There have been a number of fighters over the years that we really thought were going to make it big, but didn’t. Instead, their respective careers plummeted before ever really taking off, after an incredible start.
These said names showed us that ‘it’ factor in spades, and things couldn’t have looked better for them early on in their careers. However, somewhere along the line, for some reason, their careers didn’t pan out anything like we assumed they would.
Continue reading to see these five names on our Biggest Flukes in UFC History Part II list, and let us know in the comments if you agree with them: Also check out Part I
5. Kelvin Gastelum
Just as we began the first piece with Uriah Hall, we’re going to start this one off with the man he fought in his UFC debut.
Going into this fight, Hall was 7-2 as a professional, and he’d gone 4-0 on The Ultimate Fighter 17 with three stunning, vicious knockouts. Gastelum too went 4-0 on the show with three finishes, though he was picked dead last to start the season.
Hall was one of the scariest talents in the entire sport at that time, and he was a massive favorite going into this fight. However, Gastelum was able to overwhelm him and get the decision victory, and he was now The Ultimate Fighter.
Four more victories would follow, even defeating the likes of longtime UFC staples Rick Story and Jake Ellenberger in that time, before he’d lose for the first time to future welterweight king Tyron Woodley.
This was an incredibly close fight, but Woodley walked away the victor via split decision.
Gastelum then finished off multi-time Pancrase & Strikeforce middleweight champion Nate Marquardt, before dropping another razor-thin split decision, this one over the coarse of five rounds to Neil Magny.
He then went 2-0 in 2016, defeating former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks, as well as Tim Kennedy, before knocking out another former champion in Vitor Belfort (UFC) in early 2017, though the result was overturned.
Gastelum then lost to former middleweight champion Chris Weidman (UFC), before defeating another pair of world champions in Michael Bisping (UFC) and Jacare Souza (Strikeforce).
Things were looking very bright for the young Mexican-American. At this point, he was 15-3 (1 NC), really 16-3, and had defeated world champions in five of his last six wins.
This granted him an interim title shot against current UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, and man, what a fight that was!
Gastelum nearly knocked the world kickboxing champion out, hurting him a number of times, but after five rounds of battering one another, Adesanya was awarded the unanimous decision victory, and the belt.
No shame in that, it was an incredible fight where both men looked great.
However, since then, Gastelum has gone 1-4, making it 1-5 in his last six appearances. This is something none of us expected, we thought he’d be right back to the top in no time to rematch the champion.
But, he’d drop another decision to Darren Till, before being submitted by Jack Hermansson, both of which were sizeable upsets. Gastelum then defeated Ian Heinisch, before dropping his last two bouts to former UFC middleweight champion Robert Whittaker and then Jared Cannonier in August.
From 15-3 (1 NC) to 16-8 (1 NC), this has been a shock to us fight fans.
It’s not like he isn’t facing the very best in the world, because he is, but it appears there are just some fights that take too much out of the fighter and they return a shell of their former selves. This is one of those times.
Gastelum was scheduled to face Nassourdine Imavov at UFC 273, before that bout was cancelled. He was then matched with Dricus Du Plessis for that same event. Both bouts fell through and he has yet to schedule another.
4. Erick Silva
The next mention on this list should come as no surprise, Erick Silva appeared to have it all at the start of his UFC tenure.
Coming over with a record of 12-1 (1 NC) as the Jungle Fight welterweight champion, Silva quickly won his promotional debut via KO in just 40 seconds. A disqualification defeat would follow, a fight he should’ve won via TKO, and that fight was stopped in just 29 seconds.
We now knew we have a very dangerous, well rounded Brazilian talent to watch out for at 170 lbs. He’d just stopped his first two opponents with strikes in just over one minute combined, and he’s also a black belt in both Judo & BJJ.
Silva then submitted his next opponent late in round one, and it was official, we had another young killer on our hands, or so we thought. A unanimous decision defeat would follow to longtime top contender Jon Fitch, in an all-out war. That was a really incredible showcase for both talents.
That brought his record to 14-3 (1 NC), and he’s traded wins and losses since then.
As we said previously, some wars just change fighters…
Eventually, Silva made it to 19-9 (1 NC) before leaving the UFC on a two-fight skid. He was knocked out in three of those defeats, though he was still acquiring fast finishes in his victories.
After his fight with Fitch, his wins included a triangle armbar at 1:11 of round one, a knockout at 52 seconds of round one, an arm-triangle choke at 1:15 of round one, a guillotine choke at 4:15 of round one, and his last win in the UFC came via rear naked choke late in round three.
Though he was still picking up good wins, he wasn’t at all the same fighter he once was.
Since then, Silva’s gone 1-2, securing a first-round armbar victory, and losing his last two fights to Paul Daley and Bellator welterweight champion Yaroslav Amosov, bringing his record to 20-11 (1 NC).
That last fight took place in June of 2019, and he hasn’t fought since.
3. CB Dollaway
The Ultimate Fighter has introduced us to so many elite-level talents, so many characters, and CB Dollaway is no different. Dollaway was part of The Ultimate Fighter 7 cast, where he was very dominant on the show, and early on in his UFC career.
Dollaway went 4-1 on the show, only losing to season winner Amir Sadollah via submission (armbar) in round three of a fight he was absolutely dominating.
His coach, Rampage Jackson, was thoroughly impressed with Dollaway’s skillset whilst on the show, and when they rolled, Dollaway submitted his coach easily. He’s a stud wrestler with numerous credentials in the sport, and he could grapple pretty well, which aided him in going 6-0 prior to joining the UFC.
Jesse Taylor, the man supposed to be in the finals, was forced out by Dana White and replaced by the winner of CB Dollaway and Tim Credeur, which Dollaway won, his first decision on the show.
