“Where Are They Now?”: Famous Victims Edition
(Don’t worry Bob, it can only get better from here. That has to be true at least once in a while.)
Imagine this scenario; you’re an up and coming fighter in the cut-throat world of MMA who’s finally earned his shot at the big time. The packed stadium, the camera crews, the ring girls, they’re all there. And best of all, your fight is about to be broadcast for the world to see. “I’ve made it,” you think as you bathe in the bright lights shining down on you.
But then, before you know what hit you, you’re looking up at a large, possibly Rastafarian man, who’s asking if you know where you are. And for the rest of your life, you are dubbed “that guy who got destroyed by ______ .” No matter what you accomplish, you will always be known for one bump in the road that just about everyone happened to witness. Well, here at CP, we know this story all too well, so we decided to check up on a few of these poor suckers, VH1 style, and find out what they were up to. Because knowing is half the battle. Enjoy.
Dos Caras Jr.
What (most of us) know him for: As one of the victims of the greatest MMA technique of 2003.
What he’s been up to: As it turns out, Dos Caras Jr. has actually had a rather successful career since nearly being decapitated by Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic back at PRIDE – Bushido 1. His real name is Alberto Rodriguez, and he actually wasn’t that bad of a fighter. Honestly, considering he both wore a mask and went by a fake name, he was a pretty damn awesome fighter, and easily the most successful. After dropping a unanimous decision to Kazuhiro Nakamura at Pride 27, “Two Faces” went 6-1, with all wins coming by way of stoppage. He even managed to pull out a head kick KO of his own back in 2010 against 3-8 fighter Arthur Bart.
Where he is now: Living the high (though occasional crippling) life as a professional wrestler for the WWE. He now goes by the name Alberto Del Rio, which is a hell of a lot catchier in our opinion. After defeating C.M Punk at this year’s SummerSlam, Alberto became the first ever Mexican-born WWE champion in the promotion’s history. It’s safe to say that brown pride is at an all time high right now.
What (most of us) know him for: No, that is not Ryan Roberts in the above photo. You want to know why? Well, it’s because “Are You Ready?” was defeated so quickly in his one and only octagon appearance back at UFN 13 that few remember he was ever there, instead choosing to remember the beautiful armbar that Marcus Aurelio, the man pictured above, pulled on him in under 20 seconds.
What he’s been up to: Unfortunately, the Gods of fate have not been kind to Ryan Roberts following his crushing UFC defeat. The loss to Aurelio was the first of a 6 fight skid that would see Roberts come up short against names like Joe “The Nose” Wilk, Duane “Bang” Ludwig, and Bellator veteran Eric “The Machine” Marriot. Speaking of Bellator….
Where he is now: After evening the score with Marriot at VFC 32, Roberts would again be upended by “The Machine” in his Bellator debut. After a drop to bantamweight and a 3-0-1 streak, Roberts recently faced off against Bellator bantamweight champ Zach “Fun Size” Machovsky at Bellator 54 in one of their infamous non-title fights. But where Travis Wiuff succeded, Roberts would fall to a first round north-south choke, bringing his big promotion record to 0-3. Sucks bro, but as the great Mastodon say, that’s just the curl of the burl.
What (most of us) know him for: The recipient of “Ask” Gary Goodridge’s most brutal knockout and victim of perhaps one of the latest stoppages in UFC history.
What he’s been up to: No, Paul did not die that night; he walked away with only a concussion and a broken cheekbone. In fact, Herrera was interviewed shortly after the loss by People magazine and had the following to say: ”I’m fine, I’ve had my ass stomped worse than that before. I spent the next day drinking Stoli martinis and getting loaded.” These are the words of a true badass, ladies and gentlemen. Herrera has since been making his name as a private wrestling instructor in California and has raised two kids, who are from all reports, pretty damn good fighters in their own right. He even returned to the MMA scene in 2002, scoring a decision victory over Joe Moreira. That name sound familiar? That’s because Joe Moreira holds a submission via terror win over convicted psychopath Joe Son. And beating up someone who scares a serial rapist/killer deserves recognition in its own right.
Where he is now: Along with his father, Joe “Headlock” Herrera, Paul is one of the head trainers at The Empire Training Center in Corona, California. And according to the website’s bio, he is quote:
In this area of each of the instructors I would like to know if they would take a few minutes to write down their philosophy on mixed martial arts and being an instructor.
Truer words have never been spoken.
What (most of us) know him for: Wait, you don’t recognize this guy? It’s probably because the last time anyone saw his face it was being planted on the canvas compliments of Yahir Reyes incredible spinning backfist. Payan’s loss at Bellator Fighting Championships 6 would go down as the ESPN’s Knockout of the Year for 2009 and, along with Toby Imada‘s Submission of the Year, would open the floodgates for the rise of Bellator into the mainstream.
What he’s been up to: Payan followed up the BFC 6 defeat with a second round TKO loss to WEC veteran Karen Darabedyan at Shark Fights 6. The Arizona Combat Sports fighter has since gone 4-0 with 1 no contest since, compiling a very respectable record of 11-3 overall. Not bad for someone who has been training MMA for only a few years now. Fun Fact, he earned his nickname, “El Terrible” due to his ferocious sparring habit during training sessions that would lead even heavyweights to brawl with him as a result.
