10 MMA fights that happened just to make money


All professional sports exist just to make money. However, Mma is more unique than other sports because it has to be between business and competition. There is no linear path for MMA companies to make millions, like in sports like soccer and baseball. In MMA, the promoters of the sport have to be creative and lead certain fights in order to make a profit.

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Having said that, there have been a lot of MMA fights that have been organized purely to make money, and with no idea of ​​competition in mind. Let’s take a look at ten such examples of fights that have happened throughout MMA history just to make money.

ten Max Holloway vs. Anthony Pettis



Max-Holloway-vs-Anthony-Pettis-UFC-206
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

A little forgotten fact about Max Holloway’s career is that his very first championship was a bit ridiculous. UFC 206 was originally slated to be the main event with a rematch between Daniel Cormier and Anthony Johnson, but once ‘DC’ retired with injury the UFC began to fight for the new main event.

So the UFC got creative. They won one of the undercard fights between Max Holloway and Anthony Pettis and threw an interim featherweight title on the line. The problem was that there was already an interim featherweight champion in Jose Aldo, who had fought a few. months ago when Conor McGregor was the undisputed champion. So, the UFC made Aldo an undisputed champion, stripped McGregor, and Holloway became interim champion once he defeated Pettis. This is by far the most cheeky example of the UFC putting a title on the line for no apparent reason.

9 Randy Couture vs. James Toney



via foxsports.com
via foxsports.com

Former boxing champion James Toney had literally been following UFC President Dana White for months to get a chance to fight in the UFC. After annoying White enough, he signed Toney and pitched him one of the greatest UFC champions in a monster fight of the century.

In the main UFC 118 co-spot, fans got to see an MMA freakshow boxing fight between two fighters who were both past their prime. Not surprisingly, Couture took Toney down and crippled him en route to a submission victory in the first round.

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8 CM Punk vs. Mickey Gall



    UFC 203-Gall vs. Punk
John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

CM Punk’s foray into MMA was admirable, but a terrible idea. The only person on the planet who thought it was going to be okay was probably Punk himself, given his first fight in the promotion, it’s likely the UFC even wanted him to get run over.

The UFC gave Punk a young hope in Mickey Gall at UFC 203. Gall destroyed Punk in a single round in a tough-to-watch fight, as he subdued the former WWE Champion to pitch the CM Punk UFC experience. But hey, the fight went well on PPV, so mission accomplished.


seven Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2



UFC 196-McGregor vs. Diaz
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The fight continued to be one of the greatest of all time, but it’s a bit of revisionist history that Conor McGregor vs. Nate Diaz 2 must have happened. Their first fight saw McGregor being upset by Diaz’s short notice at UFC 196, and in the aftermath, McGregor said he would come back down to defend his featherweight crown.

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Instead, McGregor and the UFC decided to keep the division 145 pounds so “The Notorious” could claim their victory. So once again a featherweight and a lightweight decided to fight at welterweight, but this time McGregor came out on top in one of the biggest fights ever.


6 Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Shamrock



Kimbo Bellator 142 Slice
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Kimbo Slice vs. Ken Shamrock was supposed to fall in 2008 for the failed EliteXC promotion, and even then the fight seemed like a squash match as Shamrock was at least five years past his prime. So naturally, after the first fight was canceled, Bellator decided to dig up a retired Slice and Shamrock to settle their feud seven years later.

Bellator 138 was the scene for two middle-aged men, years past their expiration date to throw. After some early successes from the former UFC champion, Slice returned to knockout Shamrock in the first.

5 Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Couture



Brock Lesnar in UFC Cropped
Mark J. Rebilas – USA Today Network

Brock Lesnar was 1-1 in the UFC when he got his first title shot. While Lesnar continued to prove himself a worthy champion, his first UFC gold shot was a bit ridiculous. He faced Randy Couture at UFC 91 and in one of the greatest UFC fights of all time.

Lesnar smashed the UFC Hall of Fame, knocking him out in the second round to become the UFC heavyweight champion in just four career fights. An incredible accomplishment, but also one that wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t been a star before his MMA career.

4 Nick Diaz vs. Robbie Lawler 2



Nick-Diaz-Robbie-Lawler-UFC-266
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Dana White has said for years that Nick Diaz is done, that he doesn’t think he should fight again. White held that position until Diaz was in fairly decent form, then the UFC gave Diaz a rare five-round untitled, no-main event spot on the UFC 266 PPV card against the former Champions. UFC welterweight Robbie Lawler.

Diaz seemed in terrible open space and didn’t want to be there, as evidenced by his request to move the fight up to 185 pounds with a few days’ notice. Ultimately, while the fight may have gotten a few more buys due to Diaz’s star power, it was hard to watch the Stockton native look slower and older on his way to being stopped in third. tower.

3 CM Punk vs. Mike Jackson



UFC 225-Punk vs. Jackson
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

If CM Punk’s first fight was a cash grab, the second was a bank robbery. Although fans saw Punk absolutely destroyed when he first met, he got a second shot at the UFC Octagon as he faced off against compatriot 0-1, Mike Jackson.

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While Jackson’s record was 0-1, he still had a lot of experience in the amateur scene and was also a 4-0 professional boxer. Jackson showed the skills gap as he dominated Punk en route to a unanimous decision victory. However, the victory was overturned years later after Jackson tested positive for marijuana.

2 Ken Shamrock vs. Royce Gracie 3



Ken Shamrock Bellator 142
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Trying once again to capture the older fan market, Ken Shamrock was paired with Royce Gracie for a trilogy fight 21 years after their second fight. Both men were in their fifties or approaching their fifties when this fight took place at Bellator 149.

Gracie won the fight after a knee to the groin in the first round, after Shamrock fell but the referee missed the illegal strike. Bad for Shamrock, but great for Bellator notes. Like Bellator 149 is still Bellator’s most watched show to date.

1 Holly Holm vs. Germaine De Randamie



UFC 208 Holm vs. de Randamie
Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

UFC 208 was one of the worst main events of all time. The UFC were extremely desperate for the main event of their first pay-per-view of 2017, they originally wanted Cris Cyborg to fight for the first women’s featherweight title. However, after Cyborg ran into problems with USADA, they had to improvise.

The UFC solution was to have two bantamweight contenders for the featherweight title. They slipped on former UFC champion Holly Holm, who was on a two-game losing streak, and Germaine De Randamie has only had two fights in the past two years and held a record at the time. of 6-3. In the end, the main event was exhausted. De Randamie won a controversial unanimous decision to become the women’s featherweight champion.


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