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Looking At The Lighter Side Of The UFC

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By Jesse Holland

I've always been fascinated by the UFC's dichotomy between violence and comedy. For a sport that was born from two men beating the snot out of each other, there certainly are some funny things that go down in and out of the Octagon. As we catch our breath from UFC 67 and gear up for UFC 68, I thought it would be a welcome departure to look at some of the UFC's funniest moments. With so many to choose from, I've tried to narrow down my choices to the five that can still make me laugh.

5. Go with the KenFlo

Kenny Florian, despite his talent, gets quite a bit of heat from UFC fans. I'm sure it has a lot to do with his stint on The Ultimate Fighter, an experience that can vault you into the main event of a pay-per-view while simultaneously branding you with a Scarlet Letter. Most of the gags are cheap and childish, like the comparisons to Ben Stiller and Kevin Richardson from The Backstreet Boys. There does exist however, one juicy nugget for which Florian can blame no one but himself. Back at UFC 64 KenFlo was pitted against the heavily favored Sean Sherk for the vacant lightweight title. Outmatched and obviously out-muscled, Florian spent most of the fight on the run. Do you remember as a child when you would tear-ass through the house and Mom would yell at you to watch where you're going? Looks like KenFlo called in sick for that particular lesson:
Courtesy UFCmania.com

While attempting to escape the shoot, Florian pulls a Mark Hominick and runs for the hills. Keep in mind an Octagon has eight sides, and boy those support beams just come out of nowhere don't they? Wham, Bam, thank you Kenny Florian.

4. Dream Warriors

There's knockout power, and then there's Chuck Liddell. The Iceman's put more people to sleep than Rick Perry (Sorry about that Texans). While most opponents go down quietly, there are the few warrior spirits who refuse to lose, even in an altered state.

At UFC 62, Renato "Babalu" Sobral decided one highlight reel knockout wasn't enough and made the conscious decision to bumrush the sports most dangerous counter-puncher. Unfazed, Liddell kicked it into reverse and let his hands do the talking. A few bombs later, Sobral was counting sheep – or was he? Critics of the stoppage cried foul, claiming Babalu, while hurt, was still attempting a submission hold.

I understand their argument, and it is certainly valid, but if you're going for a leg-lock, it should be on your opponent, not the referee. In his punch-drunk confusion, Babalu turned on the one man who swooped in to save him: Big John McCarthy.

I've seen ref's knocked out by an errant punch in the heat of battle, but I've never seen one submitted. On August 26 of 2006, Big John almost became the first.

Courtesy UFCmania.com
Credit to Big John for transitioning to mount!

3. The Country Breakfast

Matt Hughes is known for a lot of things. Arrogance, dominance, Hollandaise sauce? The boys down at Xyience had the right idea in the beginning. The first few commercials had The Iceman (and sometimes Forrest Griffin) running uphill in the desert and talking tough into the camera. Not exactly Fellini, but we got the point. Then they decided a Clio Award was within reach and churned out that dreadful Rich Franklin piece that has him teaching class to a group of dim-witted rejects from the set of TRL. "Duh, do you use Xyience Mr. Franklin?" Blech.

And here I thought they had reached the bottom of the barrel until lo and behold there he is, the most dominant welterweight of our time, bailing hay and slurping down Farina to remind us what a good ol' boy he is (and causing Denver Pyle to roll over in his grave). Actually, it wasn't the Xyience bar/country breakfast parallels that had me in stitches. It was the priceless few seconds of Hughes getting out of a limousine into the onslaught of flash photography. Look closely and you'll notice he's standing on a red carpet as he waves to the press and his legions of fans. Yeah. Uh-huh. I know the UFC has exploded, but I don't see Matt Hughes getting an Oscar invite just yet.

1. Shit Happens. No Really, It Does.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the Holy Grail of UFC comedy. Would you be surprised if I told you it involved current Heavyweight Champ Tim Sylvia? Of course not.

It happened just over a year ago at Ultimate Fight Night 3. The Maine-iac faced off against Brazilian roadblock Assuerio Silva. His performance left a lot to be desired, especially considering his previous fight ended with a highlight-worthy head kick to Tra Telligman. In fact, it was the shittiest performance since Kevin Randleman defeated Renato Sobral at UFC 35. Yes, I mean that literally.

Never one to shy away from self-deprecating humor (just see his stint on Blind Date for proof of that), Sylvia goes on the MMAweekly radio show and admits to the world that he was a little under the weather that night and in fact, had soiled himself during the contest. Whatever they pay the guy who cleans the floor of the cage after the fights, it couldn't possibly be enough.

So to anyone who thinks it was a dumb idea for Travis Lutter to admit he was unmotivated to fight for the title (instead of acting devastated and pretending he really tried to make weight), I give you the undisputed champion of dumb admissions. Informing the world you were ill and as a result turned in a sub-par performance is both understandable and acceptable. Conceding that your performance was hampered by chocolate trunks, is not.

And for the safety of digested lunches everywhere, this is one comedic moment that will not be accompanied by video.