughout the match DC was booed as if it was his fault that Jones tested positive. Honestly, I don’t even understand the basis on which he is hated, I am not saying this because I am a DC fan, but also as someone who loves combat sports.
Cyborg is arguably the most dominant female combatant on the planet today. With a record of 17-1 (1NC), the 31-year-old has destroyed some of the most talented women fighters in the history of women’s MMA. The list includes former Strikeforce bantamweight champion and MMA pioneer Marloes Coenen, former women’s MMA standout Shayna Baszler, women’s MMA legend Gina Carano and many more.
Apart from that she is also a former Strikeforce featherweight champion and the current Invicta FC featherweight champion. While achieving all this, she has only reached the distance only two times.
However, during her career an unfortunate incident occurred where Cyborg tested positive for stanozolol and was sidelined. This is the reason why many fans to this date call her juiced up. Cyborg made a mistake and that’s it. Many legendary athletes in past have tested positive in the past.
Not to be disrespectful, but even the legendary Michael Phelps and Carl Lewis failed tests. The answer is simply that they made a mistake, all of us make mistakes. Since that day, she has been tested a countless number of times and has proven that she is a clean athlete.
One of the major reasons for her being associated to that failed drug test is Ronda Rousey and Dana White. Ronda has on several occasions pointed out that Cyborg is just a juiced up athlete and basically acted as a bully. Dana White too made sure that whenever anything related to Cyborg occurred, the term “failed drug test” is associated with it. All this was done to make sure that Ronda looked good and Cyborg looked spoiled, and the way things are going they were successful.
That hateful comments towards Cyborg have faded recently. This might be because the UFC has not been able to push Ronda Rousey in her absence and they want a new star. Cris Cyborg is very popular among MMA fans, and now that the UFC desperately needs a female star they have turned to her.
The hate for her (although it is much less) still remains. The failed drug test is still brought up at times as the reason she cannot make the bantamweight limit. The way Cyborg has risen and has become a clean fighter proves how strong is she as a person.