However, he’d be caught in that same armbar by Sadollah at the finale, this time in the opening round, and he was now 6-1. But, that’s not the worst thing in the world.
All he’d need to do is tighten up his submission defense and he’ll be damn near unstoppable, right?
Dollaway went 5-1 over his next six bouts, being submitted by Tom Lawlor, before he’d run into back-to-back TKO defeats to surging contender Mark Munoz, and then Jared Hamman.
Dollaway would then defeat Jason ‘Mayhem’ Miller, handily out-wrestling him for three rounds, before winning another decision against Daniel Sarafian.
Tim Boetsch would defeat him next via a razor-thin split decision many believed Dollaway won, before Dollaway won his next two over The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil winner Cezar Ferreira and another surging contender in Francis Carmont, who was 6-1 in the UFC at the time.
As you see, he had two good stretches in the UFC where he went 5-1 in his last six, and then 4-1 in his last five, but this victory over Carmont was followed up by three-straight defeats to Lyoto Machida, Michael Bisping, and Nate Marquardt, all of which are former world champions.
Dollaway then defeated Ed Herman, before winning a disqualification over former Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard. He was then beat down badly in his last UFC fight, losing via TKO at the end of round two, before getting knocked out by Jiri Prochazka in their Rizin title fight.
That was his last fight, which went down at the end of 2019, and he now holds a record of 17-10.
2. Myles Jury
Myles ‘Fury’ Jury came to the UFC back in 2012, following The Ultimate Fighter 15. He originally appeared on season 13 as a welterweight, though he was forced out of the competition with an injury, and was brought back two seasons later.
Jury was 9-0 as a professional, securing every last win before the first round was up, and he also went 6-0 with six finishes as an amateur.
Hell, all of his professional wins came inside the first three minutes. He’d win his first fight on the show to gain entrance into the house, but would lose a very close split decision to season finalist Al Iaquinta in his next bout.
Following TUF 15, Jury would secure another first-round finish, and he was now 10-0 with ten first-round finishes.
Jury then won his next five-straight bouts, though four would make it past the first round, and three went the distance. That’s great though, we’re seeing leaps and bounds of growth out of him.
Here we saw him defeat the likes of TUF finalists Michael Johnson, Ramsey Nijem, and Mike Ricci, TUF 1 winner Diego Sanchez, and former PRIDE lightweight champion Takanori Gomi.
Jury was now 15-0, things were looking incredibly well for him. He’d passed every test he was given with flying colors, and he was still just 24 years old.
However, he’d run into a streaking Donald Cerrone next, who defeated him via unanimous decision, and he was also submitted by Charles Oliveira in his featherweight debut.
Jury rebounded from this with a pair of victories over Mike De La Torre (TKO) and former WSOF featherweight champion Rick Glenn, but would drop his next two to Chad Mendes (TKO) and Andre Fili (UD) before being released by the UFC.
‘Fury’ decided to sign with Bellator, where he was first pitted against former WEC & UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson, who also defeated him via unanimous decision.
Jury had now gone from 15-0 to 17-5, going 2-5 in his last seven contests, and his once incredibly bright future seemed to be dimming. He then defeated Brandon Girtz (UD) and Georgi Karakhanyan (SD), before losing his last fight to Sidney Outlaw (rear naked choke).
From starting out his career at 15-0, when everyone believed he was a future champion, to going 4-6 over his last ten. He’s still a very good, highly skilled fighter, but his career just hasn’t panned out the way many of us had expected.
Jury now sits at 19-6 as a professional and has yet to sign another bout agreement.
1. Johnny Walker
This mention will come as no surprise, because it’s been some time since anyone had as much hype on them as Johnny Walker once did.
Khamzat Chimaev has that same kind of hype, so did Conor McGregor and Ronda Rousey.
That makes Walker one of the very few.
Walker had that special it factor, and he had it in spades.
Regularly changing divisions between light-heavyweight and heavyweight, Walker came to the UFC with a record of 14-3. He’d just won his Contender Series bout, and he was a UCMMA & EBD light-heavyweight champion.
13 of those victories came via finish, 11 of them knockouts, and his only decision was his brilliant showcase on the Contender Series. Once arriving in the UFC, Walker won his first three bouts all in spectacular, devastating fashion.
First he’d KO Khalil Rountree with a series of nasty elbows from the clinch, before knocking out Justin Ledet with a spinning back fist. This was followed up by another knockout victory, this one over Misha Cirkunov with a flying knee, and at this point, Walker was on literally everyone’s radar.
No one just finishes everyone like that, especially consecutively, and especially in the manner in which he continuously did it. The first went 1:57 into round one, the second 15 seconds into round one, and the third just 38 seconds into round one, improving his record to 17-3.
People were already pegging him as the man to defeat Jon Jones, but he’d have to go through Corey Anderson in order to get that shot.
Anderson battered, and finished Walker in the first round, and the hype was brought to a halt.
A decision defeat to Nikita Krylov would follow, before he’d KO the surging Ryan Spann.
Though Walker was nearly knocked unconscious multiple times throughout the three-minute contest, he was able to land some vicious elbows to the head of Spann whilst pressed against the fence, and he was back on the winning track.
But, Walker has since dropped his last two outings to Thiago Santos (UD) and Jamahal Hill (KO).
It seems as if every time Walker gets hit clean, he either goes out, or he gets seriously rocked.
The Brazilian was looking good to open up his last fight with Hill, his footwork and shot selection were working out great for him. He was being patient and technical, something we’re not used to seeing out of him. However, the first punch Hill landed cleanly starched him.
Going from 17-3 to 18-7, Walker’s career has taken quite a plummet.
At just 30 years of age, he can certainly rebound, but a fighters chin is not something they can train.
Do you agree with this list? If this was your article, who else would you have listed on it?
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I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.