Where he is now: After three tours in Iraq and the death of his younger brother, Reyes has been an inspiration to the members of his family that have seen poverty and drug abuse upend them. He is coming off back-to-back knockout victories over Joe Nicholas and Nick Rhoads, respectively.
What (most of us) know him for: Being one of the many early entries in Jens Pulver‘s highlight reel.
What he’s been up to: In John Lewis’ case, I feel as if I should discuss where he was before the knockout that earned him his fame, as it is just as interesting. For instance, did you know that Lewis was apparently the fourth American in the entire world to receive a black belt in BJJ, or that he competed in the first 2 ADCC trials? Gotta love those Wikifacts. And even more better, did you know Lewis was the very first person to train under “Judo” Gene Lebell all the way from white to black belt? Talk about some qualifications; he trained with the man that kicked Steven Seagal’s ass once resolved a resolution with Steven Seagal without casually getting his ass kicked.
Where he is now: Though the Pulver fight would be his last MMA contest, Lewis has actually become a world renowned trainer in the sport, shaping world class fighters in their prime like Chuck Lidell, Randy Couture, Tito Ortiz, Rico Rodriguez, B.J. Penn, and Frank Trigg to name a few. Lewis is perhaps best known for introducing most of those fighters to Dana White and the Fertitta brothers, who he gave private Jiu-Jistu lessons to back in the 90′s, and in fact helped spur their interest in purchasing the UFC in the first place. I all actuality, we all owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Lewis, a debt that is unfortunately overshadowed by one of “Lil’ Evil’s” best knockouts. Here’s to you, John.
What (most of us) know him for: Unquestionably the most embarrassing loss on our list, Eddy Bengtsson is the man who became infamous for being “knocked out” via Ghost Punch by Aleksander Emelianenko. Like a scene from The Sixth Man, (yes, I went there) Aleksander seemed to summon the power of the unbeknownst third Emelianenko brother to knock out Bengtsson less than a minute into their fight, despite completely missing the punch that did so.
What he’s been up to: Even before Eddy could see a replay of exactly how pathetic the fight was, he saved himself the embarrassment of ever having to explain himself again by immediately retiring after the fight. Like…in the locker room. Check out his explanation of just what the hell happened. Among other things, Bengtsson states that he believes Aleks will have a great career in the future, proving that the punch must have somehow done massive damage to his brain.
Where he is now: Well apparently his retirement lasted just a few months longer than Jamie Varner‘s, as Bengtsson returned to the ring in May of this year to score a 50 second kimura win over Istvan Kalmar.
What (most of us) know him for: Performing a move so dumb in his match against Shinya Aoki that Bas Rutten declared, “He cannot sleep for three days.” It was a rough three days for Gardner.
What he’s been up to: Kids, take note: If you ever embarrass yourself like David Gardner did, which would be equivalent to getting a raise and then ••••ting your boss’ desk, please don’t try and market yourself on that failure thereafter, like David Gardner did. Yes, as a result of the incident, which became a viral sensation, Gardner changed his nickname to “Hello Japan,” or a move equivalent to reminding every future job interviewer you sit down with that you indeed shat on your last boss’ desk.
Where he is now: Amidst a 4 fight skid with just two wins coming in his last ten, including losses to UFC veteran Matt Grice and TUF 13 winner Tony Ferguson. You see kids, this is what happens when you try to make your name off of a major personal failure…it leads to many, many more. But hey, at least he’s cool with it.
And that takes us to perhaps the biggest victim of all…
What (most of us) know him for: It’s tough to imagine in hindsight, but there was actually a time when Bob “The Beast” Sapp made people piss themselves in fear instead of unintentional laughter. We’re talking about a man who managed to defeat the legendary Ernesto Hoost twice in K1 competition, despite lacking the ability to throw a proper punch or kick whatsoever. He even managed to nearly piledrive “Minotauro” through the PRIDE ring for Christ’s sake. But it was Sapp’s face off against Croatian striker Mirko Cro Cop that would truly make him famous, despite his exhausting attempts to do so through other mediums. A little over a minute into the fight, Mirko caught Sapp with a straight left that shattered his zygomatic bone, but it was his reaction to the punch that would forever make his nickname a thing of irony. Rather than falling to the mat like a normal person might, Sapp slowly, limply, laid down on the mat and went into a series of winces and convulsions that would become known thereafter as “crygasming.”
What he’s been up to: The loss to Cro Cop was really the beginning of the end for Sapp. His gong-and-rush tactics quickly became a thing of parody, and aside from a few wins in freak show fights, Sapp would become a punching bag for the likes of Bobby Lashley, Rameau Thierry Sokoudjou, and famed giant killer Minowaman. But hey, he was in the remake of The Longest Yard that everyone loved. Right? Right? Guys?
Where he is now: Currently on an 0-9 run in kickboxing competition and a 1-5 run in MMA, Sapp was scheduled to fight at K1 Dynamite!! 2010 on New Year’s Eve against Shinichi Suzukawa in a Pancrase style match. But after claiming to be shorted $15,000 by the promotion, Sapp would pull out the day of the event, leading FEG President Sadaharu Tanikawa to label him, “the worst, most lamentable dust man,” and someone who, “should not be considered a normal person.” Sad…but probably true.