Next month’s showdown between Chuck Liddell and Wanderlei Silva will finally answer the age-old question that has been haunting the minds of MMA fans for years as to who would win between the two if they ever fought.
The winner of the fight will receive a huge momentum boost going into the twlight of their career. The loser? Well they will have lost three fights in a row. The list of fighters that have lost three fights in a row is astounding in terms of size. The list of notable fighters that have dropped three straight bouts is pretty big as well.
So what does it take to come back from nearly falling into obscurity? Here’s a look at some well-known fighters that came out on the wrong end of the stick three or more consecutive times and managed to turn things around and get back on the winning track.
Hermes Franca: After a stint where he went 2-2 in the UFC, Franca left the promotion to try and work on his skills in smaller promotions before returning to the big show. However Franca ended up dropping three consecutive fights to Yves Edwards, Koutetsu Boku, and Ray Cooper before the end of 2005. Franca rebounded with an 8 fight winning streak and found himself challenging Sean Sherk for the UFC Lightweight Title this past July.
Nick Diaz: After knocking out touted prospect Robbie Lawler at UFC 47, Diaz found himself being advertised as the future of the UFC’s welterweight division. Diaz ended up struggling for the rest of his UFC career and ultimately lost three straight fights to top competition in Sherk, Joe Riggs, and Diego Sanchez before finding himself out of a Zuffa-owned promotion. Diaz was brought back towards the end of 2006 for two fairly easy fights but ended up heading to PRIDE where he pulled off a huge upset over Takanori Gomi before the fight was changed to a no contest.
Tengiz Tedoradze:The Eastern Europe native became one of England’s top heavyweight prospects by 2004. Tedoradze then ran into a brick wall when he lost to Jeff Monson, Antonio Silva, and then Monson once again in three straight fights. Tedoradze turned his fortunes around by racking up a respectable 10-2-1 record while establishing himself as the best fighter over 205 lbs that the U.K. has to offer.
Mark Coleman: Coleman tore through the UFC in his first six fights, knocking off Gary Goodridge, Don Frye, and Dan Severn along the way. Then Coleman gassed in a heavyweight title opportunity against Maurice Smith. The infamous knockout at the hands of Pete Williams followed and a decision loss to Pedro Rizzo forced Coleman to travel to Japan in hopes of jumpstarting his career. “The Hammer” did just that when he won the 2000 PRIDE Grand Prix in impressive fashion.
Denis Kang: Kang struggled greatly in the first few years of his career and dropped three straight fights to mediocre competition at one point. Kang’s inconscitency continued until he found himself at home in Spirit MC where he became the promotion’s heavyweight champion. Two years later Kang found himself nearly becoming PRIDE Welterweight Grand Prix champion and currently is widely regarded as one of the top middleweights in the world by many.
Chael Sonnen:Sonnen had acquired a solid reputation as being a skilled middleweight during the first couple years of his career that found fighting mainly on the West Coast for the most part. The Team Quest product ended up losing three fights in a row in 2004, two of them to MMA veteran Jeremy Horn. Sonnen rebounded and worked his way into a stint in the UFC. Undefeated since leaving the home of the Octagon last year, Sonnen now finds himself challenging an undefeated Paulo Filho for the WEC Middleweight Title on December 12th.
Dennis Hallman: The man they nicknamed “Superman” had racked up an eye-opening record of 10-1 before falling to a trio of creditable middleweights in the form of Caol Uno, Paul Rodriguez, and eventual UFC Middleweight Champion Dave Menne in sequential bouts. Hallman ended up turning things around and ended up putting together a respectable career that included three separate stints in the UFC and was highlighted by the second of two quick submission wins over Matt Hughes.
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